A former United Nations employee who worked in Iraq pled guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting an internationally protected person and making false statements to cover up another sexual assault while also admitting to drugging and/or sexually assaulting seventeen other victims.
The former U.N. communications specialist, 38-year-old Karim Elkorany from West Orange, New Jersey, worked in international aid, development and foreign relations from about 2005 to 2018. Elkorany worked for the U.N. Children’s Fund in Iraq from 2013 to 2016 and as a Communications Specialist for the U.N. in Iraq from 2016 to 2018.
Elkorany was accused on September 2, 2020, of drugging and raping women in Iraq in 2016, and then lying to the FBI about it in 2017, but he appeared on UN Radio and remained free in New Jersey until his appearance in federal court on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
In 2016, while Elkorany was stationed in Iraq with the U.N., he drugged a victim and brought her to his apartment before sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious. The victim reported the incident to the U.N. in December. The U.N. conducted an investigation and notified Elkorany about the allegations against him, authorities said.
A year later, in Nov. 2017, special agents working with the New York Field Office of the FBi conducted a voluntary interview with Elkorany outside of his New Jersey home.
During that interview, Elkorany said he was familiar with the nature and substance of the allegations made by the victim to the U.N., but said that the reported drugging and sexual assault did not happen, officials said.
One woman said they had dinner together in Iraq and returned to his apartment, where he allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her, according to authorities.
She had regained consciousness briefly, where she said she could see him attacking her but was physically unable to stop him.
Elkorany performed a similar pattern of behavior with multiple other women. From about 2014 to 2019, Elkorany drugged and sexually assaulted a woman who was a contractor for a U.N. organization in the United States and Iraq, among other locations.
Elkorany continued sexually assaulting at least 11 more victims throughout the years and drugged at least six other victims.
“Karim Elkorany admitted today to drugging at least 19 victims, and sexually assaulting at least 13 of them while they were unconscious after he drugged them. He committed many of his heinous crimes while employed by the United Nations,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “Nothing can reclaim what Elkorany stole from his victims, but we hope the victims will take some measure of comfort in knowing that Elkorany has admitted to and been convicted of his abominable crimes. We again urge anyone who thinks they may be victim of Elkorany to please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.”
Elkorany pled guilty to one count of making false statements to special agents of the FBI, and one count of assault of an internationally protected person. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for the charges when he is sentenced on Sept. 29.