NEW YORK, June 6 (Xinhua) — Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid.
As Strauss-Kahn, 62, entered a Manhattan courthouse, he was confronted with chants of “shame on you” from crowds gathered outside, including a group of local hotel maids.
When asked by the judge during the brief hearing how he pleaded, Kahn, wearing a dark suit and tie and standing between his attorneys, replied, “not guilty.”
“Our judgment, once the evidence is reviewed, will be clear that there was no element of forcible compulsion in this case,” said Benjamin Brafman, one of the attorneys for Kahn. “Any suggestion to the contrary is simply not credible.”
Two men from the Guinean embassy in the United States sat in the front row of the hearing. It is the first time the maid’s home country has sent representatives to follow the case.
“She is going to come into this courthouse, get into that witness stand and tell the world what Dominque Strauss (Kahn) did to her,” Kenneth Thompson, a lawyer for the maid told reporters outside the court.
Strauss-Kahn, who resigned on May 18 amid the scandal but insisted his innocence, was released from jail on a one-million-U.S.-dollar cash bail.
He was required to post an additional 5-million-dollar insurance bond and the French politician agreed to house arrest and 24-hour monitoring.
He has been indicted on seven criminal charges that carry a maximum of 25 years in prison. Strauss-Kahn’s next court date was set for July 18.