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Ex-IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's (or DSK as the French call him) presidential aspirations may come down to a he-said, she-said. DSK's defense, consensual sex with the victim, might soon be used in his high-profile rape case involving a New York hotel chambermaid. DKS's rape defense might turn out to be as simple as the victim had consented to the former IMF chief's advances.
DSK's attorney has said that he believes the evidence will not show that there was a forcible encounter, reports the AP.
But, a rape defense based on consent is something that is tricky - and difficult to prove.
According to the prosecution, DSK accosted the 32-year-old maid in his suite at a New York hotel, pulled down her pantyhose and forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to the AP.
Fighting these allegations of rape may be difficult. For one, the evidence of a sexual incident is already present. DSK's DNA is allegedly present on the maid's clothing. Essentially, the defense would hinge on who the jury is likely to believe, and on the credibility of the victim and of the defendant. It's a classic case of "he said, she said," if there is no evidence of a forced encounter.
Consent itself can vary from state to state. But in most states, rape is defined as a forcible sexual encounter without consent. If the victim consented, it is no longer considered a rape.
Consent to a sexual encounter usually is not considered valid if it is obtained by force or coercion. Furthermore, in some states like California, a woman who consents to sexual intercourse can revoke her consent at any time.
If the defense hinges on consent, the victim may be expected to testify to bolster the case for the prosecution. Victims, however, are often reluctant to testify about the crimes in open court.
DSK's defense of consensual sex seems more likely now. Whether it will be successful remains to be seen.