‘I Was Sleeping With The Enemy’: Texas Woman Helps Send Her ‘Diabolical’ Ex To Prison
Sarita Anderson still wonders “how many women died, or almost died” because of Karim Zakikhani’s lies.
A Texas woman whose life was upended by an ex-boyfriend she said was “masterful” at lying and keeping secrets summoned the strength to fight back and get him locked up for decades.
“What he did to me and other women was just reckless and diabolical,” Sarita Anderson said of “sociopath” Karim “Tyson” Zakikhani. “I did not see him coming…he just didn’t care as long as he got what he wanted, and that’s evil.”
Anderson met Zakikhani in 2013 at a hospital in Houston where they both worked as security officers. He was friendly, charming and talkative, and the two had an “intense attraction” to each other, she said.
The first time they were intimate he told her it was her choice if they used protection or not. “He was more than willing to not wear a condom,” Anderson said. “He just told me it didn’t matter to him.”
Initially, the two always practiced safe sex, but as they grew closer, Zakikhani let Anderson know he didn’t use condoms when in a relationship. She insisted they both get tested, and they waited to have sex again until the results were back.
Anderson showed Zakikhani paperwork proving she was negative for all sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. While Zakikhani also shared his results with her, she noticed HIV was absent from the list.
His excuse? Zakikhani claimed the doctor told him he would only call about his HIV status if there was an issue, Anderson recalled.
“Knowing what I know now, it makes me angry,” she said, explaining her boyfriend’s lie made sense and she believed he was disease-free so she went on birth control and they stopped using protection. “He knew what he was doing was wrong. He knew he had HIV before he met me.”
Zakikhani learned his positive status years before in 2008, according to KPRC-TV.
“I was sleeping with the enemy,” Anderson said. “I was suspicious of everybody else but him, and the chaos was laying right next to me.”
In the spring of 2014, Anderson believed she had come down with a bad case of the flu, and she said Zakikhani appeared to be the concerned boyfriend “playing the role that he thought he should.”
“In retrospect,” she said, “I think he was just keeping a watchful eye to see exactly what was going on with my health or if [doctors] said anything about HIV” in order to “see what his next move should be.”
Stumped by her symptoms, doctors eventually tested Anderson for HIV after her health deteriorated even further and her weight plummeted 65 pounds. Her results came back positive for the disease and “there was no question he gave it to me,” Anderson said.
Initially suicidal, with time, Anderson decided she needed to hold her ex-boyfriend responsible for what he did to her. She started by calling his mother, who told her Zakikhani was married.
She next contacted Zakikhani’s wife. The woman told her that she tested positive for HIV in 2009 because of her husband, who knew he had the disease at the time.
“I hated his guts,” Anderson said of her ex. “I wished death on him every day. Every second of every day, I was thinking, ‘Why is he still breathing? Why is he still running around? Why is he able to enjoy himself? Why hasn’t anybody killed him? It made me mad that he was alive.”
Anderson then learned it was a crime to intentionally infect someone with HIV, and she called the police and filed a report. The case was turned over to the Special Victims Unit, and officers arrested Zakikhani within months.
Zakikhani, 38, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of a family member causing serious bodily injury. He accepted a plea deal and a judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison in June 2018.
“Karim was definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Anderson, who got pregnant while they were together and now has a son with him. “Who knows how many women he infected, or how many women died, or almost died, and he doesn’t care…He’s evil, diabolical, reckless, careless, negligent. All those things, all those things rolled into one.”
“I call it my tragedy, the testimony, how I had to dig myself out of that hole and basically, I feel like the old me died, but I worked real hard to rebirth a new person and I feel like that person is better,” she said. “You don’t know how strong you can be until you have no choice but to be strong.”
For more on this case, tune into Evil Lives Here on July 17 at 10/9c on ID or stream on discovery+.