Tristane Banon to DSK: Tell Me to My Face That My Rape Allegations Are Imaginary
The New York Times reported Thursday that Tristane Banon, the French journalist who has accused disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her back in 2003, was questioned jointly with DSK at a Paris police station for over two hours. This, of course, is on the heels of the high-profile rape allegations against DSK made by a hotel maid in the U.S. According to the Times, "The joint questioning, a normal part of sexual assault cases in France, could represent a last legal step for prosecutors before either bringing formal charges, or dropping the case." How does this joint questioning work?
Cécile Dehesdin, a reporter at Slate‘s French sister site, Slate.fr, says that this joint questioning isn’t mandatory. If the accused rapist denies the charges, according to a French organization for women devoted to helping rape victims, the alleged victim can accept the joint questioning, refuse it outright, or ask that the face-to-face happen, not with the police, but with the judge who will eventually be in charge of investigating the case. In France, unlike in the U.S., the judge (juge d’instruction) is in charge of investigating for both the alleged victim and the accused. DSK has called Banon’s accusations of rape "imaginary and slanderous" in a recent interview. For her part, Banon has always said she relished the idea of facing DSK in person
Photograph of DSK and Tristane Banon by JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images