Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2010

Victim testifies to details of last week’s attack on west Lawrence bicycle path

Lawrence Police detective says defendant confessed to the crime

The woman was visiting her host family when 30-year-old William Nichols pulled her off her bike and attempted to rape her.

June 24, 2010


A 23-year-old woman broke down in tears Thursday afternoon as she testified about being brutally attacked last week while riding her bicycle in western Lawrence.

A preliminary hearing was conducted in Douglas County District Court in the case of William Nichols, 30, Lawrence. He’s accused of aggravated kidnapping, attempted rape and aggravated battery.

The woman told the court she was riding her bike June 16 on the bike path between the Youth Sports Complex soccer fields and Clinton Lake, when about 20 minutes into her ride, Nichols attacked her.

“When I got next to him, he looked at me and just grabbed me,” she said. “His arm was around my neck.”

The woman said she is originally from Hungary and was in Lawrence to visit her host family. She said she had used the bike path at least five times before.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson asked her to describe her attack.

After she was pulled from her bike, she said, the defendant pulled her farther from the path into an area with bushes and tall grass. She said she was on her stomach while he sat on her back.

She said he slid down to lie on her and then fondled her.

“I knew he wanted to rape me,” she said.

She said that’s when she bit his arm. She then told the court that he flipped her over and began punching her in the face.

“I saw that I was bleeding everywhere; I asked him, ‘What are you doing?’” she said. The woman then told the court, “He said, ‘I don’t know.’”

She said he held a knife to her throat, and she grabbed it to keep him from stabbing her. “I thought, ‘I’m going to die,’” she said.

She said that’s when two young men came down the path.

“I screamed, ‘Help me; he’s going to kill me,’” she said.

She said Nichols looked at the men, looked at her and then ran.

The woman softly cried throughout her testimony. While she gave her statement, Nichols sat quietly with his defense attorney, occasionally taking notes.

The woman left the courtroom with a man and woman, hugged the woman and sobbed.

From a distance she appeared uninjured, walking and talking without difficulty. Up close, she had bruises on her face that appeared to be fading.

She told the court that she suffered a broken nose, a broken bone in her cheek, bruising, and had stitches on her neck and hand.

The only other witness to testify at the preliminary hearing was Detective Jack Cross with the Lawrence Police Department. He testified that Nichols confessed to attacking the woman almost immediately after he was arrested.

Cross said Nichols told him that he traveled to the path that day with the intention of groping a woman. Cross said he asked Nichols why he had a knife, and was told that it was “to intimidate and control her.”

Nichols confessed to groping several other women at different locations, Cross said, and that this was his first time he had groped a woman along the bike path.

Cross told the court he asked Nichols why he picked this particular woman. “He thought he could control her,” Cross said.

The detective noted that Nichols said he wanted to cause the victim pain and embarrass her, and that he got an adrenaline rush and sexual gratification from doing this.

Cross said Nichols could recall some intricate details of the day but then said he couldn’t remember initiating the attack, but he could recall being on her, beating her.

The detective said he did not believe Nichols was mentally ill.

“He was very articulate,” Cross said.

Cross said he believes the defendant went to St. Marys High School and took some online college courses, studying criminal justice.

Judge Peggy Kittel ruled that there was enough evidence to hold Nichols over for trial.

A trial date was set for Sept. 3. A motions hearing is scheduled for Aug. 30.


Mike Wagner 7 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

somebodynew 7 years, 12 months ago

Well, lg-40, did you miss the part that she is FROM where she is going?? She is going HOME for a visit. I know living in your mother's basement you probably don't travel much, but it is really expensive to change plans at the last minute.

PLUS, the fact the she is the VICTIM in this case and the justice system makes victims victimized over and over again, so it is nice to see they can be accomadating sometimes.

I know you hate law enforcement, but when the "system" actually HELP a victim of a crime, it seems to be a refreshing change.

And this POS needs to be put away as soon as possible (of course innocent till proven guilty).

kernal 7 years, 12 months ago

Your stance has nothing to do with this case. There were witnesses. It's open and shut case. Save your opinions for a situation that fits.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 12 months ago

lg40, a Kansas statute calls for the preliminary hearing to be held within 14 days of arrest. (Prior to May of this year, it was 10 days.)

opinionated1 7 years, 12 months ago

The amount of ignorance in the last post is so thick you could cut it with a knife. She is the victim, why should her plans for this summer change because a scumbag attacked her with the intention of raping her and hurting while she was bike riding? There is no risk to the justice system in fact it's your constitutional right to a speedy trial and this is pretty speedy to start. I would counter that it's a triumph for the legal system. P.S. He admitted his guild when interviewed... he's guilty done deal.

BlackVelvet 7 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Sita 7 years, 12 months ago

I don't know how the legal system works in Hungry, but in America people have the right to come and go as they please. I think it's awesome that she could give testimony and support the States case against this guy before she leaves. Otherwise, she could leave, he could recant, and then there is a possibility that he could be loose on our streets again.

LoveThsLife 7 years, 12 months ago

Give it a rest. She is a victim. She was on a bike trail minding her own business and some guy came up and attacked her. She probably wants to go home to family. Who knows? I think it's great they are allowing her to to give her testimony while she is still in the states..I don't see anything wrong with what is going on...and I don't see how his rights are being violated either. Your argument doesn't make much sense.

lawenforcer2010 7 years, 12 months ago

what right did he have to attack her? and yes to answer your question above her rights should come before his. Don't matter where you are from an attack is an attack and it is wrong and needs to be dealt with the faster the better less of a chance of some1 coming up with a half a million and getting him out on the street again to attack someone else.

parrothead8 7 years, 12 months ago

What rights of his are being violated? His right to a speedy trial, perhaps?

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 12 months ago

Once again, because it would seem you didn't read my earlier comment, by statute, the preliminary hearing, which is what happened here, is supposed to happen within 14 days of arrest. So, no, holding the prelim so soon after arrest is not at all improper, unexpected, or even outside the ordinary.

MyName 7 years, 12 months ago

The point is that your whole "issue" is completely worthless. You are obviously not a lawyer, so quit trying to act like you even know WTH is going on in this case.

The court has a large amount of latitude as to when they can schedule proceedings, as long as it's "speedy" so an innocent person isn't rotting in jail while waiting for a trial. The only way this would not be considered a fair trial is if moving swiftly doesn't allow the defense time to prepare, which is not the case here.

The criminal justice system guarantees certain rights to the defendant regardless of whether they are a US Citizen, so I don't understand how the country of origin of either the victim or the defendant has anything to do with this. So all you are doing is parading your ignorance out there for everyone in the forums to see.

whats_going_on 7 years, 12 months ago

he already confessed to it.

Perhaps YOU should work on your reading skills.


And by you saying "I want to protect the interest of the US citizen" in this are defending the attacker.

parrothead8 7 years, 12 months ago

What does it matter? The situation isn't reversed, we're not in Hungary, and this case isn't being tried in the Hungarian justice system. Poor argument. Try again.

somebodynew 7 years, 12 months ago

No, lg40. I am not stupid to think that would happen. BUT we are not in Hungary, we are in the USA. Each country has their own laws. I haven't looked at Hungary's to see if they even has laws regarding speedy trials. And as someone pointed out, our laws call for a preliminary hearing within 14 days, so I see nothing wrong with trying to help out a VICTIM of a crime, no matter where they are from.

tomatogrower 7 years, 12 months ago

We all know your stance on "freedom", and you probably support this guys right to fondle anyone he wants. And come out of your basement. We live in the United States, not Hungary.

LoveThsLife 7 years, 12 months ago

Who is to say there will be a trial? If he pleads guilty it will go straight to sentencing. Quit jumping to conclusions as to what will happen.

ForThePeople 7 years, 12 months ago

I would think that the victim isn't going to just dismiss this incident and if this does go to trial, they do have various means of having her, 'skype'.

parrothead8 7 years, 11 months ago

Being an American makes someone more honest than being from another country? That's not patriotic...that's delusional.

LadyJ 7 years, 12 months ago

Evidently lawrenceguy40 made the removed remark. First, we don't know what country the victim is from, but what difference does it make, the crime was committed here and he has to deal with U.S. justice. Put one of your family in her place and see how you would feel then. Of course you might be one of those guys that figures it's always the woman's fault. Seriously, you need to be disappeareded.

LadyJ 7 years, 12 months ago

Well, another removed remark from lawrenceguy at 8:14.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 12 months ago

okay, haven't read all the articles on this: William Nichols have a connection to the drunk/druggie shelter downtown??? I heard news reports that he recently came to Lawrence.

if so, make them pay all restitution to lpd, the victim, lmh, etc.

The victim, who was visibly emotional as she testified, suffered broken bones in her face and lacerations to her neck and hand.

---that's a lot of pain there, and then the psychological trauma.

dear young lady, I am sincerely sorry you suffered this in my community. I hope you will find good counseling to help you cope with the trauma you experienced. I am so glad that two young men came along and prevented Nichols from harming you further.

you are right to continue with your life and plans, instead of letting Nichols cause even more trouble. but please don't ignore the psychological trauma.

jackpot 7 years, 12 months ago

BG that's a dead horse. Has an address on N. Mich. when he was booked.

workinghard 7 years, 12 months ago

I have 5 or 6 people that use my address that do not live in my house. Drives the postman nuts, he just delivers anything addressed to the house and lets me worry about whether it should go here. Why do they use my address? Because they have no permanent address to get their mail since they move around.

jayhawk2003 7 years, 12 months ago

William, sick freak, I hate you so much. I hope that you Rot in Hell for doing that to the girl. I hope your daughter never has to see your sick sadistic self..

applejuice 7 years, 12 months ago

Yes he has a daughter, either the day after the attack or a few days after he asked the judge to lower his bail so he could get out to go to work to provide for his daughter.

lawenforcer2010 7 years, 12 months ago

NO lovethislife he had a daughter I am the mother to this precious girl who will never know this jerk and never have to hear about what he did. I will make 100% sure of that.

LoveThsLife 7 years, 12 months ago

I am so sorry to hear that. I hope all is well with you and your family. In some ways you and your daughter are victims as well. May you have a happy peaceful life.

LoveThsLife 7 years, 12 months ago

I am so sorry to hear that. I hope all is well with you and your family. In some ways you and your daughter are victims as well. May you have a happy peaceful life.

lawenforcer2010 7 years, 12 months ago

we will live a peaceful life we have for nearly 3 years now for that is the last time she saw, heard or recieved anything from this jerk so it is not like she even remembers who he is anyways. I do hope this young lady recovers and can get on with her life I am pretty sure right now it is hard for her and I sure do hope our Country can help her recover from this incident.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 12 months ago

oh, he's such a responsible man, ain't he just!

gets a sexual charge out of doing such things? take his daughter away from him now.

Jackpot: BG that's a dead horse. Has an address on N. Mich. when he was booked.

---dude/dudette, that's why I asked, but "having an address" doesn't necessarily mean he didn't come to our town attracted by the Henderson flophouse.
but seriously, I was just asking. don't be so defensive.

lawenforcer2010 7 years, 12 months ago

bearded_gnome william(Billy) is originally from Kansas born and raised there he moved away a few years ago. he recently moved back to kansas a few months ago where he was living IDK but I do know he was living with some friends of his.

Majestic42 7 years, 12 months ago

Are the Boondock Saints still up for hire?

marcez0z 7 years, 12 months ago

Went to high school went to high school with this idiot the man looked just as crazy then as he does now! Burn Billy Burn!!

Danielle Brunin 7 years, 12 months ago

Which St. Marys high school, the one west of Topeka, KC, or Pitt-Colgan? I'm just curious since I have a connection to one of them.

lawenforcer2010 7 years, 12 months ago

I believe it was west of topeka and he graduated in 1998.

workinghard 7 years, 12 months ago

Beginning to wonder if LG40 knows this guy? Saying liberals just want to use this to bash the USA is unbelievable. Nobody else thinks of politics when reading about this horrible attack. One also has to wonder about LG40's mental capabilities. Think of it this way, we are showing the rest of the world how we would like to see attacks on our citizens in their country handled if it will make you feel better.

pace 7 years, 12 months ago

I am pretty sure that lg40 is Palin's old boyfriend.

I am so glad this girl was saved.

somebodynew 7 years, 12 months ago

@workinghard - if you follow LG40's posts you will quickly discover he just hates anything to do with law enforcement, especially if they actually did something good, like helping to catch this guy.

workinghard 7 years, 12 months ago

In case you didn't catch LG40's up above "He is a US citizen. Why should her rights come before his?" To think a woman brutally attacked should have less rights than the attacker just because she is not a US citizen is idiotic. Personally I'm ashamed he is a US citizen.

somedude20 7 years, 12 months ago

Having seen the posts that LG40 leaves behind I am guessing that he gets some "gratification" of his own by trolling

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 12 months ago

I would say lawrenceguy not only hates law enforment but hates women as well. His posts wreak of misogyny. I imagine he strikes people as a complete nutjob in person just as much as he does on-line and therefore doesn't get any and the DSB is affecting his brain.

MyName 7 years, 12 months ago

I'm starting to wonder if LG 40 is another Arminius clone, but I don't think even Kevin Groenhagen was this far off the deep end.

tomatogrower 7 years, 12 months ago

To the victim, if she or her host family is reading this. Most people in Lawrence are so sorry this happened to you. We, as a community will work to see that he is put away in prison for a long time. Please realize that most people in Lawrence and the US are not like this creep who hurt you and not like the poster on here called lawrenceguy40. The majority of people are like the 2 young heros who came along at the right time and did the right thing. We want this guy off the streets, so he can't hurt anyone else. He is obviously a serial killer in the making, and thankfully he failed to make you his first murder victim; although the trauma will be rough on you for a long time. We at least now have a chance to protect other women. Thank you for your testimony. And we are behind you all the way , and hopefully this guy will be put away for life. Please to not be afraid to come back to Lawrence, and be strong.

Clark Coan 7 years, 12 months ago

This guy went to high school in St. Mary's, the Kansas capital of far right extremists such as Richard Keyes III who "left St. Marys to join the separatist Republic of Texas. When its leaders surrendered in a siege by the police, Keyes vanished into the mountains. Caught months later, he is now serving 90 years in prison on charges that include kidnapping and burglary."

Danielle Brunin 7 years, 12 months ago

Holy cow, I totally know who this guy is now. I knew the name sounded familiar. The Facebook blocking jokes about "Bill N" totally make sense now.

Danielle Brunin 7 years, 12 months ago

Apparently this guy was on FB, and had befriended some of his old acquaintances, but started to creep them out right about the time that this attack occurred. They were discussing blocking "Bill N" forever and I was like, "Who the heck is Bill N. that has everyone so worked up?" Now I know. :/

lgreen17 7 years, 12 months ago

"Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson asked her to describe her attack."

Wow I'm shocked, the elected District Attorney was actually was in a courtroom this week. News Flash! DA does his job!

workinghard 7 years, 12 months ago

I think he may have been disappeareded since he doesn't show up on a search. Now we just have to figure out which new user he is.

whats_going_on 7 years, 12 months ago

I think I saw a screen name close to 'barry' the other day, spewing off some creepy Barry-like garbage, I assumed it was him. Just be on the lookout for 'lots of' 'oddly punctuated sentences' and ridiculous 'quotes,' with an annoying 'punch line' at

the end

workinghard 7 years, 12 months ago

Thank heavens the two young men that rescued her didn't ask if she was a US citizen first. LG40 probably would have walked on.

JMG 7 years, 12 months ago

I thought the LJWorld's policy was to not name suspects/defendants in sex crime cases until they are convicted? Why the change of approach in this case?

wmathews 7 years, 12 months ago

You're correct about the policy, and I take the blame for the error.

Danielle Brunin 7 years, 12 months ago

Yes, but it wasn't immediately clear that this was a sex crime. When the original story came out, he was named as a suspect in the stabbing on the bike trail, not a sex crime, so his name was already out there.

daddax98 7 years, 12 months ago

looks like he has some facial injuries, hope those two guys whipped his arse or better yet someone at the jail is giving him the business!

igby 7 years, 12 months ago

This guys not all there. He wandered on Mass. street for a month or so, making lewd comments to women and mumbling to himself. He belongs in the pen where he can be watched for the rest of his life. However, until he did this crime, his conduct was not any different than all the drunks and they're vulgar rants on Mass. st late at night.

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 12 months ago

Sure that isn't a status conference versus a motion hearing four days before trial?

This article makes for upsetting reading. Personally, I don't find Lawrence a safe place to enjoy solitude in public as a woman-- and that's about the worst thing I could say about anyplace anywhere too.

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

in Russia A criminal that had been victimizing the community was finally caught red handed. The citizens, mostly women, bound the perp and took him to the police station. Since the breakup and dissolution of KGB the local police, by default, have to perform a lot of policing they were not previously tasked with in past. The chief addressed the citizens with perp in tow, what do you want us to do about it? We have no time to deal with this. Take him out and beat him, don't kill him just beat him.

They did just that.

When one receives death penalty in Russia the convicted one is placed in a small cell. They do not know the time or place of execution, when the penalty is carried out, could be a day, a month or more, the small trap door of cell opens and the convicted one receives a bullet to the head. There are not 10years of exhaustive appeals in the russian system of justice.

Moral - justice is relative.

Note to auty, no I ain't talking bout cousins so chill.

independant1 7 years, 12 months ago

August '95 was when I was last there/left but the community incident was a story I heard from family this century.

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