A man was arrested after his New York neighbor called the police from her apartment to report a heinous crime committed against her. However, after the suspect was questioned, he was promptly released without charge when he informed the police of who he is.
New York police received a call from a 24-year-old Upper Manhattan woman who reported that she had been raped twice by a man who followed her from the lobby of her apartment building and forced his way into her home. Officers quickly located the suspect’s residence, which was in the same apartment complex, and discovered that he lived there with his wife and four young children, the New York Post reported.
Charles Dickens Imene Oliha, 46, was arrested for the alleged sexual assaults and taken into custody for questioning. However, before authorities could even determine if there was enough evidence to draw up criminal charges against the man, they released him. Disturbingly, he was freed after he informed authorities of his special status.
Despite the allegations against him, Charles Dickens Imene Oliha was promptly released without charges after he told New York police that he is a diplomat with the United Nations and therefore has diplomatic immunity. The suspect works for The Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Sudan. As such, he was allowed to walk out of the station because of his affiliation with South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the NYPD confirmed.
Unsurprisingly, Oliha disappeared the moment he was free. It was believed that he may have fled with his family to South Sudan to avoid facing charges. The State Department declined to comment on whether Oliha has left the US.
“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,” a representative said in an e-mail.
Oliha has been accused of raping the 24-year-old woman twice, once with a condom and once without. She alleges that he followed her up to her apartment and forced his way through the door, pinning her up against a wall in her home. She claims that she entered a state of shock after the assaults occurred and called 911 later that day after telling a friend what had happened.
The woman reportedly completed a rape kit at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. It’s unclear whether the NYPD obtained a sample of Oliha’s DNA before he was released.
“Whenever there’s a sexual assault like this, it’s horrible. As a law-enforcement agency, we have done all that we can do at this point,” an NYPD spokesman said.
Neighbors were shocked to discover that Oliha is a foreign diplomat. They described him as an alcoholic who routinely passes out in front of his apartment.
“In the evening he’s a drunk. He sits on those steps every day drunk and drinking. He used to tell everyone he worked for the UN but no one believed him because he was always drunk. It wasn’t until this happened that we all were like wow he wasn’t lying”, one neighbor, who declined to be named, told DailyMail.com.
Oliha moved to the United States in 2008 with the Mission. He credits himself as the founder of the National Frontiers’ Party.
There has been no statement released by the Mission in South Sudan. It is unclear whether Oliha is back in his home country or elsewhere. So far, it isn’t looking as if he will face charges concerning the alleged rapes.
It’s terrifying that an individual can come to our country and commit heinous crimes without fear of the law all because of their diplomatic status. Unfortunately, even if he is extradited and charged, the wheels of justice turn very slowly.