(H)ere is one moment, though, that is summed up in a strikingly vague paragraph, comparatively free of detail, until it hurries on to the next phone call, as if that were a refuge. It turns out to be a fairly important juncture:
What took place between DSK and the maid in those six to seven intervening minutes is a matter of dispute. DNA evidence found outside the bathroom door showed her saliva mixed with his semen. The New York prosecutor concluded that a "hurried sexual encounter" took place and DSK's lawyers have admitted as much, while claiming that what happened was consensual. The maid has brought a civil suit claiming he used force. It is not clear when she left the room since key card records do not show times of exit. What is known is that DSK called his daughter on his IMF BlackBerry at 12:13 to tell her he would be late.
Isn't this "matter of dispute" the crucial one? And yet it is treated as a sideshow. Epstein seems to have very good access to D.S.K.'s circle; he says he has seen documents that were given to his lawyers. He knows that, after the "encounter," Strauss-Kahn put on "his light black topcoat." But in terms of the event at the center of the scandal, what we get is that his "lawyers have admitted as much"--as much, in effect, as the D.N.A. showed--"while claiming that what happened was consensual." Is that the best Epstein can do?
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