UConn

UConn Student Accused of Sexual Assault, Unlawful Restraint

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NBC 5 News

A University of Connecticut soccer player has been arrested, accused of violent attacks against another student, including sexually assaulting the victim at knifepoint, according to the Tolland State's Attorney's Office.

Ziyad Fekri, 21, was arrested Monday in New York by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force as a fugitive from justice connected to charges of aggravated sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

According to the state's attorney, the investigation into Fekri began on February 15, 2021, when a female student reported that she'd been assaulted by Fekri overnight on February 13. The victim knew Fekri, authorities said.

The state's attorney said based on that report and an initial investigation using Connecticut domestic violence protocols, Fekri was initially arrested and charged with second-degree assault, third-degree assault, disorderly conduct, and first-degree unlawful restraint. He was released on a $75,000 bond and a protective order was in place for the victim.

The state's attorney alleges that further investigation found that Fekri assaulted the victim multiple times over a monthlong period, including pulling hair, grabbing the victim from behind around the neck, punching her in the face with closed fists, cutting her with a knife and two sexual assaults at knifepoint. Multiple witnesses provided statements, authorities said.

Based on that investigation, in March a second arrest warrant was issued charging him with two counts of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree and one count of unlawful restraint. Court set the bond at $500,000.

Police could not find Fekri at his university residence and eventually found him staying with friends in New York, police said. He was arrested without incident on Monday and charged as a fugitive from justice. He is awaiting extradition by the University of Connecticut Police and Rockville Superior Court.

Authorities said Fekri was suspended from all team activities after the first report and arrest.

UConn confirmed Fekri's status as an enrolled student, and said he is currently suspended from soccer activities. He is not living in campus housing or taking in-person courses at this time.

A university spokesperson declined to comment on any other disciplinary action, citing student privacy laws and the ongoing court case.

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