Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges he sexually assaulted a midtown hotel maid, but “the hard-working single mother” will take the stand and “tell the world” what he did to her, her attorney said yesterday outside a Manhattan courthouse.
"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," said Kenneth Thompson, who is representing the 32-year-old African immigrant.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, pleaded not guilty to attempted rape, sex abuse and other charges. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
After the hearing, Strauss-Kahn's attorney confirmed that he'll argue that any sex with the Sofite housekeeper on May 14 was consensual. Police have said that semen found on the woman’s shirt matches Strauss-Kahn’s.
"When the evidence is in, it will be clear there was no forcible compulsion,'' defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman told reporters.
“She is devastated, she is suffering, and she is traumatized by what Dominique Strauss-Kahn did to her,” Thompson countered. “This was a terrible sexual assault on an innocent woman.”
Strauss-Kahn arrived at the courthouse arm-in-arm with his wife, French television journalist Anne Sinclair. The couple walked past a throng of media and a large group of hotel workers there in solidarity with the Bronx widow. "Shame on you," they chanted.
Strauss-Kahn, once considered the front-runner to become France's president, has resigned from his post as managing director at the IMF.
The thrice-married Frenchman, also known as the “Great Seducer” for his sexcapades, has been under house arrest, living in a $50,000-a-month Tribeca townhouse with Sinclair. He is free on $6 million bond.
Strauss-Kahn is slated to return to court on July 18.