Skip to main content
Press Release

Former United Nations Employee Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Drugging And Sexually Assaulting Victims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Throughout Nearly Two Decades, Karim Elkorany Drugged 20 Victims and Sexually Assaulted at Least 13 of Those Victims

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that KARIM ELKORANY, a former communications specialist with the United Nations (“UN”) in Iraq, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by United States District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald to 15 years in prison for drugging and/or sexually assaulting 20 victims.  ELKORANY previously pled guilty on May 24, 2022, to sexually assaulting an internationally protected person and making false statements to cover up another sexual assault.  In connection with the plea, ELKORANY also admitted that he drugged and/or sexually assaulted 17 additional victims. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Karim Elkorany perpetrated monstrous acts against multiple women over nearly two decades.  At today’s proceeding, Elkorany was held accountable by the Court and also by his victims, a number of whom confronted him with powerful statements about the grievous harm he caused through his horrific conduct.  We express deep gratitude to all of the victims for their bravery in coming forward and remain committed to doing all we can to bring perpetrators like Elkorany to justice.”

According to the Superseding Indictment, public court filings, and statements during court proceedings:

Since at least in or about 2005 up to at least in or about April 2018, ELKORANY worked in international aid, development, and/or foreign relations.  From in or about October 2013 up to in or about April 2016, ELKORANY worked for the UN Children’s Fund (commonly known as UNICEF) in Iraq.  From in or about July 2016 up to in or about April 2018, ELKORANY worked as a Communications Specialist for the UN in Iraq. 

In or about November 2016, ELKORANY drugged and sexually assaulted a woman (“Victim-1”) in Iraq, where he was stationed while working for the UN.  ELKORANY drugged Victim-1 and brought Victim-1 to his apartment.  While at ELKORANY’s apartment, ELKORANY sexually assaulted Victim-1 while she was unconscious.  In or around December 2016, Victim-1 reported the sexual assault to the UN.  The UN initiated an investigation, through which ELKORANY was notified of the substance of Victim-1’s allegations against him.

On or about November 3, 2017, special agents with the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) conducted a voluntary interview of ELKORANY outside of his residence in New Jersey.  During that interview, ELKORANY expressed familiarity with the nature and substance of the allegations made by Victim-1 to the UN but falsely stated that the drugging and sexual assault by ELKORANY that Victim-1 had reported to the UN did not occur. 

ELKORANY also engaged in a pattern of similar conduct involving many other women.  Between in or around 2014 and in or around 2019, ELKORANY drugged and sexually assaulted a woman (“Victim-2”), who was a contractor for a UN organization at relevant times, in the United States and Iraq, among other locations, on multiple occasions. 

In addition to Victim-1 and Victim‑2, ELKORANY drugged and/or sexually assaulted 18 additional victims between in or around 2002 and in or around 2016. 

*                *                *

In addition to the prison sentence, ELKORANY, 39, of West Orange, New Jersey, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in amounts to be determined. 

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lara Pomerantz, Amanda L. Houle, Daniel C. Richenthal, and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated October 27, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-336