Prostitution and Trafficking

Big Question: Was DSK's Accuser Trafficked?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The media portrayal of the hotel housekeeper who is bringing sex-assault charges against DSK, former head of the IMF, has swung from angel to "maid-hooker." Another possibility exists: she is a victim of trafficking.



Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)--I have a question that apparently has yet to be asked--believe it or not--about the personal history of the Sofitel Hotel housekeeper here who charged one of the most powerful men on the planet with sex assault.

Now that both sides have agreed to postpone until the second week of August the hearing on the charges pending against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, it is a good moment to ask:

Could the jailed "fiance" widely discussed in the press be a sex trafficker or otherwise part of an organized criminal network?


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Amara Tarawally, 35, according to an interview with The Daily Beast, said he knew the housekeeper for six or seven years, after she emigrated from Guinea. The interviewers wrote, however, "through the fog of Tarawally's many dubious claims and denials emerges the picture of a man used to manipulating women for his own ends, perhaps to include the 32-year-old African immigrant chambermaid….Tarawally calls her his fiancee. There is no indication, however, that Tarawally or the maid had hatched a premeditated plot."

In the immediate aftermath of Strauss-Khan's arrest, his accuser was widely portrayed in press accounts as a hardworking virtuous Muslim woman (read pure) who had been assaulted by a man known to be sexually aggressive.

Then along came the New York Post, which raised the possibility that she was a practiced liar and perhaps a hotel maid-hooker-schemer.

The New York tabloid may have simmered down since the Sofitel housekeeper threatened it with libel and the Washington Post this week cast doubt on the credibility of its sources for that story. But the attack-pack leader was quick to portray her as seeking revenge against DSK because he refused to pay her for her sexual services.

This week The New York Times thickened the plot with a feature story about the cottage-industry of shady advisors for asylum seekers who promote a practice of lying and deception.


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Let us hope that this side of the story and of the possibilities are investigated thoroughly, so the real criminals are all charged, and this woman receives the help she needs to be free from her traffickers, if this is the case.
This still does not rule out rape in this case.
I personally also hope that DSK is charged successfully in France by those who have claimed rape by him in the past.

It was great to find this question asked, and to see data that supports the viability of the question. Thanks for some good reporting that made the piece possible. I have had an eerie feeling since the DSK story first broke that there was a much bigger story behind it, but that wasn't obvious. Your piece this morning helped focus on the possibilities. We all know sex trafficking happens but who thinks that those victimized are living and working among us?
Carolyn Byerly

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