Strauss-Kahn accuser says she wants justice

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A Guinean woman who has accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in a New York hotel broke her silence Sunday, saying she wants him to go to jail and to clear her name.

"Because of him, they call me a prostitute," she told Newsweek magazine in her first public interviews since the alleged attack by the former powerful French politician in a Manhattan hotel suite in May.

"I want him to go to jail. I want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power, you cannot use your money."

The woman was also to appear on ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday exactly a week before Strauss-Kahn is due back in court in New York on August 1 for his next hearing on seven charges of attempted rape and sexual assault.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," she told ABC after weeks of being held incommunicado in protective custody, according to excerpts released by the US television channel on Sunday.

"God is my witness I'm telling the truth. From my heart. God knows that. And he knows that," the 32-year-old woman said.

Strauss-Kahn, a French politician once seen as a leading contender to become the next president of France, has denied all the charges arising from the incident on May 14 in his luxury suite in the Sofitel hotel.

And prosecutors have openly questioned the woman's credibility after she recanted the version of events she had given to a grand jury.

In her interview with ABC, she admitted to making "mistakes" but she insists that from the beginning her account of what happened in hotel room had remained the same.

"I tell them about what this man do to me. It never changed. I know what this man do to me," she told Newsweek.

But the defense has called for all the charges against Strauss-Kahn to be dismissed, and on Sunday accused the woman of trying to whip up public opinion.

"This conduct by (the woman's) lawyers is unprofessional and it violates fundamental rules of professional conduct for lawyers," William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said in a statement.

"Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case."

The woman, whom AFP has chosen not to name in line with its policy to protect alleged victims of sexual assaults, was working as a chamber maid when she says she was attacked in a presidential suite on the Sofitel's 28th floor.

She told Newsweek said she had called out "Hello, housekeeping" as she entered the room, and then a naked man with white hair appeared.

"Oh, my God," she said. "I'm so sorry." And she turned to leave. "You don't have to be sorry," the man allegedly replied. But he was like "a crazy man to me."

She said the man clutched at her breasts and slammed the door of the suite, and then gave a graphic account of what she says happened in the room.

But Strauss-Kahn's lawyers accused her legal team of having "orchestrated an unprecedented number of media events and rallies to bring pressure on the prosecutors in this case after she had to admit her extraordinary efforts to mislead them.

"Her lawyers know that her claim for money suffers a fatal blow when the criminal charges are dismissed, as they must be."

© 2011 AFP

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