An Iraqi refugee accused of posing as an Uber driver and sexually assaulting a woman faced a judge on Tuesday in Meriden.
Hamden police said 29-year-old Ahmad Bahjat of New Haven picked up the victim outside of a bar in New Haven on Jan. 31.
They said he had walked over to a parking area designated for taxi drivers.
The victim entered his vehicle because she thought Bahjat was employed by Uber.
While driving to the victim's home, police said Bahjat pulled into a parking lot and viciously sexually assaulted her.
He then dropped her off near her home.
Police said the victim left several personal items behind and suffered injuries to her neck, knees and wrist.
Detectives were able to identify Bahjat as the suspect and learned that his immigration status was "permanent resident non-citizen." He came to the U.S. in 2012.
However, Bahjat fled the U.S. after the incident by taking a flight to Toronto. He they flew to Turkey and Jordan, according to police.
On Feb. 11, he was detained at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City. He was trying to re-enter the country.
Police arrested him there and extradited him to Connecticut.
He was charged with first-degree sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree unlawful restraint.
Bahjat is due back in court at the end of the month.
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