Leipzig String Quartet violinist, Stefan Arzberger has pleaded ‘not guilty’ in a Manhattan Supreme Court to charges of attempted murder, assault and strangulation – following an incident on March 27th in a New York City hotel room.
It is alleged Arzberger gained access to the 64 year old female victim’s room, by making claims he was a member of the hotel’s staff, before forcefully wrapping his hands around her neck.
The violinist’s lawyer has made claim the 42 year old was the victim of a drug spiking and robbery, earlier the same evening, by a transsexual prostitute and that he has no recollection of the later unrelated attack.
“He’s not a criminal – he’s the victim of a crime … Mr Arzberger was poisoned by a date rape type drug. There’s no other explanation for what happened that night,” defence lawyer Richard Levitt has said.
Hotel surveillance video presented in court showed that at 3.53am the violinist was seen entering his hotel room accompanied by a woman – and that approximately 40 minutes later the same woman was seen leaving the room alone and in possession of the accused’s ipad.
The evidence presented also showed approximately 3 hours later Arzberger was seen walking naked in the hotel hallway and knocking on a number of guest’s room doors.
The victim was not known to the violinist before the attack – and toxicology reports presented have shown he tested negative for two date-rape drugs.
Arzberger, who was accompanied in court by his wife, has been released on $100,000 bail.