June 6 - Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was back in a New York City court to plead not guilty to charges he sexually assaulted a hotel maid, as a group of hotel maids greeted him with jeers of ''shame on you.'' Conway G. Gittens reports.
NATSOUND A round of boos greeted former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn as he headed into the courthouse to enter a not-guilty plea to charges he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid. Strauss-Kahn faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on several charges, including the most serious of attempted rape, in a case that cost him his job and his run for the French presidency, and has garnered worldwide attention. His not guilty plea was met by claims from the lawyer of the woman who said she was sexually assaulted that she will testify against Strauss-Kahn if the trial goes to court. A bus load of hotel maids came down to the court house to show their solidarity with the accuser, and theirs were the voices heard chanting "shame on you". SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED MAID FROM THE CHOPIN HOTEL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are not going to stay quiet. We are going to speak up. Every time anybody does something they shouldn't do, we are all going to stay together and speak up for everybody." SOUNDBITE: THINTHIA MOMBLASIR, A MAID AT THE PLAZA HOTEL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They have to make sure they give us justice. It doesn't matter who you are." Although Strauss-Kahn is under house arrest he has not been convicted on any of the charges, so those calls for justice may be premature. His next court date is scheduled for July 18th. Conway Gittens, Reuters