UConn soccer player arrested in connection with violent sexual assault

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Photo courtesy of the CT DOJ

University of Connecticut soccer player Ziyad Fekri has been arrested by the FBI after being accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student at knifepoint.  

Fekri, a senior, was taken into custody in New York on Monday as a fugitive from justice.  

According to the Tolland State Attorney’s office, a female student reported an assault which occurred on the night of Feb. 13 to the UConn Police Department. Fekri was identified as the assailant, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Zekri posted a $75,000 bail and was released from custody. 

The initial arrest warrant charged Zekri with Assault in the Second Degree, Assault in the Third Degree, Disorderly Conduct and Unlawful Restraint in the First Degree. The UConn Police Department continued an investigation into Zekri in the weeks following his February arrest. The investigation, which was supported by several written statements from witnesses, found Zekri responsible for multiple violent assaults over a month-long period.  

“The assaults escalated as time progressed and included pulling of 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,” reads a press release from the Tolland State Attorney’s office.  

On Friday, a warrant was issued for Fekri for two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault in the First Degree and one count of Unlawful Restraint. The bond was set to $500,000. Fekri was found at a friend’s residence on Monday, and arrested without incident.  

According to John Ritson, Fekri’s attorney, Fekri plans to plead not guilty to the charges. Fekri is next due in court April 6.  

Resources:  

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 

Student Health & Wellness — Sexual Assault Response Team: https://studenthealth.uconn.edu/emergency-contacts/ 

Student Health & Wellness – Mental Health Services: 860-486-4705 

UCPD: 860-486-4800 

Dean of Students Office:  860-486-342 

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