Dominique Strauss-Kahn may have been cleared of sexually assaulting a chamber maid in New York, but that cuts no ice with anti-rape protesters here.
For those who may not be entirely familiar with the New York arrest of French bankster Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the international scandal that ensued, a brief recap of the facts and issues including why the charges were dropped can be found here. It must be acknowledged that because all the charges were dropped, Mr Strauss-Kahn is innocent in the eyes of the law. Furthermore, the current allegations against him relate purely to victimless crimes. If women of a certain type are prepared to engage in consensual sexual activities with a rich, ugly Frenchman of pensionable age, that should be no concern of the criminal law. Of his wife certainly, and perhaps of some professional body, but sexual encounters of any kind between consenting adults are victimless crimes, whether or not money changes hands.
The Cambridge Union is a world famous debating society, and is certainly no shrinking violet. In 2007, it was addressed by Colonel Gaddafi, although he spoke via satellite rather than in person. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was invited to speak before the New York affair, and in spite of a petition against his visit, the Union refused to cancel.
In some English cities, the loony wimmin's movement has been active for many decades. At one time they used to protest against sexism by denouncing all men as potential rapists - presumably with the exception of the odd Whitney Houston fan. Some of them even used to wear badges that bore the legend 'a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle'. It was therefore to be expected that they would turn out to protest at the presence of a man who is certainly a philanderer.
As will be seen from this report, the protest became a little heated. It is also clear that it wasn't only wimmin but women and not a few male students who felt the Union was sending entirely the wrong message to the University and the world. It did though invite Douglas Widgor to address its audience as well. Who is Douglas Widgor? He is the lawyer acting for Nafissatou Diallo, Strauss-Kahn's alleged victim. Although the criminal case has been dropped, she is pursuing a civil case against him, a private prosecution in which she will have to prove her allegations only on the balance of probabilities rather than to the much higher criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
As things stand, this case will go ahead on March 28 when instead of lecturing eager students about banking, Mr Strauss-Kahn will have to explain how he came to have consensual sex with a strange woman half his age as she went about her duties as a chambermaid, and without money changing hands. We will see if he is quite so talkative then.
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