Tina Moore et al., New York Post, August 22, 2022
A United Nations diplomat was accused of raping one of his neighbors in Upper Manhattan over the weekend — but NYPD cops released him because he has diplomatic immunity, authorities said Monday.
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 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 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, 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 make a report, cops said.
She was taken to Columbia University Medical Center for medical attention.
Oliha was arrested as a suspect nearly 12 hours after the alleged attack but was cut loose a short time later, police said.
The deputy permanent representative for the embassy of South Sudan, Cecilia Adeng, told The Post on Monday, “We aren’t aware of this.
“I tried calling him just now before I called you, but he didn’t answer,” she said of Oliha.
The notion of diplomatic immunity has its roots in ancient Greek and Roman times, when it was doled out as a special status to envoys, according to the US State Department.
The US adopted its own legislation in 1790 that gave “absolute immunity’’ to diplomats and their families and servants. The law has since been revised over the years to decrease the amount of immunity at times and the number of people who might get it.