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IMF Assault Case Highlights Lack of Prosecution for Crimes Against Women

May 18, 2011
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 16:  In this photo illustr...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Supposedly the U.S. is one of the best countries for women to find equal employment, which should be safe, free from assault, abuse, and rape, except if those women work for diplomats.  The IMF case, in which a French man is being held for assaulting a woman and forcing her to perform oral sex while locked in a bathroom is being prosecuted, this type of prosecution is an aberration:  most diplomats rape women in America with immunity.  Apparently, according to the Salon.com article below, the IMF Chief has a history of assaulting women, and seems to think that he has not abused women:

Strauss-Kahn is a self-acknowledged womanizer, but some say he’s guilty of something far more serious: A pattern of sexual assaults dating to at least 2002.

On Monday, the lawyer for a 31-year-old French novelist, Tristane Banon, said she was likely to file a criminal complaint in coming days accusing Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her nine years ago.

Nagy’s letter suggests that allegations that Strauss-Kahn had a problematic relationship with women had been known for years.

And even though the 2008 investigation into the pair’s liaison didn’t find Strauss-Kahn culpable, it did criticize his judgment. The IMF board found that the relationship was consensual, but called his actions “regrettable” and said they “reflected a serious error of judgment.”

Strauss-Kahn issued an apology, writing in an email to IMF staff that he showed poor judgment but didn’t abuse his position.

It’s understandable that these men think they are above the law simply because they have been for many years.  MSNBC.com has an article about the troubling aspects of diplomatic immunity, and there seems to be a pattern of foreign “diplomats” raping or abusing women:

The case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is an extreme example of alleged sexual assault by an elite member of the international community. But the charges against him also shine a light on how diplomats and international officials have been accused of abusing maids or nannies in the United States, and have largely escaped prosecution.

Foreign diplomats have been the subject of at least 11 civil lawsuits and one criminal prosecution related to abuse of domestic workers in the last five years, according to a Reuters review of U.S. federal court records. The allegations range from slave-like work conditions to rape, and the vast majority of the diplomats in these cases avoided prison terms and financial penalties.

Most diplomats simply leave the country–thank goodness the judge in the IMF case denied bail, in large part due to Roman Polanski leaving the country for rape charges against a child.

Even the French have known this man’s history, and he has been described as a man who would meet his fate by writers since 2002:

“All this stupefaction from people is sheer hypocrisy. Everyone in Paris has known for years he had something of a problem. Not many female journalists are prepared to interview him alone these days.”

In 2009, the radio satirist Stephane Guillon dedicated his morning comedy slot on France Inter to Strauss-Kahn’s “obsession with females”. Some commentators suggested his behaviour was a reflection of French culture. In 2000 French writers Vincent Giret and Véronique Le Billon wrote almost presciently in their biography of him: “There is only one thing this famous man has avoided … a fall from grace.”

Whether it sounds like “obsession” or sheer predatory behavior, one woman says she didn’t want to be known as the problem:

A local official of the Socialist party claimed that Strauss-Kahn had attacked her daughter, who is goddaughter to Strauss-Kahn’s second wife, in 2002.

Tristane Banon was in her 20s and writing a book when she approached Strauss-Kahn for an interview in 2002. In a TV programme in 2007, in which Strauss-Kahn’s name had been bleeped out, Banon allegedly described him as a “rutting chimpanzee” and described how she was forced to fight him off. “It finished badly … very violently … I kicked him,” Banon said. “When we were fighting, I mentioned the word ‘rape’ to make him afraid, but it didn’t have any effect. I managed to get out.”

Banon consulted a lawyer, but did not press charges. “I didn’t want to be known to the end of my days as the girl who had a problem with the politician.”

Because she was strong she fought him off, but notice that she had to fight, as did the maid, as do the other women who are at the mercy of these “men” who are brought into the U.S. as diplomats.  Are these “men” really diplomats or predators, criminals, here to prey on women living in the U.S.

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