EXCLUSIVE: No Prosecution for State Dept Official Accused of Sexual Assault

Case "declined for prosecution." Bid to suspend security clearance denied.

ByABC News
December 13, 2007, 10:48 PM

Dec. 14, 2007 — -- The Department of Justice declined to prosecute a State Department employee who allegedly sexually assaulted a female Halliburton/KBR worker in Iraq, despite a recommendation from the State Department that he be charged, according to an internal document obtained by ABC News.

Ali Mokhtare, who is still employed by the State Department, was investigated in 2005 after a female Halliburton/KBR employee said he sexually assaulted her at the company-run camp in Basra, Iraq. Mokhtare was a diplomatic official in Basra who first came to Iraq as a Farsi translator interviewing detainees.

The U.S. Diplomatic Security Service investigated the allegations against Mokhtare and presented the case to the Justice Department for prosecution, but "the case was declined for prosecution" states the document.

Furthermore, investigators requested that the State Department suspend Mokhtare's security clearance, but according to a handwritten note at the bottom of the document, that request was denied.

Neither the departments of State nor Justice would comment for this article.

Watch a report on this story on ABC News' "20/20" tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Tracy Barker, Mokhtare's alleged victim, is a mother of five from Fort Bragg, N.C. She says she wants Mokhtare to be prosecuted for attempted rape and assault.

"I'm an American citizen being assaulted by a State Department employee," said Barker "and nobody cares and nothing's being done about it."

Barker's attorney, Stephanie Morris, said the lack of prosecution sends a message to overseas contractors that it is a "free for all."

"You are not going to be prosecuted and you are not going to be disciplined by anybody," said Morris.

Barker said that even the State Department agent assigned to her case, Lynn Falanga, advised her to sue the U.S. government when Mokhtare was let off the hook.

"She called me and my husband from her own home and said that the State Department was covering it up and that I needed to get an attorney and that they were going to let him continue assaulting people," said Barker.

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