NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The former head of the International Monetary Fund is scheduled to face a judge Monday morning to enter a plea in his sex assault case.
CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reports that Dominique Strauss-Kahn plans to fight the charges vigorously.
The former IMF boss, once a leading candidate for the presidency of France, is expected for the first time to fight the charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel housekeeper while visiting Manhattan.
People in New York had mixed feelings about the scandal surrounding Strauss-Kahn.
“Everyone deserves a fair trial,” Lawrence Sememza, a tourist from Las Vegas, said. “Everyone’s innocent until proven guilty in this system, although it doesn’t always work out that way.
“You can’t just walk in and take advantage of people and think you’re going to get away with it, just because you hold a title,” Lower Manhattan resident Seda Azarian said.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, was last seen exclusively on CBS 2 heading to a doctor’s appointment on the Upper West Side more than a week ago.
It was one of the few times he’s been seen outside his rented, $14 million luxury townhouse in Tribeca, where he’s on house arrest – surrounded by 24-hour armed guards and a neighborhood of residents familiar with celebrity.
“You’re used to all this commotion going around, so this is no different,” one resident said.
In court, Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty. On the streets of Tribeca, though, many were saying they were glad the legal system appeared to be working in this case.
“The fact that, despite whatever money and power he may have, he’s treated according to the system, I think that’s very encouraging,” tourist Andy Bragg, of Florida, said.
In an interview broadcast on French television, Strauss-Kahn’s defense attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said Strauss-Kahn would fight the charges.
“I don’t think Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty of the charges. I believe he’s going to be exonerated. Ultimately, juries treat people fairly in most cases,” Brafman said.
Until last month, Strauss-Kahn’s only fight was to win the French presidency. On Monday, he begins the fight for his freedom.