UConn soccer player facing aggravated sexual assault charge


VERNON, Conn. — A UConn men’s soccer player, already facing domestic violence charges, was arrested Monday night in Elmsford, New York, and will be charged with sexual assault when he is returned to Connecticut, authorities said.

The Tolland State’s Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that an investigation by the University of Connecticut Police Department found that Ziyad Fekri, a native of Morocco, was responsible for a number of violent assaults against a woman at UConn over the course of a month, which including two sexual assaults at knifepoint.

He has waived extradition and will be charged upon his return to the state with aggravated sexual assault in the first degree and one count of unlawful restraint.

His attorney, John Ritson, said Fekri was out on bond after being arrested in February on the earlier charges, which included second-degree assault, unlawful restraint and disorderly conduct. He was not hiding from authorities and arrangements could have been made to have him surrender at his already scheduled April 6 court date, Ritson said.

“We are looking forward to UConn police picking him up promptly upon his return, so he can be arraigned in Rockville Superior Court and totally contest these charges,” Ritson said.

Fekri, a senior fullback on the soccer team, had two assists during the 2019 season and was expected to start this season. He was suspended from the squad after his February arrest. A school spokeswomen said Fekri is still enrolled at UConn, but declined to discuss any university discipline, citing federal privacy laws.

Ritson said Fekri has already graduated and was finishing up his soccer eligibility as a graduate student.

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