UI student accused of attempted murder, robbery had multiple UIPD reports made before arrest

Ali Younes, 18, was reported four times to University of Iowa police for stalking and harassment between 2021 and 2022 before his April arrest. He was also reported to University Housing and Dining by his roommate for an incident that occurred in August 2021.


Cooper Worth, News Reporter

Editor’s note: This article includes descriptions of sexual assault.

University of Iowa student Ali Younes, who was arrested and accused of strangling a woman and stealing her earrings in April, had multiple complaints made to the UI Department of Public Safety and university administration for stalking and harassment before his arrest, according to reports obtained by The Daily Iowan

According to UI police documents, 18-year-old Ali Alfred Younes was accused of stalking, sexual assault, and sexual harassment on four separate occasions, all of which occurred in Slater Residence Hall. The latest incident was reported in January 2022.

Younes was arrested on April 26 after he reportedly strangled a woman until she fell unconscious and stole her earrings near Art Building West. He was originally charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree theft. Court records show Younes is now also being charged with attempted murder. 

One first-year female student at the UI reported Younes to the UI Police Department on Oct. 15, 2021 for allegedly sexually assaulting her the night before in his dorm room. The DI granted the student anonymity because her story deals with sexual assault.

The student, who lived in Slater Residence Hall along with Younes, said Younes approached her at night while she was doing laundry and asked her numerous times to go up to his room with him. 

She initially declined but said Younes wouldn’t take no for an answer. After multiple requests, she finally agreed to go up with him to his room. In Younes’ room, the student said, everything began consensually, with the two of them briefly kissing.

She said Younes then tried to escalate things. 

“It got to a point where he kept pressuring me to have sex with him, and I didn’t want to, and I told him no over and over again until I just couldn’t say no anymore,” she said.

The student said she finally agreed to have sex with Younes. Afterward, she went back to her room and told the story to her roommate. 

“I tell her what happened and she’s like ‘That doesn’t sound consensual at all,’ and I was like, ‘You’re right, it doesn’t,’” she said. “We told our RA, who told the hall coordinator, who then called the cops.” 

The student, who no longer lives in Slater, filled a UIPD incident report against Younes, where he was accused of third-degree sexual abuse, according to police records. The student chose not to pursue a police investigation against Younes. 

Younes, who is a first-year student, was first reported to UIPD on Oct. 4, 2021. A female student who lived on his floor reported him for harassment, according to police records. The report was referred to threat assessment and the Office of the Dean of Students. The second report was from the student the DI spoke to. 

The third and fourth reports were accounts of stalking made to Clery Act compliance officials in UIPD by a university employee who is required to notify Clery Act officials of those crimes. The first incident occurred on Oct. 19, 2021, and the second occurred between Jan. 18 and 21. UIPD spokesperson Hayley Bruce wrote in an email to the DI that the reports were made by a third party, and those reports are for statistical purposes only. There was no request for UI police officials to pursue an investigation, Bruce wrote.

“Since no other action or investigation is taken when a crime is not reported directly to UI police, these types of entries do not include a determination of the validity or invalidity of a report, only that a report was taken by an institutional representative,” Bruce wrote. “UI police are limited in actions they can take when they receive a third-party report. UI police initiate an investigation if the victim/survivor chooses to report the incident to police and wishes to pursue criminal charges.”

The student who made the Oct. 15 report said she was told that having a police investigation run concurrent to a Title IX investigation could slow the latter investigation down, so she decided to pursue a Title IX case and not press charges because she felt it was her best chance to succeed. 

She pursued a formal investigation against Younes, which led to a hearing in February with a UI independent adjudicator, she said. 

The student said the adjudicator ruled in Younes’ favor. The student said she filed for an appeal shortly after, but was unsuccessful. 

The student said a no-contact directive was set up against Younes and remained in effect until his recent arrest. 

“We respect a survivors’ decision about whether or not they would like police to proceed with an investigation,” Bruce wrote in an email to the DI. “If at any time a victim later decides to pursue charges, the department has the ability to move forward with further investigation.”

The student said she believes Younes’ recent attack could have been prevented by the university. 

“They somehow could not connect enough dots to prove that there were issues here. He was a documented problem, and they didn’t stop him,” she said. “This could have been prevented if they could just listen to one of us.” 

In an email to the DI, UI spokesperson Jeneane Beck and President Barbara Wilson wrote that the university will review its student complaint response process in response to Younes’ arrest.

“The charges against Ali Younes are very concerning and I am thankful to UI police for the swift investigation and arrest,” UI President Barbara Wilson wrote in the email. “Our team members are vigorously committed to student and community safety, and they respond thoughtfully to every report of misconduct. That commitment to safety is why we must continually assess ways to enhance our processes within the bounds of state and federal law.”

The university will announce a team to review the student complaint response process on May 16, Beck said. 

Residence Hall report

Younes was also reported to University Housing and Dining by his roommate for a physical altercation that took place in August.

Al Zukowski, a UI first-year student, was Younes’ roommate from August to October 2021.

He said he knew living with Younes wasn’t going to work out when Younes would refer to women as “whores” and that he “had more empathy for animals than women.” 

Zukowski said he first reported Younes for an incident that occurred early in the semester. 

“We needed to move our fridge to the other side of the room, but at that time I was planning on going out with some of my friends,” he said. “He was not having it, he needed me to move the fridge right that instant, so he grabbed me on the back of my shoulders and dragged me back to the room.” 

Zukowski said he reported the incident to his Resident Assistant on Aug. 29, which was then reported to the hall coordinator. 

Zukowski said he would continually check in with his RA and hall coordinator on the status of the report, and quickly found out that nothing was being done about it. 

“I asked my RA how the report was going, and I kept hearing that ‘It’s in the process,’ and ‘There is still filing going on,’ and I heard this for months,” he said. 

Zukowski never heard back on the status of his report. 

Greg Thompson, director of residence education at the UI, wrote in an email to the DI that roommate conflicts are most frequently addressed by an RA through mediation. 

“If unsuccessful, students may request a room change by logging into the housing portal and joining the room change waitlist,” Thompson wrote.

Thompson said violent behavior will cause a student to get removed from housing rather than assigned to another room.

UI officials said the university is not permitted to share information related to a student’s education record, including housing arrangements, as the information is protected by federal and state law.

Younes moved from Slater to Burge Residence Hall in October, both students interviewed said, although the exact reason for his move is not known. 

Younes faces two class B felony charges and a class C felony charge. Class B felonies are punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Class C felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $13,660. Younes was also issued a criminal trespass warning by UIPD.

Upon hearing of Younes’ recent arrest, both Zukowski and the other student said they weren’t surprised that it was him. 

“Our whole floor was pretty scared of him… We all knew that he was dangerous,” Zukowski said. 

Zukowski said he knows of others living in the hall who also filed complaints against Younes.  

“Quite a few of my friends have called campus security on him,” he said. “I know I’m definitely not the only one that’s filed complaints against him with the university.” 

The student who reported Younes said she lived in fear after her incident with him.

“I had to restructure my whole life because of this guy. I was considering transferring schools, had to move dorms, and literally could not touch most of the east side [of campus],” she said. “Sitting out in public anywhere was anxiety-inducing.” 

She said learning news of his arrest finally gave her some relief. 

“I was ecstatic when I got the news because now I don’t have to leave,” she said. “Suddenly, I know exactly where he is because they got him on camera this time.” 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the details of the reports of stalking taken by UIPD.