New York City Council Member Letitia James, NOW, Permanent Wave, and other women's advocacy groups have banded together to organize tonight's rally and press conference to request continuation of Nafissatou Diallo's case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Three months after the indictment and arrest of Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges, the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., has decided to ask a judge to dismiss the case.
Nafissatou Diallo and her attorney, Kenneth Thompson, filed a motion today asking a judge to halt proceedings in the case and appoint a special prosecutor.
"We're calling for a special prosecutor to prevent Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from irreparably damaging Ms. Diallo's right to have her criminal case go to trial, " Thompson said. The motion cites allegations of "abuse of confidence, unfair treatment and bias and prejudices," by Vance that make him unfit to try the case.
If Vance's request is granted, the former IMF chief will no longer face criminal charges related to allegations that he sexually assaulted Diallo. A status hearing for the case is set for Tuesday.
“This case is being tried in the media, when it should be decided in a court of law,” said Council Member Letitia James, referring to the recent media frenzy sparked by discussion of Diallo's 'credibility' in accusing Strauss-Kahn of rape. “It is imperative that public opinion and spin not take attention away from the heinous nature of the crime Ms. Diallo has alleged was committed against her. The Manhattan DA should allow the facts to speak for themselves through continuing on with the criminal case.”
“Nafissatou Diallo deserves her day in court,” said Sonia Ossorio, Executive Director of the National Organization for Women (NOW-NYC). “Despite all the lies, innuendo and slander directed towards her, her allegation is credible. We urge the District Attorney to proceed with this case. Let a jury— not a media circus— decide Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s fate.”
For more information on the rally and its supporters, visit the event's Facebook page.
Rally/ Press Conference to Support DSK Sexual Assault Victim Nafissatou Diallo
Tonight, August 22, 2011
5:00pm to 7:00pm
NYC Criminal Court
100 Centre Street, New York, NY
-New York City Council Member Letitia James
-National Organization for Women (NOW)
-New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
-Sister Song NY
-Younger Women’s Task Force
-Women, Action and the Media (NYC Chapter)
-Mount Sinai’s Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI)/Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims
-Coalition To Support Sexual Violence Victims and Survivors
-Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)
-New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
-Julianne Escobedo Shepherd [Culture Editor for the website AlterNet]
-Collier Meyerson [Writer for The Nation]
-Zeinab Eyega [Executive Director and Founder of the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families]
Sources: NYTimes, CNN, Permanent Wave
Photo: Louis Lanzano/AP