A United Nations diplomat who was facing accusation of raping one of his neighbors in Upper Manhattan over the weekend, has been released by NYPD because he has diplomatic immunity, authorities said Monday.
Charles Dickens Imene Oliha, 46 â a career diplomat for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in South Sudan â was arrested in Sunday's alleged sex assault on a woman inside her apartment around noon, according to a police report obtained by New York Post.
Oliha Accused of Forcing His Way into Woman's Apartment, Raping Her
Oliha was taken into custody on suspicion of rape and brought in for questioning, cops said. However, once he informed detectives from the NYPD's Special Victims Unit that he was a diplomat, investigators confirmed he had immunity and swiftly released him without any formal charges, police said.
The victim, who lives in the same building as Oliha, told cops she went to walk a neighbor's dog around noon when a man approached her in the lobby, according to the police report and sources.
The man said he was going to follow the woman upstairs, to which she replied, "No, you're not," authorities said. But as the woman opened the door to her apartment, the suspect forced his way inside, police said. The woman alleged that the intruder pinned her against a wall and raped her using a condom before raping her again on the couch without a condom, police said.
The victim said she was in shock after the attack and went to sleep but later called 911 after a friend convinced her to file a report, cops said. She was taken to Columbia University Medical Center for medical attention.
Oliha Released Shortly After Arrest
Oliha was arrested as a suspect nearly 12 hours after the alleged attack but was cut loose a short time later, police said. The alleged attack happened inside of a building on Wadsworth Terrace in Fort George where Oliha lives, police sources said.
"It's incredibly disturbing that someone who is accused of rape cannot be held accountable no matter what the facts," Jane Manning, director of the Women's Equal Justice project and a former sex-crimes prosecutor, told The Post.
"I hope that the NYPD detectives will still do a full and thorough investigation to establish what the evidence shows."
This is not the first time a Sudanese diplomat has avoided sexual abuse charged due to their diplomatic status. In 2017, Mohammad Abdalla Ali, 49, had been charged with "forcible touching" after allegedly rubbing himself against a woman on New York City's subway, police say, but the charges were later dropped due to his immunity, as reported by Reuters.