On Thursday, January 10, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis and Detective George Loydgren held a joint press conference to announce that the department had solved a sexual battery case dating back to 1983. Through advanced DNA testing techniques, they were finally able to put a name and a face to the man who raped a twelve-year-old Ridge Manor girl thirty-five years ago.
Nienhuis commented, “There is a 99.99% chance that William Lewis Nichols... is the one who left his DNA at the scene of the rape back in 1983.”
Nichols died of cancer in Orlando in 1998, so he can not be prosecuted. However, finding the suspect did bring closure to the victim who is now forty-seven years old.
Through further investigation, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) discovered that Nichols had a history of sexual battery with cases in Wisconsin going back as far as 1961. In all the cases, he either served a short jail sentence or was found incompetent to face trial.
Full story to appear in the Friday, January 18 issue of Hernando Sun.