Victims face ex-UN employee jailed for repeated rapes

Victims face ex-UN employee jailed for repeated rapes

The sentencing of a former United Nations communications specialist to 15 years in prison on Thursday was marked by the tears and eloquence of some of his 13 sexual assault victims, who said being drugged and raped by a man who first won their trust left them broken and hopeful that justice would help them heal.

After they finished speaking, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald told Karim Elkorany that it was especially vile that he engaged in “raping of women who believed he was their friend” as she sentenced him to the maximum sentence he could receive after pleading guilty to three felonies in May.

She stated that many rapes occurred in the Middle East between 2002 and 2019, but she also stated that prosecution of his offenses in some U.S. areas may have resulted in life in prison. According to Buchwald, federal sentencing guidelines that called for around three years in jail had nothing to do with the “magnitude and gravity” of his acts.

“This is not a ‘he said, she said’ case,” Buchwald said, reading from some of the written declarations provided by victims who were attacked when he worked in international aid and foreign relations in places such as the United States, Iraq, and Egypt, among others.

Nine victims, identified solely by numbers ranging from 1 to 20, testified in court or via a private phone line that could be heard in court.

Victim No. 1 told Buchwald she was a journalist working in Iraq in November 2016 when Elkorany added drugs to the lone alcoholic beverage she had at a restaurant, rendering her “comatose” on the car journey to his apartment, where she regained consciousness to discover Elkorany raping her.

She said that because of the medications he gave her, she would “never know the details of what happened to me on the worst day of my life.”

Looking at him from the podium where she delivered her words, she expressed optimism that “your long rampage of aggression against women has truly and finally come to a stop.”

“I went through hell for six years because of what you did to me,” she claimed, saying that she was so traumatized that she couldn’t bear being hugged or held by her husband for five years following the attack. Her career, she claims, has never recovered.

Elkorany was interviewed by federal officials in November 2017, and he “indicated acquaintance with the type and substance of the charges alleged by Victim 1,” according to prosecutors. They claim he fraudulently rejected the drugging and sexual assault charges.

Victim 2 stated that Elkorany pretended to be a feminist concerned about women’s issues while preying on friends and acquaintances.

“Everything he spoke about kindness, decency, and caring for people was a farce,” she added. Prosecutors claim Victim 2 met Elkorany while working for a United Nations agency, and she was drugged and sexually assaulted on many occasions in the United States and Iraq between 2014 and 2019.

Elkorany “hid behind his profession,” according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz, acting as a confidante of the women before the attacks and then shaming them afterward if they questioned what happened to make them believe it was their responsibility.

He did not use condoms, she added, and “callously and brutally boasted about drugging and raping them” afterwards, occasionally releasing nude photographs he took of them while they were incapacitated to his pals and anonymously forwarding some pictures to his victims.

Pomerantz described Elkorany as a “cold, calculating, and dangerous guy,” but he praised the “amazing” and “brave” women who assisted prosecutors in building a case that led to Elkorany dropping his denials and accepting his destiny.

Elkorany, 39, of West Orange, New Jersey, said during his speech that he knew his “words of apology will only ring hollow here today and that words of apology cannot undo the damage I have so clearly caused, and yet I am deeply, deeply sorry for the pain I’ve caused, the betrayal of relationships, the violation of trust.”

“My acts will, as they should, accompany me for the rest of my life, and the remainder of my life will be filled with regret and guilt,” he stated.

Prosecutors claim Elkorany carried out certain attacks while working in international aid, development, and foreign relations from at least 2005 until April 2018. He worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund in Iraq from October 2013 to April 2016, and then as a U.N. communications specialist in Iraq from July 2016 to April 2018.

According to Stéphane Dujarric, a United Nations spokesman, the UN does not have prosecutorial authority and relies on member nations to ensure that U.N. officials who commit crimes are held accountable.

“The United Nations applauds the actions of US authorities to hold Mr. Karim Elkorany accountable for his criminal acts,” he said. “We applaud the bravery of the women who came forward to start the inquiries. We hope that this punishment offers a feeling of justice to all of his victims.”

On the first official day of the 75th United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2020 in New York City, the United Nations building stands in Manhattan. (Photo courtesy of Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Victim 7, who prosecutors claim was drugged and sexually raped by Elkorany in 2011 and 2012, stepped to the courtroom lectern and stated she had no intention of speaking.

But she said she felt obliged to address the court after being moved by what other victims had to say, especially after keeping so much about the incident bottled up inside her.

“I felt like it was my fault even now,” she added. “I finally don’t feel that after hearing everyone’s tales today.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Elkorany was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to make restitution in an amount to be determined, according to a news release from the Justice Department.

“Over nearly two decades, Karim Elkorany committed heinous atrocities against many women,” stated U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “At today’s hearing, Elkorany was held accountable by the Court as well as by his victims, many of whom addressed him with impassioned statements about the tremendous pain he inflicted via his horrific behavior.”

»Victims face ex-UN employee jailed for repeated rapes«

↯↯↯Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media ↯↯↯