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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
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Ex-CIA Agent Nailed for Sex Abuse Loses Appeal

(CN) - A former high flier with the CIA convicted of drugging and sexually abusing a married Muslim woman in Algeria must serve nearly twice the standard three-year sentence, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

The 10-page decision notes that Andrew Warren was once a "rising star" in the CIA, and that he worked as a high-level official for the U.S. Embassy in Algeria from 2007 to 2008.

During his time in Algeria, he met a married Muslim woman, invited her to his house and served her alcoholic drinks mixed with prescription drugs.

While she was semi-conscious, Warren moved the woman to his bed, removed her clothes and had sexual contact with her, but not intercourse.

The woman later accused him of abuse in a text message, and Warren replied that he was sorry.

Several months later, when the woman reported Warren to an official at the Embassy, special agents searched Warren's home and found child pornography, Valium, Xanax and a handbook on the investigation of sexual assaults.

The Embassy also discovered that Warren had abused another Muslim woman in the same way, but she was too afraid to report Warren's conduct.

After losing his CIA job in 2009, Warren was indicted on one court of sexual abuse.

A judge issued a warrant for Warren's arrest when he missed a hearing, and police found him in a Norfolk, Va., hotel, under the influence of drugs, and carrying a fully loaded semi-automatic Glock pistol. He physically resisted arrest and had to be subdued with a Taser.

Warren ultimately pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

Under the sentencing guidelines, Warren faced 27 to 33 months in prison for these crimes, but the court applied an upward variance and sentenced him to 65 months in prison.

The judge noted that Warren had "served this country well," but "there has to be a clear message that people should not abuse others in other cultures who may not be in a position to come forward and speak for themselves."

Warren appealed his sentence, arguing that he suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome, as well as substance-abuse issues, and should be treated at a private facility rather than serving a long sentence.

The D.C. Circuit rejected his line of reasoning on Friday, finding that the explanation for the upward sentencing variance was "extensive and individualized."

"Warren complains generally about his sentence, arguing that the court did not give enough weight to the fact that he led an 'otherwise impeccable life, one characterized by devotion and service to his country,'" Judge Karen Henderson wrote for a three-member panel. "Warren's mental health and substance abuse problems are, of course, relevant to sentencing. While a PTSD diagnosis may mitigate criminal conduct that occurs spontaneously or unexpectedly - for example, Warren's resisting arrest - his conviction resulted from conduct, especially drugging his victim, that was planned and deliberate."

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