Demonstrators outside the Manhattan court were outraged at the court’s decision to drop sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. “Shame on you”, they shouted.
Feminist groups fear the way the case was dropped will discourage women, already reticent about reporting sexual assaults, from coming forward.
They also fear that women who are the victims of violence will be less likely to be believed.
Some did not mince their words as they gave their verdicts on the Strauss-Kahn outcome.
“Gross and disgusting. And he deserves to be behind bars. And I don’t care how much money he has, he should not be protected by the power of his riches,” said one woman.
“When a rich and white powerful man attacks an immigrant of colour, who is working as a maid in a hotel… it’s a race and class issue,” said another.
But Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer said “inappropriate behaviour” was not the same thing as a crime – and his client had not committed one.
A French lawyer specialising in violence against women said the case against Strauss-Kahn simply did not stand up. Women generally, she said, should not be discouraged.
Many regret though that, unlike everyone else, a jury did not get to give its verdict.
euronews correspondent in New York Anna Bressanin said:
“After a very brief hearing here in the Manhattan court, so ends this judicial episode that lasted three months. And it concludes, in the lawyers’ words, with enormous relief for Strauss-Kahn, and much anger on Nafissatou Diallo’s side.”