ST. LOUIS – A former teaching assistant at Saint Louis University appeared in federal court to admit blackmailing a student he once dated.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Hussein Kadhim Abood Khalaf pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor blackmail charge.

According to court documents, Khalaf, an Iraqi citizen, is in the United States on a student visa. He worked as an assistant in one of the victim’s classes during the fall 2020 semester. Khalaf and the student briefly dated that December.

Per Khalaf’s plea agreement, he admitted to setting up the victim’s Instagram accounts and using them to threaten her. He also created a fake Instagram account in her name and sent her threatening messages from several different phone numbers.

Khalaf, 34, demanded $30,000 and sex from the victim. He threatened to send nude pictures and videos to her family, friends, and classmates if she did not acquiesce to his demands.

Khalaf told the court he’d been expelled from SLU, but is planning on petitioning the university to be readmitted. He also acknowledged that this could affect his immigration status and may lead to his deportation.