Thursday , July 29 2021

UConn soccer player charged with aggravated sexual assault, unlawful restraint

Police tracked him down in Elmsford NY.

A University of Connecticut soccer player was arrested Monday in New York on a fugitive from justice charge related to charges of aggravated sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

Ziyad Fekri, 21, was taken into custody by members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force after an investigation by the UConn Police Department and the Tolland State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, a female UConn student went to the university’s police on February 15 to report she was assaulted by a male student.

She identified Fekri as her alleged assailant, who is a member of the university men’s soccer team.

Stephanie Reitz, UCONN spokeswoman said, “Ziyad Fekri is an enrolled student at this time, but was suspended from soccer team activities at the time of his February arrest and is not living in campus housing or taking in-person courses.”

“Federal student privacy laws prevent UConn from discussing whether a conduct review has been initiated involving specific student(s). Those reviews are necessary before the University could consider whether to implement permanent disciplinary actions, including expulsion.”

“UConn can take interim steps during the disciplinary process to restrict a student’s participation in campus life and activities, including prohibiting a person from UConn property.”

“While federal laws prohibit the University from confirming whether a student faces the conduct process and potential sanctions, UConn tries to act swiftly to resolve the reviews and reach a permanent resolution while respecting due process rights.”

Since the court case is going through the legal process, UConn is not discussing specifics beyond what has been publicly released.”

At the time, Fekri was charged with assault in the 2nd-degree, assault in the 2rddegree, disorderly conduct and unlawful restraint in the first degree. He posted a $75,000 bond and was released from custody with a protective order in place for the victim.

Police said they continued to investigate and determined that Fekri was responsible for several violent assaults over the course of a month against the victim. They said the assaults escalated in time and allegedly included pulling her hair, grabbing the victim from behind around the neck, punching her in the face with closed fists, cutting the victim with a knife and two sexual assaults at knifepoint.

Police said witnesses came forward and provided sworn written statements.

On March 26, police secured an arrest warrant for Fekri for two counts of aggravated sexual assault in the 1st-degree and one count of unlawful restraint. A court set bond at $500,000.

Police said they were not able to locate Fekri in his dorm and their investigation showed he was staying with friends in Elmsford, New York, a village in Westchester County.

The FBI assisted the University of Connecticut Police Department by identifying the location of the home Fekri was occupying.

On Monday, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force took Fekri into custody without incident. He was charged as a fugitive from justice by police in Greenburg, New York, and is awaiting extradition by the University of Connecticut Police and Rockville Superior Court for the pending Sexual Assault and Unlawful Restraint charges.

According to his Huskies roster bio, Fekri is a senior from Rabat, Morocco. In the 2019 season, he completed 11 matches with 11 starts and tallied two assists as a defender.


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