Former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York.
His denial of charges including attempted rape opens the way for a trial to start.
He and his wife then left court, amid protests, to return to the luxury townhouse in Manhattan where he is living under house arrest.
Strauss-Kahn’s legal team indicated he will contend that any sex with the maid was consensual.
“In our judgement, once the evidence is reviewed, it will be clear that there was no element of forcible compulsion in this case, whatsoever,” said Benjamin Brafman.
But the maid’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said any suggestion the single mother, an African immigrant, had consensual sex was “preposterous.”
“The victim wants you to know that all of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s power, money and influence throughout the world will not keep the truth about what he did to her in that hotel room from coming out,” he told reporters.
The case has already cost Strauss-Kahn his job and a chance at the French presidency. He risks a long jail term if found guilty.
Our reporter in New York, Anna Bressanin, says today’s events at court took only half an hour from start to finish. Now everyone is waiting for July 18, the date set for the next court hearing in Manhattan.