News / USA

Strauss-Kahn Enters Not Guilty Plea

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (C) stands with his lawyers Ben Brafman (R) and William Taylor (L) at his arraignment hearing in New York Supreme Court in New York, June 6, 2011.
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (C) stands with his lawyers Ben Brafman (R) and William Taylor (L) at his arraignment hearing in New York Supreme Court in New York, June 6, 2011.
Peter Fedynsky

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually assaulted a maid in a New York City hotel last month. Dozens of unionized hotel workers jeered Strauss-Kahn as he entered and left the courthouse.  

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s court appearance lasted just five minutes.  He pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and the judge reminded the defendant he must appear for trial or risk losing his multi-million-dollar bail.  

Strauss-Kahn’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, told reporters afterwards that any suggestion of forced sex on the part of his client is simply not credible.

“In our judgment, once the evidence is reviewed, it will be clear that there was no element of forcible compulsion in this case whatsoever,” said Brafman.

Several dozen hotel maids dressed in work uniforms shouted, “Shame on you!” as Strauss-Kahn entered and left the courthouse. The maids said they were supporting the accuser, a 32-year-old African immigrant from Guinea.  

Maid Izmenia Lapaz says abuse of hotel workers is not uncommon.

“Abusing is all over. And we want to stop that," said Lapaz. "So let the whole world know what is going on.”

Lapaz is a member of the Hotel Trades Council, a union that represents hotel workers.  The organization is proposing that room attendants be issued panic buttons, electronic devices that would send an alarm in case of trouble. Union spokesman John Turchiano said panic buttons would deter potentially rowdy guests.

“We are hoping that the hotel association will agree to panic buttons for the room attendants, and hopefully enhanced training not just for our members, but for management staff as well,” he said.

Strauss-Kahn is charged with seven counts of sexual assault. They include two felony charges. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 25 years in prison. His next court appearance has been set for July 18.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid