Senator Perkins Says DA Vance Shouldn't Drop Strauss-Kahn Sex Attack Charges

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[Open Letter]

Dear District Attorney Vance:

Recent news reports this past week across all forms of media have generated two major concerns.

First, there have been allegations undermining the character and credibility of the victim. Second, there is growing fear that the District Attorney's office will not vigorously pursue the case or even worse, dismiss it.

With respect to the first concern, stories throughout the national and international press have cast a dark cloud on the integrity and credibility of the victim to the extent that it appears as if she has been criminalized. In doing so, justification is being created; it appears to dismiss the case prematurely effectively demonizing her.

Moreover it even hints that the accused will be exonerated in spite of evidence specifically and directly related to the incident that points to him as the perpetrator.

Notwithstanding, these claims in various media from "unrevealed" and "anonymous sources", maligning the credibility of the victim inappropriately serves as a basis for demonstrating that she was not sexually victimized and serves further to demonstrate that she has been totally abandoned by your office, who are sworn to protect her and other women who are similarly victimized on at regular basis.

None of what is mentioned in the media says that this woman was not raped nor does it justify that the courts and the judicial system abandon her. Indeed, there appears to be enough compelling physical evidence in support of the victim's allegations for the District Attorney's office to move forward with the pursuit of this case.

Nothing that has been said speaks to the original charges of forced, unnconsensual sex.

To preserve the principle of due process, the decision to bring charges should be decided on its merits, not the character of the victim or the victimizer. If anything less than due process is delivered in this case then justice will have been unduly denied.

This will only confirm the cynicism and fears many women have of coming forward when they have been violated. In the
words of one of the religious leaders in the African community "a daughter of Mama Africa has been violated and her dignity snatched and she is disgraced/dishonored publicly by the media. No wonder rape victims don't report rape."

Bill Perkins, Senator
30th Senatorial District
New York

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