A University of Utah defensive lineman has been dismissed from the team after being charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping for allegedly beating and threatening to kill his wife.
Koliniasi "Niasi" Leota was charged Friday in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court with one count each of first-degree felony aggravated assault and kidnapping, and third-degree felony domestic violence in the presence of a child. Four misdemeanor domestic violence charges were also filed.
In court papers, Salt Lake County prosecutors contend that Leota, 24, punched his wife in the face, causing her to bleed. Leota, who is 6-foot-4 and 278 pounds, attacked his wife again in the bathroom, striking her head with a curling iron and a towel rod that he ripped out of the wall and also attempted to stab her with, court papers say. Prosecutors allege Leota wrapped the curling iron cord around his wife's neck in an effort to choke her and tried to electrocute her by filling the bathtub with water and tossing in the curling iron.