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Dominique Strauss-Kahn Released from House Arrest, Accuser's Credibility in Question

In May, a maid accused the then-Chief of the International Monetary Fund of sexually assaulted her in a $3,000.00 per night hotel room. Since that time, Strauss-Kahn has been free on $1,000,000.00 bail with conditions that he be placed on house arrest and under armed guard. However, now, Strauss-Kahn's stringent release conditions have been lifted and it's the accuser's credibility that is under scrutiny.

The woman admitted to prosecutors that she lied about her whereabouts following the alleged attack. She also admitted to fabricating a prior allegation of sexual assault in order to gain political asylum in the United States, and she admitted to including false information in tax documents. It has been reported that several days after Strauss-Kahn's arrest, the accuser stated in a recorded phone conversation that she was fine, that the accused person was rich and that "there's money to be made."

Sexual assault charges are extremely serious and they frequently are based only on the word of the person who claims to be the victim. In fact, Nevada law allows a conviction to be based only on the word of an alleged victim, if that victim is believed. Therefore, the credibility of the victim in a sexual assault case is key, and any opportunity to challenge that credibility is important to the defense.

The Nevada Rape Shield Law prohibits the defense from using an alleged victim's prior sexual history as a basis to attack (called "impeaching") credibility. However, if a victim made a prior false allegation of sexual assault, evidence of the prior false allegation is admissible to impeach or challenge credibility.

If you or someone you know has been accused of Sexual Assault or another sex-related crime, it is important that you contact aLas Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney right away. A Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer can assist you in analyzing the facts of your case, identifying applicable defenses and providing you with the most aggressive defense strategy possible to protect you legal rights.