New York lawyer for Strauss-Kahn accuser eyes run for office

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 16, 2012 8:16 PM
New York lawyer for Strauss-Kahn accuser eyes run for office

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kenneth Thompson, who represented the hotel maid who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, has signaled his intent to run for Brooklyn district attorney next year.

The former federal prosecutor filed paperwork with the New York State Board of Elections last week that will enable him to raise money through a campaign committee.

He confirmed to The New York Times on Monday that he plans to run.

Thompson would be the second challenger to six-term incumbent Charles "Joe" Hynes. The first is Abe George, who left the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in July.

If elected, Thompson would become Brooklyn's first black district attorney. He did not return emails and calls for comment

Thompson is best known for bringing a civil suit against Strauss-Kahn on behalf of Nafissatou Diallo, the maid who accused the former IMF chief of forcing her to perform oral sex in a midtown Manhattan hotel.

While criminal charges were pending against Strauss-Kahn, Thompson made the unorthodox decision of allowing Diallo to take center stage in a prime-time television interview. Some legal scholars said the tactic was unusual for a sexual assault case, where victims are typically shielded from media scrutiny.

Manhattan prosecutors in August 2011 dropped the criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn. The civil suit is pending.

Thompson first gained prominence as the prosecutor in the 1997 case of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant who accused several New York Police Department officers of beating and torturing him. Some of the officers were convicted or pleaded guilty, though the convictions of others were reversed on appeal.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye; Additional reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Xavier Briand)