Hotel Stands by Its Maid in Strauss-Kahn Scandal

Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 | 5:21 AM ET

The hotel maid who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault remains on the payroll of New York's Sofitel Hotel, CNBC has learned from a source close to the investigation.

Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn enters New York State Supreme Court for a hearing on July 1, 2011 in New York City.
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Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn enters New York State Supreme Court for a hearing on July 1, 2011 in New York City.

However, the woman has not yet decided whether to return to work following the alleged assault on May 14. The fact that the woman is still being paid would suggest the hotel is standing by the 32-year-old woman, despite questions raised by both the defense and prosecution about her credibility.

The source, who was not authorized to speak on the record about an ongoing investigation, also told CNBC that evidence from electronic key cards in the hotel appears to refute a claim that the woman cleaned another room in the hotel before reporting the incident to her supervisors.

The electronic trail shows the woman entered Strauss-Kahn's hotel suite at 12:06 pm on May 14. Moments later, authorities allege, the attack occurred. The woman initially told police that after the incident, she hid in a hallway waiting for Strauss-Kahn to leave.

According to the source, key card evidence shows that at 12:26 pm the woman used her key card on two doors: Room 2820 and Room 2806, where the alleged incident occurred. She was found by a supervisor at around 12:28 pm, around the same time Strauss-Kahn was checking out of the hotel.

Prosecutors said that under questioning by investigators, she admitted that "after the incident in Suite 2806, she proceeded to clean a nearby room" before reporting the incident to her supervisor. But the source says that according to the key cards, the woman cleaned room Room 2820 well before the incident, instead of immediately afterward.

A spokesperson for the New York District Attorney's office declined to comment beyond the disclosure filed in court on July 1.

In the CNBC Original documentary "Dangerous Liaison: What Happened in Room 2806", former New York sex crimes prosecutor Leslie Crocker Snyder tells CNBC it is common for a victim of sexual assault to present inconsistencies in her story.

"There's something known as the rape trauma syndrome, which is recognized in court, which explains that many victims of sex crimes are so traumatized that these very unusual manifestations occur," Snyder said.

However, prosecutors determined the inconsistencies in the woman's story were serious enough that they should be disclosed to the defense.

Strauss-Kahn has pleaded not guilty to a seven-count criminal indictment. He was freed from house arrest on July 1st after prosecutors disclosed the woman was untruthful about her past relationships, including her application for asylum in the United States.

A court appearance by Strauss-Kahn originally scheduled for Monday has been delayed two weeks while both the defense and prosecution continue to investigate the case. The woman's attorney says her story has been consistent, and she wants the case to go to trial.


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