May 20, 2013
NY maid unaware of IMF chief's identity, lawyer assures
A hotel maid, whom IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is accused of trying to rape, was unaware of his identity until a day after the alleged attack, her lawyer said.
The 32-year-old Sofitel hotel maid is a widow with a 15-year-old daughter, said her lawyer, Jeffrey Shapiro. They moved to New York from the West African nation of Guinea about seven years ago, he said.
"She didn't have any idea who he was or have any prior dealings with this guy," Shapiro, a New York personal injury lawyer, said.
The attack is alleged to have happened about 12 pm (1600 GMT) on Saturday and the maid was unaware of Strauss-Kahn's identity until Sunday. "A friend called her and said, 'Do you have any idea who this guy is?" Shapiro said.
Prosecutors have accused Strauss-Kahn of attacking the maid when she entered his suite, apparently unaware it was occupied, at the luxury Sofitel hotel near Times Square.
During Strauss-Kahn's first appearance at Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday, prosecutors said he had sexually assaulted the maid, attempted to rape her and then forced her to perform oral sex on him.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, is charged with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. He was denied bail on Monday and is due to reappear in court on Friday.
His lawyers have denied the charges. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.