Hotel surveillance video that captured alleged sex assailant Dominique Strauss-Kahn hurrying from the hotel might not, as investigators initially thought, show him rushing from an alleged crime scene to the airport, sources involved in the investigation told ABC News.
It might simply show him rushing off from a New York City Sofitel Hotel to a several hours-long Manhattan lunch, as defense attorney Ben Brafman argued today at the arraignment in Manhattan criminal court for the head of the International Monetary Fund.
Based on Brafman's courtroom assertions, investigators for the prosecution have to reexamine the rough timeline they had constructed and reexamine that video footage from the weekend with a fresh eye, sources said.
Brafman has denied the charges against his client.
Prosecutors and detectives today were reviewing card swipes for Strauss-Kahn's suite and other locations at the Sofitel, as well as lobby video, as part of their effort to complete a chronology of what took place before and after the alleged sex assault on a hotel housekeeper. They are also attempting to verify the claims made on Strauss-Kahn's behalf by Brafman, who said in court that his client had a extended luncheon the afternoon that the assault allegedly took place and did not rush from the hotel, as authorities have asserted.
Investigators said the experienced sex crimes detectives who interviewed the victim found no reason to doubt her story.
Based on her account, and other evidence, the alleged assault took place during the course of about 15 minutes, beginning virtually the moment the housekeeper entered what she thought was an empty suite, law enforcement officials said.
After the alleged assault had ended, sources told ABC News, she told two people she met in the hotel halls about the alleged incident. They confirmed her disheveled appearance and her statements to them, the sources said.
While authorities do have forensic evidence that was collected in the room -- from the victim and from the alleged attacker -- an analysis of that evidence has not been completed.
There was no discussion between the accuser and her alleged assailant prior to his alleged attack, according to law enforcement sources.
She was in a maid's uniform, so mistaken identity, on the surface at least, is likely to be ruled out. The victim, a legal immigrant, has no apparent record of criminal convictions, and investigators have apparently uncovered no suggestions that the encounter began as consensual.
There is some indication the woman may have suffered bruising during the alleged attack but, law enforcement officials said, they have yet to make any conclusions on that point at this time.