The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has pleaded not guilty to sex charges when he appeared before a New York court.
As he went into the court and left a large group of hotel workers chanting “Shame on you” demonstrated outside in solidarity with the woman who said Strauss-Kahn attacked her.
Now that the 62-year-old has entered his plea, the case will start its pre-trial phase, when lawyers will argue over what evidence is and is not admissible. That process can last up to three months.
Legal experts say jury selection could pose a problem, as the court has to find jurors who are unfamiliar with a case that has had blanket media coverage.
It is alleged Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted and tried to rape a chambermaid at the Sofitel hotel in the centre of New York City. He was arrested aboard a plane at John F. Kennedy airport as it was about to leave for Paris.
Strauss-Kahn has vigorously denied the seven charges which could land him in jail for 25 years. He is awaiting trial on bail, confined to a luxurious house in the trendy TriBeCa area of New York under armed guard.