Eight years after she went, Strauss-Kahn's French accuser says she didn't know what it meant. If what I have read about the charge of attempted rape now being brought against Strauss-Kahn in France is correct, eight years ago a young French woman agreed to meet Strauss-Kahn alone in an apartment that was not his address. She claims that, despite her protests, Strauss-Kahn persisted in sexually aggressive behavior. She construes, or perhaps misconstrues, his behavior as attempted rape.
If the woman's account is true, there is an innocent interpretation. By agreeing to the meeting, she sent a signal that she did not intend to send and which Strauss-Kahn interpreted, or misinterpreted, to mean that she was sexually available.
If this is the story, a French court would realize that, however frightening it was for the young woman, it was a misunderstanding and not an attempted rape. Strauss-Kahn would be guilty of boorish behavior, but this is not yet a crime.
French skepticism would explain why the charge lay dormant for eight years and came to life on the heels of the New York case, which has now fallen apart. The certainty with which the New York police, prosecutor, and American media initially treated Strauss-Kahn's guilt created credibility for the French woman's accusation. Certainly, the prospect of Strauss-Kahn's conviction on the New York charges would give a French lawyer more confidence in the French woman's story.
I offer this not as an excuse for Strauss-Kahn, who is much too horny for his own good, but as an innocent explanation of an event that also has non-innocent explanations.
For example, according to the French press, Strauss-Kahn predicted that his favorable standing in the election polls would result in Sarkozy, or the interests behind him, paying a woman one million euros in order to bring sex charges against him in order to knock him out of the presidential race.
We also know from press ...