NEW YORK (WPIX)—Embattled ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty to charges he attempted to rape a hotel maid in a hotel room in May. DSK's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, says he will enter the plea before Judge Michael Obus at New York Supreme Court later today.
But, in order to do that, he's got to get there. Remember, he's not allowed out except for approved medical, religious and legal reasons. Members of the international, national, and local media have been camped out at his TriBeCa townhouse all night waiting to get a glimpse.
Police arrested DSK on May 14th, after a maid at the posh Sofitel hotel in Midtown Manhattan said he tried to rape her, and forced her to give him oral sex.
This will be 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn's first court appearance since he was released on a total of $6 million in cash bail and bond last month. He's been under house arrest since he was released from Rikers Island, causing a stir at one place after another, before landing at a luxurious TriBeCa townhouse, rented by his wife, French TV journalist Anne Sinclair. It has a gym and home movie theater and was last posted for sale at almost $14 million. An armed guard keeps watch 24/7.
A prosecutor estimated Strauss-Kahn pays about $200,000 a month for his security arrangements.
Can you say high-priced legal team? It looks like the former French presidential contender has also hired a private investigator to dig for info on the victim, a 32-year-old mom of a teenage daughter, originally from Guinea. She is described as a woman of faith, living in the Bronx, until the media spotlight forced her to move.
The two sides are adamant they will prevail. The prosecution says their evidence against the ex-IMF chief is growing day by day. DSK's lawyers say they have information that will hurt the maid's credibility.
People familiar with the investigation say Strauss-Kahn's DNA was found on the maid's uniform. Strauss Kahn's lawyer has said any DNA evidence will not be consistent with a forcible encounter.
The accusation has wrecked the grandfather's chance of becoming France's next president. DSK had been praised for his role in tackling the 2007-09 global financial crisis. Strauss-Kahn quit as managing director of the International Monetary Fund a few days after cops pulled him off the first-class section of a jet at JFK that was about to take off for Paris, and arrested him.
The father of four had been a strong favorite to beat conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy at the polls next year. Instead, he now faces charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sex abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.
If convicted of the most serious charge, Strauss-Kahn could face at least five and up to 25 years in prison.