By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The CIA's former top officer in Algeria has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge that he sexually assaulted a woman in the North African country last year.
Andrew Warren, 41, was released on personal recognizance after a brief appearance yesterday in the District's federal court. The sexual-abuse charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
In previous court filings, authorities alleged that Warren drugged and raped two women at his Algiers residence in September 2007 and February 2008.
Authorities charged Warren only in the 2008 allegation. A CIA spokesman said that Warren had been fired and that the agency will "cooperate with law enforcement in this matter."
If an assault is confirmed, it will be viewed as particularly serious because it could damage diplomatic relations with Algeria and undermine U.S. efforts to improve its image in the Muslim world, former diplomats and foreign policy experts said.
Warren returned to Washington after the allegations surfaced.
The woman who made the 2008 allegation told investigators that she had known Warren for several months and that he invited her to his residence on Feb. 17 and gave her a tour. She said that after drinking two apple martinis, she suddenly felt paralyzed, though she could speak and see, authorities wrote in court documents.
The woman was then sexually assaulted, she told authorities. An investigator with the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service wrote in court papers that the woman's symptoms were consistent with being drugged.
Warren told investigators that he had consensual sex with the two women, the court papers state.