Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was once a contender to be president of France, pleaded not guilty today to charges that he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid, but a lawyer for the woman vowed that she would take the witness stand and "tell the world" what he allegedly did to her.
Strauss-Kahn, who was head of the International Monetary Fund at the time of his arrest last month, was greeted at the Manhattan courthouse by several dozen hotel maids chanting "Shame, shame." One of the protesters held a sign that read, "An injury to one of us is an injury to all of us."
The former financial czar entered court holding hands with his wife, Anne Sinclair. Court officials blocked off an elevator for Strauss-Kahn, which he rode to the 13th floor where he was arraigned by Judge Michael Obus.
In the moments before he pleaded not guilty, Strauss-Kahn sat at the defense table between his attorneys, Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor, looking relaxed and with his legs stretched out.
The lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and for the woman, who has not been publicly identified because she is allegedly the victim of a sex attack, took their argument outside with dueling news conferences.
"Our judgment, once the evidence is reviewed, will be clear that there was no element of forcible compulsion in this case," Brafman said. "Any suggestion to the contrary is simply not credible."
But Kenneth Thompson, who is representing the maid, said claims that the sexual activity in Strauss-Kahn's hotel suite were consensual were "preposterous."
"The victim wants you to know that all of Strauss-Kahn's power, money and influence throughout the world will not keep the truth of what he did to her in that hotel room from coming out," said Thompson.
"And that despite the smear campaign that is being committed against her, she is standing up for her dignity as a woman. She's standing up for her self-respect as a woman. And she is standing up for all of the women and children around the world who have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused and are too afraid to say something," Thompson said.
He alleged that Strauss-Kahn's lawyers were claiming the maid agreed to the sex to discourage other women from coming forward to say they had been victims of Strauss-Kahn too.
Thompson added that "she is devastated. She is suffering and she is traumatized by what Dominique Strauss-Kahn did to her. This was a terrible sexual assault on an innocent woman ... [but] she is going to come into this courthouse, get on that witness stand and tell the world what Dominique Strauss-Kahn did to her."
At a 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 agree 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.
Since his release on bail, Strauss-Kahn appears to be settling into his luxury New York condominium for the long haul, ABC News has learned.