June 7, 2010 — -- Andrew Warren, a former CIA station chief in Algeria, pleaded guilty in federal court here Monday to drugging and raping a Muslim woman while stationed in Algiers.
Dressed in prison garb and walking with a limp, Andrew Warren, 42, appeared in a Washington, D.C., federal courtroom to plead guilty to one count of abusive sexual conduct and one count of using illegal drugs while possessing a firearm. He will remain in federal custody until he is sentenced on September 9.
Warren faces a maximum of ten years in prison, plus a $250,000 fine, registration as a convicted sex offender and lifelong supervised release.
According to two former CIA officials, Warren was a rising star at the CIA before he was charged with sexual assault. He was a fluent Arabic speaker who had converted to Islam, making him an ideal officer in the Middle East for the intelligence agency. He was recalled from Algeria in October 2008 and then fired after two women came forward and accused him of rape, accusations which were first reported by ABC News' Brian Ross in January 2009. Warren's plea Monday involved admitting to engaging in sexual contact with a woman after rendering her unconscious on U.S. Embassy property on February 17, 2008.
The gun and drug charge is related to his arrest in April after a bench warrant was issued when he missed a pretrial hearing.
As first reported by the Washington Post, Warren had a gun in his waistband when officers attempted to arrest him in a Norfolk, Virginia motel room.
According to federal law enforcement officials, officers tasered Warren twice because they believed he was under the influence of drugs and was reaching for his "mid-torso," where the gun was located. The officials said a crack pipe and a handgun were recovered from Warren's room.
Local ABC affiliate WVEC reported that neighbors of Warren noticed odd behavior in the weeks prior to the hotel room arrest. The acquaintances said that Warren displayed his genitals outside his pants.
After his April arrest, Warren was brought into a Norfolk courtroom in wheelchair, with bruising visible on his face. At a May hearing, Warren's lawyers requested their client, who had been moved to Washington, D.C., be given access to psychiatric and addiction services. Warren told U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle during his plea hearing Monday that he was seeing a counselor in prison and had been prescribed the antidepressant Celexa.
Warren's fall from grace was dramatic. Before being posted to Algeria, Warren had served in Egypt, Afghanistan, and a stint in that CIA domestic station in New York. It was in New York, a few years after 9/11, that supervisors spotted him as a potential star, ready to be deployed around the world as a spy. Within a very short time - four years - Warren had been posted as station chief in Algeria.
According to an affidavit filed by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, two women in separate incidents alleged that Warren gave them drinks that caused them to pass out and then sexually assaulted them at his Algerian apartment while they were in a helpless unconscious or semi-conscious state.
In the first case, the alleged victim claims that Warren prepared a mixed drink of cola and whiskey. The woman stated that she felt a "violent onset of nausea," and Warren said she should spend the night at his home.
When she woke up the next morning, according to the affidavit, "she was lying on a bed, completely nude, with no memory of how she had been undressed." She said she realized "she recently had engaged in sexual intercourse, though she had no memory of having intercourse."
The second victim's account also states that Warren allegedly drugged her before raping her. "While drinking the second apple martini, [Victim 2] suddenly felt faint and felt the immediate needed to vomit. V2 described the sudden and violent onset of the illness as nothing like the physiological effects of alcohol related sickness that she had experienced when she consumed alcohol on previous occasions. V2 stated she immediately began to pass in and out of consciousness. V2's recollections of the ensuing events are characterized as passing in and out of consciousness, due to the debilitating effects of the illness," the affidavit states.
"[Victim 2's] next recollection was being located in Warren's upstairs bathroom, on the floor. V2 could see and hear, but she could not move. Warren was in the bathroom, and he was attempting to remove V2's pants. Although V2 could not physically resist Warren, she was able to speak, and she asked him to leave the bathroom. Warren continued to undress V2, and told her she would feel better after a bath. V2 stated that she had difficulty comprehending what was happening to her. Eventually Warren was able to remove V2's blue jeans, boots, and her blazer," the statement said.
Allegedly, the woman remembers being in Warren's bed and asking him to stop, but according to the affidavit, "Warren made a statement to the effect of 'nobody stays in my expensive sheets with clothes on.'" She told the Diplomatic Security agents that, "as she slipped in and out of consciousness she had conscious images of Warren penetrating her vagina repeatedly with his penis."
Diplomatic Security Special Agent Scott Baker noted in the affidavit, "The victims' symptoms were consistent with drugs used to facilitate sexual assaults."
U.S. officials also said that a search of Warren's residence uncovered many tapes of Warren engaged in sex with women, including at least one tape that shows a woman in a semi-conscious state.
Asked for a comment on the case in 2009, CIA spokesman George Little said in a statement, "We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in this matter, which involves a former agency employee who was fired earlier this year."