Last year, two high-profile sexual assault cases produced endless headlines. In the end, two NYPD officers were eventually acquitted of rape, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn was ultimately never charged. With those stories came a sadly predictable pattern: The Daily News and, especially, the New York Post fluctuated wildly between villainizing the accused and the accuser, relying heavily on anonymous sources and on information that was later shown to be less than credible.
A day after rape allegations against Fox anchor Greg Kelly were made public, the local tabloids are airing doubts about the accuser's story and questioning whether or not the Manhattan district attorney will decide to bring charges against the police commissioner's son and former U.S. Marine. The Post says probably not: An anonymous source claims investigators "don''t buy [the accuser's] story" that Kelly raped her at her law firm's office after a night of drinking at the South Street Seaport. "It sounds like a bunch of BS." The Daily News, while more measured, points to text messages between the accuser and Kelly as potentially problematic.
"It sounds like she got caught [cheating] by her boyfriend, and then he forces her hand: 'If you're not lying, you better report,'" says another Post source. The paper claims the D.A. is suspicious of the woman's three-month wait to report the alleged crime. She says she became pregnant after the rape and had an abortion. But contact between the woman and Kelly also gives investigators pause, the Post reports. Kelly's lawyer has reportedly turned over text messages as evidence suggesting his client's innocence.
An unnamed Daily News source calls the texts "flirtatious" and says they suggest the encounter was consensual and for a "sexual purpose." Another anonymous source says the pair texted about "doing it again." But the paper also reports a phone call from the woman to Kelly after their meeting in which she said something to the effect of, "Why'd you do that?" An investigator said, "Unless she taped the phone call, whether this guy gets charged could be determined by the texts."
The woman alleges she was too intoxicated to consent, and ABC News reported that she became "an emotional cripple" after that night.
"Everyone has a right to have their complaints investigated," Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. "And I also point out that as far as I know, Greg Kelly's not been charged with anything. So I don't know how that's going to turn out." In addition to his attorney, Kelly has also hired PR veteran Ken Sunshine, who knows his way around a high-profile rape case — he worked for Nafissatou Diallo, Dominique Strauss-Kahn's accuser.
This post has been updated throughout.