A Bronx judge decided today that Nafissatou Diallo’s civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn can continue despite his claims of diplomatic immunity. “Confronted with the well-stated law that his voluntary resignation from the IMF terminated any immunity which he enjoyed, Mr. Strauss-Kahn threw [legally speaking that is] his own version of a ‘Hail Mary’ pass,” wrote State Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon. The decision noted that Strauss-Kahn did not use the immunity defense when charged criminally and said that DSK “cannot eschew immunity in an effort to clear his name only to embrace it now in an effort to deny Ms. Diallo the opportunity to clear hers.”
Although the rape charges against Strauss-Kahn were dropped last year, a subpoena could now force his return to New York City for a deposition in the civil matter. The admitted “libertine” denies Diallo’s account of the “violent and sadistic attack,” claiming that the oral sex was consensual and that the subsequent scandal may be part of an elaborate political conspiracy. Strauss-Kahn also faces unrelated prostitution charges in his native France.
As a preface to his decision today, the saucy Justice McKeon quoted a Japanese proverb that appeared in the IMF’s 2011 ethics report: “The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of an hour.”