Strauss-Kahn pleads not guilty to sexual assault
NEW YORK FORMER IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid in a case that cost him his job and a chance at the French presidency.
Wearing a dark suit, Strauss-Kahn arrived at the courthouse with his wife, French television journalist Anne Sinclair, walking beside him, arm-in-arm.
They were flanked by two private security guards hired to prevent him from skipping bail.
The couple walked past a throng of media and a large group of hotel workers there in solidarity with the woman who said Strauss-Kahn attacked her.
“Shame on you,” they chanted.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on charges including attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.
Asked to enter his plea, Strauss-Kahn told the court clerk, “Not guilty.” The next date in the case at New York Supreme Court before Judge Michael Obus was set for July 18.
“When the evidence is in, it will be clear there was no forcible compulsion,” defence lawyer Benjamin Brafman told reporters after the hearing, confirming he will contend that any sex with the maid was consensual.
But the maid’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said the notion that the 32-year-old “hard-working single mother” had consensual sex with Strauss-Kahn was “preposterous.” “All of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s power, money and influence will not stop the truth of what he did to her in that hotel room from coming out,” he said.
“She is going to come into this courthouse, get into that witness stand and tell the world what (he) did to her.” Strauss-Kahn left the court, holding his wife’s hand.
The pair looked stoic as they strode to a black Ford SUV as hotel workers shouted at him and news photographers took pictures.