Ex-UN official confesses to drugging and sexually assaulting 13 women

The former UN official confessed to drugging and sexually assaulting 13 women while he worked in the Middle East and has been handed a 15-year prison sentence. The court in New York heard how the attacks occurred while he was working in Iraq in international development.

They also happened while he completed three years of work at the United Nations Children’s Fund and two years as a UN communications specialist.

According to Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, Elkorany raped “women who believed he was their friend”.

Out of the 13 women he admitted to assaulting, nine of them spoke during his sentencing, with some choosing to use speakers which played out into the courtroom.

In November 2016, Elkorany went for dinner with one woman who identified herself as a journalist who had been working in Iraq.

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At the dinner, Elkorany spiked her drink with drugs which made her feel lethargic and she could only remember “brief flashes” of being taken to his flat.

When she woke from her comatose state, Elkorany was raping her.

She said that by drugging her he made she would “never know the details of what happened to me on the worst day of my life.”

The woman told the court how her career was impacted by the traumatic event and how she was left unable to hug her husband for five years.

Another woman told the court how Elkorany put drugs into her chamomile tea and how she “did not trust the UN” following the experience.

The victim told of how he grabbed her as they came out of a lift and forced her into his hotel room.

As he was doing so, she tried to push her feet against the walls and grabbed the door frames.

She then said: “Hotel security came to the room, but Karim waved them off by showing his two blue passports – United States and United Nations – and giving an umbrage-laden excuse about being a diplomat.

“I could not go to the Kurdish police and I did not trust the UN.”

Elkorany was charged in 2020 with drugging and sexually assaulting women, which led to another woman knowing the truth of what happened to her.

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The journalist reported the assault to the UN in December 2016 and the case was referred to the FBI.

In May, Elkorany from New Jersey, pled guilty to three charges. In a statement to court he said: “My actions will follow me for the rest of my life, as they should, and the rest of my life will be filled with regret and remorse.”

Stephane Dujarric, a UN spokesman said it was unable to bring criminal prosecutions and therefore collaborated with member states to ensure criminals faced justice.

He said: “We salute the courage of the women that came forward to initiate the investigations.”

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