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Former Saint Louis University teaching assistant admits to blackmailing student

Hussein Kadhim Abood Khalaf, 34, pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal charge and admitted to blackmailing a student.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ST. LOUIS — A former teaching assistant at Saint Louis University (SLU) pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal charge and admitted to blackmailing a student. 

Khalaf pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor blackmail charge. 

Hussein Kadhim Abood Khalaf, 34, was a teaching assistant in one of the victim’s classes in the fall of 2020, according to his plea agreement. They dated briefly in December 2020. 

The 34-year-old admitted to setting up Instagram accounts and using them to threaten the victim, according to a press release. Khalaf also set up a fake Instagram account in the victim's name and sent her threatening text messages from multiple phone numbers. 

In these messages, Khalaf demanded $30,000 and sex from the victim, according to the release. He threatened to send nude pictures and videos to her friends, classmates and relatives if she did not adhere to his demands. 

Khalaf, an Iraqi citizen, is in the U.S. on a student visa. In court, Khalaf said he was expelled from Saint Louis University but is planning on petitioning to be re-admitted, according to the release. Khalaf also said in his plea agreement that it could impact his immigration status or result in deportation.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Colleen Lang and Matthew Drake prosecuted the case.

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