(Photo courtesy of Eddie Manuel Photography)
London, Ontario police today revealed that they had arrested 28-year-old Las Vegas-based welterweight fighter Kasheem “The Dream” Peterson in connection with a sexual assault that occurred on the outskirts of the city southwest of Toronto at approximately 6:30 am Friday morning.
The victim, a 21-year-old woman who was not from the area and who had met Peterson prior to the alleged assault reported the attack to police over the weekend, and folowing an investigation by police the Philidelphia native was arrested and charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement and choking someone with the intent of committing sexual assault.
Peterson (3-1-1), who trains out of the TapouT Training Center in Vegas under reknowned trainer and coach Shawn Tompkins, was in London to train for an upcoming bout and to help number one UFC featherweight contender Mark Hominick prepare for his April 30 UFC 129 showdown with Jose Aldo.
Tompkins condemned the fighter’s alleged vile actions today and posted the following statement via Facebook, distancing himself and Team Tompkins from Peterson:
“Absolute[ly] horrible news. Please do not connect what Kasheem Peterson has done with us,” Tompkins wrote. “He is obviously a problem man that is out of control. This incident had absolutely nothing to do with our team. Our hearts go out to the family. I am disgusted.”
The unfortunate thing is mainstream media outlets and detractors of the sport in Ontario will likely try to connect the dots between the UFC and sexual assault, when neither has anything to do with the other. On the flip side, some might try to lump in Team Tompkins fighters like Hominick, Sam Stout and Chris Horodecki — three of the most polite and gentlemanly representatives of the sport in not only Canada, but also around the globe — with an individual like Peterson.
According to a report, Peterson was to make his first court appearance today.