Former UN official jailed for drugging, raping women

Karim Elkorany, a former United Nations (UN) official who raped women, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

The acts were committed over a decade during humanitarian missions to different countries.

In the incidents which occurred in Iraq, Egypt, the United States, among others, Elkorany drugged his victims to cloud their memories.

The 38-year-old sexually assaulted at least 20 women, most of them were close friends.

Journalists, scholars, and UN employees were among nine who spoke at his Manhattan Federal Court sentencing.

The victims said they were haunted by not knowing details of what happened to them or the drugs Elkorany used to knock them out.

A 31-year-old reporter, identified as Victim 1, was raped while on assignment in Kurdistan in November 2016.

She narrated how Elkorany parked his vehicle in the garage of an apartment building, a place she never agreed to visit.

“The next memories I had was of being sexually assaulted. I want to say no, but I can’t speak. I can’t move. I’m unable to escape”, she recalled.

Elkorany pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The U.S. security agency began a probe in 2017. Elkorany, who resigned from the UN in 2018, was arrested in 2020.

Manhattan Federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald noted that the rapist would have gotten life in prison had he been convicted in New Jersey or Washington D.C.

“The drugging was totally reckless. Mr. Elkorany made no effort to learn whether the drugs he used on his victims would cause permanent harm”, the jurist said.

“Words of apology cannot undo the damage that I have so clearly caused. I am deeply, deeply sorry”, Elkorany begged.

He worked in international aid, and foreign relations from 2005, and joined UNICEF in Iraq from 2013 to 2016 before moving to communications.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz revealed that the convict infected a few of the victims with sexually transmitted diseases because he did not use protection.

“Elkorany admitted to drugging at least 19 victims, and sexually assaulting at least 13 of them while they were unconscious”, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.

UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric praised the women for their courage and assured that the body would get tougher to prevent.

In August, Charles Imene Oliha, a South Sudan attaché to the UN, fled America after a rape accusation.