Police officers in New York City arrested a United Nations (U.N.) diplomat from South Sudan on Sunday after he was accused of rape by a woman that day — but released him from custody Monday morning after he successfully claimed diplomatic immunity, the New York Post reported.
The newspaper, which obtained and reviewed a copy of the relevant New York City Police Department (NYPD) report, relayed the following on August 22:
Charles Dickens Imene Oliha, 46 — a career diplomat for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in South Sudan — was arrested in Sunday’s alleged sex assault on a woman inside her apartment around noon, according to a police report obtained by The Post.
Oliha was taken into custody on suspicion of rape and brought in for questioning, cops said.
But 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 formally charging him, police said.
The New York Post, citing the NYPD report and other unnamed sources, revealed several details about the sex crime allegedly committed by Oliha on August 21. The South Sudanese diplomat resides in the same apartment building — located on Wadsworth Terrace street in the NYC neighborhood of Fort George — as his alleged rape victim.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 23, 2022
The female victim told police officers that she was outside her apartment building walking a neighbor’s dog around 12:00 p.m. on Sunday. Moments later, as she attempted to reenter her building’s lobby, Oliha approached her and offered to open the door for her. Oliha told the woman he was going to follow her upstairs to her apartment. The woman replied, “No, you’re not,” according to the NYPD report.
Fury as married Sudanese diplomat gets off of rape charges in NYC https://t.co/O4HXI3Tt7u
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) August 23, 2022
“But as the woman opened the door to her apartment, the suspect forced his way inside,” the New York Post quoted police as stating in the report.
“The woman reported that the intruder pinned her against a wall and raped her using a condom before raping her again on the couch without a condom,” the NYPD 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 make a report,” according to the police document.
NYPD officers escorted the woman to Columbia University Medical Center for a medical evaluation shortly after she reported the alleged rapes. Police officers arrested Oliha for the alleged sex crime around midnight on Sunday. However, while in custody, Oliha informed the NYPD that he had diplomatic immunity and they released him from detention early Monday morning.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail reached out to the U.S. State Department for comment on Oliha’s alleged sex crime and received the following response on August 23:
“We are aware of the incident referenced involving a diplomat accredited to the United Nations. We take these allegations seriously, and we are working closely with the New York Police Department and the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, as we do in all legal and criminal cases involving foreign diplomats assigned to Permanent Missions and Observer Offices at the UN.”
The U.S. State Department refused to verify to the Daily Mail whether or not Oliha remained in the U.S. as of August 23.