Maid ‘will deny consensual Strauss-Kahn sex claims’

THE woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn will strongly deny to jurors any assertions that she willingly had sex with the IMF chief, her attorney said.

“I think that when the jury hears her testimony and sees her in person, and finally she can come public with this and tell her story, I think that [they will find] their claims of consensual sex or encounters are not true,” attorney Jeff Shapiro told NBC television.

“There is nothing consensual about what took place in that hotel room,” he said.

Mr Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, who have promised a “vigorous” defence, suggested at a bail hearing that he may have had a consensual sexual encounter with the alleged victim.

Lawyer Ben Brafman said in court that the evidence “will not be consistent with a forcible encounter”.

Prosecutors, however, say they have physical evidence indicating attempted rape, including a doctor’s exam made immediately after the incident.

A grand jury is due to convene tomorrow to decide whether there is enough evidence in theaccusations to proceed to trial.

Such proceedings are secret, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office would not comment on progress.

The 32-year-old woman has not been identified, and has not spoken publicly about the alleged incident, but Mr Shapiro told NBC that she is ready to fully cooperate with prosecutors in building the court case against Mr Strauss-Kahn.

“She is prepared to do whatever she is asked to do, which is to co-operate with the New York City police department, the district attorney’s office — hours and hours of involvement,” Mr Shapiro said.

“She doesn’t have an agenda. She’s doing this because she believes it is her responsibility to do so, and she will do that.”

Mr Strauss-Kahn is accused of sexually assaulting the woman, a maid who entered his room at the Sofitel Hotel, believing it was empty.

The 62-year-old French banker and politician allegedly emerged from the shower naked and tried to force himself on the woman, who fended off the attacks and ran out of the room.

Meanwhile, guards at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex are taking precautions to make sure Mr Strauss-Kahn does not come to any harm.

He has an entire jail wing to himself, a medical device to make sure he does not stop breathing during the night, and guards checking him 24 hours a day to make sure he does not attempt to kill himself.

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