El Melali was seen masturbating in the courtyard of his block of flats while looking at a woman who lives on the ground floor.
The local police and Ligue 1 club Angers both confirmed El Melali's arrest, but declined to comment. The incident took place at 10:50 p.m. local time on Monday and was witnessed by neighbours who saw El Melali outside the woman's flat looking through the window.
The woman's neighbours called the police who arrested the midfielder. ESPN sources said it is the second time he has been arrested for a similar offence.
El Melali's lawyer Sandra Chirac Kollarik defended her client in the local newspaper Le Courrier de l'Ouest that first reported the story, saying her client "was not targeting anyone and was not aggressive towards anyone."
The former Paradou AC player, who joined Angers in the summer 2018, scored three times in four starts after coming back from multiple injuries. The club had just announced a new deal for El Melali that would keep him at the club until 2023.