FORT COLLINS, Colo. – University of Wyoming junior defensive tackle Youhanna Ghaifan pleaded “no contest” Wednesday to charges related to an incident that occurred the morning of the Cowboys’ football game at Colorado State in late October.
Ghaifan, 21, was issued citations for harassment involving a strike, shove or kick and false imprisonment by the Fort Collins Police Department the morning of Oct. 26 at the Fort Collins Marriott, where the team was staying. The citations were both misdemeanors and involved a hotel employee. Ghaifan was not arrested.
Ghaifan attended Wednesday’s disposition hearing with attorney Hannah Stephens, an associate with the Fischer Law Group of Fort Collins.
Under the plea agreement, Ghaifan pleaded no contest to harassment, and it was accepted by Judge Thomas Lynch.
When someone pleads “no contest” to a crime, they are effectively saying they do not contest allegations lined out by prosecutors and investigators in charging documents. During sentencing proceedings, such pleas are treated the same as if someone pleaded guilty to the crime.
The plea agreement in Ghaifan’s case includes:
n A six-month unsupervised deferred sentence.
n An agreement for Ghaifan to pay all court costs.
n A requirement that Ghaifan perform 16 hours of community service.
n A requirement that he attend what Lynch described as a “boundaries class.”
n A no-contact order with the defendant, who was not present Wednesday.
n A requirement that he obey the law, which includes no traffic citations. Ghaifan also cannot consume alcohol.
If Ghaifan complies with everything in the plea agreement, all charges will be dismissed. He has until his next court date July 5 to perform all the tasks included in his plea agreement.
Ghaifan was suspended indefinitely by UW following the incident, and remains suspended. He graduated from UW in December, but has one more year of eligibility.
When asked after the hearing if he would return to UW for his senior season, Ghaifan said: “Probably not. I just want to get this behind me and figure things out from there.”
The court appearance stems from an Oct. 26 incident at the Fort Collins Marriott, where the football team was staying before its annual Border War game with Colorado State University. It’s alleged Ghaifan tried to force himself on a housekeeper, closing the door to a room she was cleaning, trapping her against a wall and repeatedly trying to kiss her. The housekeeper convinced Ghaifan to leave by telling him she would contact him when she had a break a work, but instead reported the incident to the hotel office.
When confronted by law enforcement, Ghaifan refused to talk and invoked his right to an attorney. Hours before the CSU game, Coach Craig Bohl announced Ghaifan was suspended.
In what was described as a miscommunication between attorneys, Ghaifan missed a Dec. 12 disposition hearing. A Larimer County Court judge considered issuing a warrant for Ghaifan’s arrest for failure to appear at the hearing that day, but instead rescheduled the hearing for Wednesday.
Ghaifan is from Grand Island, Nebraska, and said he plans to return home to assess his future plans.
In eight games this past season, Ghaifan had 34 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks. He was a first team All-Mountain West selection in 2017 with 69 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.