Student Arrested on a Fugitive Charge Related to Sexual Assault and Unlawful Restraint Charges
A University of Connecticut student was arrested Monday in New York on a fugitive from justice charge related to charges of aggravated sexual assault and unlawful restraint.
Ziyad Fekri, age 21, was taken into custody by members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force following an investigation by the University of Connecticut Police Department and the Tolland State’s Attorney’s Office.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, on February 15, 2021, a female University of Connecticut student went to the University of Connecticut Police Department to report that she was assaulted by a male University of Connecticut student that she knew. The assailant was identified as Fekri, a member of the university men’s soccer team.
Based on the investigative facts and circumstances and using Connecticut Domestic Violence protocols, on February 16, 2021, an arrest warrant was issued for Fekri and served on him for an incident that took place after midnight on February 13, 2021 into the early morning of February 14, 2021. The warrant charges Zekri with Assault in the Second Degree, Assault in the Third Degree, Disorderly Conduct, and Unlawful Restraint in the First Degree. Fekri was processed at the University of Connecticut Police headquarters in Storrs. Fekri posted a $75,000 cash/surety bond and was released from custody with a protective order in place for the victim.
Following Fekri's arrest, the University of Connecticut Police Department continued the investigation into the assault. Over the next five weeks of the investigation, it was determined that Fekri was responsible for a number of violent assaults over the course of a monthlong time period against the victim. 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.
A number of witnesses came forward and provided sworn written statements. Probable cause was developed and on March 26, 2021, University of Connecticut Police secured an arrest warrant from Rockville Superior Court for Fekri for two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault in the First Degree and one count of Unlawful Restraint. A court set bond of $500,000 was assigned to this warrant.
Police were not able to locate Fekri at his assigned university housing and further investigation showed he was staying with friends in Elmsford, New York. The FBI assisted the University of Connecticut Police Department by identifying the location of the residence Fekri was occupying.
On Monday, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force took Fekri into custody without incident. Fekri 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.
The charges against Fekri are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Fekri was immediately suspended from all team activities following the report and first arrest.