By IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News
A former United Nations employee was arrested Wednesday after investigators said he lied to the FBI to cover up a 2016 incident where he allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted a woman, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said.
Karim Elkorany, 37, who worked with the U.N. between 2013 and 2018, was arrested in New Jersey and indicted in Manhattan federal court on two counts of making false statements to law enforcement, the office said in a news release.
During a 2017 interview with FBI agents, Elkorany allegedly denied the allegations brought to the U.N. by an alleged victim who reported that he drugged and sexually assaulted her in his Iraq apartment, according to the indictment.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement that the evidence did not back up Elkorany’s statements and in fact, indicated that there may have been a pattern of other alleged assaults and attempted assaults.
“When questioned by the FBI, Elkorany compounded his alleged unconscionable conduct by making false statements to the special agents investigating the assaults. Thanks to the diligence of the FBI, Elkorany now faces serious time in an American federal prison,” she said in a statement.
The alleged incident is said to have taken place in November 2016 after Elkorany, who was working in Iraq as a communications specialist for the U.N., had dinner and drinks with the woman at an Iraqi restaurant, according to the indictment. Elkorany allegedly brought the woman to his apartment after dinner. The woman claimed she became unconscious and was sexually assaulted, the indictment said.
The victim reported the alleged incident to the U.N. a month later and the organization ordered an investigation, according to the indictment.
Investigators said they uncovered evidence that Elkorany had allegedly committed similar acts on at least five females between 2009 and 2016, the indictment said.
In each of the incidents, the victims were allegedly rendered unconscious after consuming drinks prepared by Elkorany before he allegedly sexually assaulted or attempted to sexually assault them, according to the indictment.
The FBI conducted its interview with Elkorany outside his home on November 2017. He denied ever using drugs with the victim from the 2016 incident or providing her with drugs, the indictment said.
About five months later, he stopped working at the U.N., according to prosecutors.
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said the investigation into Elkorany is still ongoing and urged anyone with information to contact the FBI’s tip line.
Attorney information for Elkorany, who faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted on his charges of making false statements to law enforcement, was not immediately available.
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