Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund pled not guilty to charges of attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching on Monday, June 6. The most serious charge carries a maximum term of up to 25 years in prison. The 62-year-old vehemently denies imposing himself and sexually assaulting a hotel maid 30 years his junior. To add insult to injury, he entered the courtroom arm-in-arm with his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair.
“I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me. I want to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion and especially — especially — I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence,” stated Strauss-Kahn in his resignation letter.
Former international model and author Kola Boof, who recently released a new novel, The Sexy Part of the Bible: A Novel, offers words of encouragement to the hotel maid, while issuing a call to action to black women. Boof is Sudanese-born, Washington, D.C.-reared, and is widely known for her heroism and surviving captivity, abuse and rape at the hands of the late Osama bin Laden.
“As black women worldwide, we need to speak out. I am not going to lie and claim that we can stop this. I think what we can do is make enough noise that people will start to look at it realistically and truthfully and stop demonizing us because they demonize black women as being bad. Men come to the continent of Africa, to my country the Sudan, and any where in Africa and do whatever they want to African women and girls. No one pays for it. The men blame us for being raped, abused. Sisters have to stand up for the maid in New York, for Sally Hemming who was raped 500 years ago on a plantation in Virginia and for all black women,” she says.
The identity of the 32-year-old African immigrant maid has not been revealed, but that didn’t stop more than 50 protesters from showing support for her outside the Manhattan court. She brought charges against Strauss-Kahn for dishonoring her while he was a guest at the luxury Sotifel in Midtown Manhattan where she worked.
Strauss-Kahn had been out of the media spotlight until his court appearance. He was released on a $6 million cash bail in May. He’s under house arrest, which includes 24-hour monitors and armed guards, in a deluxe, $50,000-a-month Tribeca town house. –yvette caslin