Dominique Strauss-Kahn released from house arrest without bail
But she also said that her transgressions don't mean her story is false.
"Bad people, people who lie, they're still sexually assaulted," she said. "So I think what everybody is trying to do now is bring her back again, and say 'OK, you were dishonest about these things, now we have to figure out what really happened between you and this man.'"
At a minimum, questions about the woman's credibility could leave a jury doubtful that she was telling the truth about what happened. They also raise the possibility that the woman herself could be in legal trouble, if the government decides to seek punishment for her past fibs and fabrications.
District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance said the charges, which include attempted rape, will stand for now. But prosecutors had a legal duty to turn over the uncovered information to the defense, and they were continuing their investigation.
In a letter sent to Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, they disclosed several instances in which they believed the woman had lied about herself or the circumstances of her life. They said she'd made up being gang raped and beaten in her homeland of Guinea to enhance her application for political asylum in 2004. She now says she was raped there, but not as she initially said.
U.S. officials are often presented with fabricated stories by people seeking refugee status in the country, and the nation's immigration courts are filled with instances of immigrants who have been caught embellishing personal histories to meet the strict conditions for being granted asylum.
Lori Adams, managing attorney of the legal aid group Human Rights First, said that many people in the immigration system don't have a lawyer, and they blunder through proceedings without fully realizing the potential repercussions of embellishing their life stories.
"A lot of people are on their own, or are poorly advised, and could be tempted to present their story in a certain way that might not be truthful," she said. "Sometimes people get desperate."
She said that if the woman's application was based on fraud, the Justice Department could seek to reopen the case and have her thrown out of the country. Her attorney Kenneth Thompson said she went to prosecutors to tell them the truth, and she had initially feared she'd be deported if she told them why she really left: because she was a victim of genital mutilation and she didn't want her daughter, now 15, to be similarly affected, Thompson said.
Prosecutors said the woman had also been lying on her tax returns about how many dependents she had in order to increase her tax refund and had misstated her income to avoid losing her apartment.
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