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Monday
Jun062011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Pleads Not Guilty on Sexual Assault Charge

Richard Drew-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the man who was a contender to be the next president of France, pleaded not guilty in a New York criminal court Monday at his arraignment on multiple charges of sexually assaulting a hotel room maid.

In the moments before his plea, Strauss-Kahn had sat at the defense table between his attorneys, Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor, looking relaxed and with his legs stretched out.

The 13th floor courtroom was packed -- mostly with reporters -- at 9:20 a.m. for the arraignment of the former head of the International Monetary Fund on charges he assaulted a maid at a posh Manhattan hotel last month.

The former IMF czar entered court holding hands with his wife Anne Sinclair as they passed several dozen hotel maids chanting "Shame! Shame!" at the man known simply as DSK. One of the protesters held a sign that read, "An injury to one of us is an injury to all of us."

Court officials blocked off an elevator for Strauss-Kahn which he rode to the 13th floor where he was arraigned by Judge Michael Obus.

At a previous court appearance last month, Strauss-Kahn was ordered released from jail on $1 million bail. Strauss-Kahn was required to post an additional $5 million insurance bond and the French politician agreed to house arrest and 24-hour monitoring.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, who had been a contender to be the next president of France, had been deemed a flight risk and denied bail three days earlier. But his lawyers were able to negotiate terms for his release, allowing him to avoid having to remain in an 11 foot by 13 foot cell at New York's notorious Riker's Island jail, where he had been in protective isolation and on suicide watch.

Since Strauss-Kahn's DNA has been found in semen ABC News has learned was found on the maid's clothing and on a section of carpet, experts say the defense will likely insist that any sexual contact between the maid and Strauss-Kahn was consensual.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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