Dorm Matron at Winfrey's School Pleads Innocent to Abuse Charges

A former dormitory matron at Oprah Winfrey's school for poor South African girls has pleaded innocent to charges that she indecently assaulted and abused six teenagers at the academy.

Tiny Virginia Makopo, 28, looked nervous and sullen at the start of her trial Tuesday. It is expected to last all week.

The opening session was public, but the judge has granted the prosecution's request for the rest of the trial to be held in private while the teenagers testify through closed-circuit TV to save them the trauma of confronting their alleged attacker in court.

Prosecutor Etienne Venter described the girls as "very scared and very, very emotional."

Winfrey was a victim of child abuse and has promised an overhaul at the school.