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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs