As the new but controversial trend of pay-off in sexual assault cases opens up the possibility of the defendant being able to escape any criminal prosecution.
The New York Post reported that the friends of Strauss-Kahn tried to pay-off the alleged victim in return to drop the sexual assault charges against him.
The lawyers for Strauss-Kahn have denied any such pay-offs and said that the allegations are not based on any evidence. But these allegations have re-ignited the legal and ethical debates concerning pay-offs and its effect on the credibility of criminal prosecutions. But since pay-offs are valid under a civil suit and not under criminal law the prosecutors can argue that the witness or the victim has been bought off by the defendants. This would be considered as a bribe under criminal law and the defendant can be prosecuted for witness tampering law. Since the ethical principles of criminal and civil cases lie distinct, interference of criminal prosecutions by concepts of civil law is considered as obstruction of justice.