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Former senior UN official bags 15 years in prison for drugging, raping women



A former senior official of the United Nations, Karim Elkorany, has been sentenced to 15 tears imprisonment by a Federal Court in Manhattan, USA, after he was found guilty of drugging and raping unconscious women over two decades during humanitarian missions in the Middle East.

Elkorany, 38, who was jailed on Friday, allegedly sexually assaulted at least 20 women, most of them close friends, during work trips to Iraq, Egypt and while home in the United States, federal prosecutors told the court.

They said that some of Elkorany’s victims include journalists, Fulbright scholars, and UN employees, with nine of the women testifying at his sentencing.

The women described being haunted by not knowing details of their assaults or what drugs Elkorany used to knock them out while noting his habitual abuse was an open secret.

A reporter who was identified as ‘Victim One’, a married woman, told the court that she was raped by Elkorany while on assignment in Kurdistan in November 2016.

She described the life-shattering trauma that followed as being like cancer, saying the memories of that night were like “snapshots suspended in darkness.’’

“Elkorany parks the vehicle in the garage of an apartment building, a place I never agreed to visit

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“The next memories I had was of being sexually assaulted. In the most excruciating one, I am being raped. I feel pain. I want to say no, but I can’t speak. I can’t move. I’m unable to escape,’ Victim One said.

Elkorany had earlier in May, pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges and lying to the FBI.

Manhattan Federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald who passed the sentence on Elkorany, said she had to impose the stiffest sentence she could for those charges, noting that had he been convicted in New Jersey or Washington DC, where some of the assaults occurred, he would have gotten life in prison.

Assistant U.S. attorney Lara Pomerantz said Elkorany photographed his unconscious victims and infected some with sexually transmitted diseases because he didn’t wear condoms.

While testifying, Elkorany apologised to his victims in court.

“I realise that words of apology will only ring hollow here today and that words of apology cannot undo the damage that I have so clearly caused. And yet I am deeply, deeply sorry,” he said.

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