Microsoft manager pleads not guilty to rape of cleaning worker

SEATTLE - A former Microsoft program manager accused of sexually assaulting a cleaning worker on the corporation's Redmond campus pleaded not guilty Wednesday to rape.

Vineet Kumar Srivastava, who is free after posting bail, entered the plea in King County Superior Court. The judge ordered him to surrender his passport.

King County prosecutors contend that Srivastava raped a cleaning worker after luring her into his office on July 22. Srivastava, 36, is alleged to have told police that the woman forced him to have sex with her.

Srivastava was employed by Microsoft at the time. A company spokeswoman said he no longer works there.

Outlining the allegations against Srivastava, a Redmond Police Department detective earlier told the court that the custodian was cleaning an office building on Microsoft's sprawling Redmond campus at 11 p.m. when Srivastava approached her.

Believing he needed his office cleaned, the woman followed Srivastava to his desk. There, according to court documents, Srivastava pulled down the woman's blouse and briefly forced the woman to watch a pornographic video on his cell phone before she tried to push her way out of the office.

Srivastava blocked the woman's way, slammed the door shut, unzipped his pants and exposed himself to her, the detective continued. He then began fondling her and told her he wanted sex because his wife was in India, according to court papers.

He then threw her to the floor and raped her as she screamed, "Let me go!" several times, according to charging papers.

Following the attack, Srivastava tossed a used condom in the office trash, which he carried out as he left, the detective told the court.

The woman contacted her immediate supervisor, who ignored her report and failed to contact police, according to the case file. Another supervisor learned of the allegations a day later and contacted police.

Detectives interviewing the woman noted she had finger-shaped bruises on her shoulders. According to charging papers, she tearfully identified Srivastava in a photographic lineup.

"That's him," she told detectives. "That's the man that raped me."

Srivastava was arrested July 26 at his office and proceeded to claim he was the actual victim.

According to charging papers, Srivastava told detectives the woman demanded that he have sex with her on the night in question.

Claiming he was afraid of the woman, Srivastava allegedly said he went to his car to retrieve a condom and then, inexplicably, returned to have sex with her. Writing the court, the detective said Srivastava claimed he drove home wearing the condom before throwing it away at his Redmond home.

Free after posting bond on $75,000 bail, Srivastava has been charged with second-degree rape. He has no known criminal history.

His next hearing is set for Sept. 10.