STORRS, Conn. (WTNH)– A member of the UConn men’s soccer team was arrested in New York Monday on a fugitive from justice charge that was related to charges of aggravated sexual assault and unlawful restraint.
Connecticut State Police say that 21-year-old Ziyad Fekri was taken into custody by the FBI after an investigation by UConn police and the Tolland State’s Attorney’s Office.
An arrest warrant affidavit revealed that on Feb. 15, a female UConn student went to the university’s police to report that she was assaulted by a male student that she knew. He was later identified as Fekri, who is a member of the UConn men’s soccer team.
Based on an investigation, an arrest warrant was then issued for Fekri for the incident that allegedly took place after midnight on Feb.13, into the early morning of Feb. 14. The warrant changed him with assault, disorderly conduct and unlawful restraint. Fekri was processed at the UConn police headquarters in Storrs and posted a $75,000 cash bond.
UConn police then continued the investigation into the assault and determined that Fekri was also responsible for several other violent assaults that took place over a month long time period against the victim. Police say that this included pulling her hair, grabbing her 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.
A number of witnesses also came forward and provided sworn written statements.
UConn police then secured another arrest warrant but for aggravated sexual assault and unlawful restraint. Police were then unable to locate Fekri in university housing. A further investigation found that he was staying with friends in Elmsford, New York. The FBI then helped UConn police identify the location where Fekri was staying.
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 UConn police and Rockville Superior Court for the pending sexual assault and unlawful restraint charges.
Fekri was immediately suspended from all team activities following the report and first arrest.
In a statement from UConn Tuesday evening, the university 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.