Does Dominique Strauss-Kahn deserve an apology?

The rape charges against the former IMF boss have been dropped — but not before his reputation and career were thoroughly trashed

Dominique Strauss-Kahn
(Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, a New York judge dismissed all sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn after prosecutors cast doubt on the reliability of the alleged victim's story and their own ability to prove DSK's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus ended what the former International Monetary Fund chief called "a nightmare for me and my family" during which prosecutors and the media seemingly presumed his guilt, costing him his job and reputation. After all that he's been through, does the man who once seemed likely to be the next president of France deserve an apology?

Yes. The press should apologize: In particular, the female British columnists who were so quick to presume Strauss-Kahn's guilt owe the man a mea culpa, says Toby Young at Britain's Telegraph. Many of these women claim to be liberals who believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But "the moment a man is accused of sexual harassment or worse, the presumption of innocence goes out the window."

"Fleet Street's Polly Fillers owe Dominique Strauss-Kahn an apology"

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Prosecutors should apologize, too: This whole affair "has been a colossal embarrassment and disgrace in the eyes of the world," says Henry Blodget at Business Insider. When "you make a mistake," as prosecutors clearly did, "it's customary to apologize — especially when your mistake costs someone his job and ambitions and temporarily destroys his reputation and life."

"So, are prosecutors going to apologize to Dominique Strauss-Kahn for destroying his life?

But prosecutors were "absolutely" right to arrest DSK: "They had a complaining victim with a compelling story, physical evidence of a sexual encounter, and a possible rapist about to board a plane for France," says Lis Wiehl at Fox News. It was necessary to "act fast and ask more questions later." Then, when the alleged victim and her story aroused suspicions, "the prosecutors took the righteous path of alerting the defense." And remember, dropping the case doesn't make Strauss-Kahn innocent. It only means that prosecutors don't believe his guilt can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

"Prosecutors in Dominique Strauss-Kahn case did the right thing — twice"

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