I published the following in the Niagara Falls Reporter, a newspaper I own. I am sharing it with Frank Report readers for their reaction and because it may of interest to readers to follow this investigation.
Note: As editor and publisher of the Niagara Falls Reporter and author of this article, I want to make the following point: The civil lawsuit against our former managing editor, Nicholas D’Angelo, has affected our publication. I am not here to defend or attack him but rather, as an investigative reporter, to get to the truth. I have been credited for breaking investigative stories in more than 200 media outlets.
I do not see how I can overlook this story. How could it be right to investigate others and ignore allegations involving someone who worked right here, who is accused of a dreadful breach, if not a serious crime?
If Nick D’Angelo is guilty or innocent, I will report exactly what I find. No mercy, no favoritism, no pandering to any political ideology. This is investigative reporting. It seeks to uncover the truth about an allegation, in this case, of rape and sexual assault. No aspect of this investigation is off-limits. A man’s reputation, livelihood, and freedom are at stake. A woman alleges she has been abused egregiously and made into a horrific victim. Her reputation is at stake also.
If D’Angelo is innocent, he deserves to be exonerated. If he’s guilty he must be exposed mercilessly, as soon as possible, prevented from repeating his alleged offense, and made to pay the penalty, for rape is one of the most egregious, heinous crimes of all crimes. This publication will never shield a rapist.
In any event, readers have the right to be informed and know the details since the allegations are public. I do not know who is telling the truth. I have no bias. I have attempted to make this story fair and balanced without favoring either side. Readers’ responses are welcome.
Reporter Investigates Rape Lawsuit Against Former Managing Editor
By Frank Parlato
[This is the first in a series about a civil lawsuit – alleging rape.
As of today, and this might change, there are no criminal charges pending against the man.
He is Nicholas D’Angelo, a Niagara Falls attorney, who was managing editor of the Niagara Falls Reporter [a newspaper I own]. He stepped down from his position because of the lawsuit. He is not accused of acting improperly in his role as managing editor for this publication.
Victim Names Herself
It is standard in rape cases to name the presumptively innocent accused in the media but not reveal the name of the accuser. In this case, the alleged victim DECIDED TO BE NAMED and NOT remain anonymous.
She chose to have her full name on the caption and in the body of her complaint when she filed her civil lawsuit (She had the option of just being listed as “Jane Doe”).
For months before she filed, she made appearances on a local Facebook broadcast, “Edge of the Falls,” where she named Nick as a rapist and a lawyer who sexually preys on female clients.
She posted comments on Facebook in her full name – and openly waged a campaign to find other women who might have been abused by Nick.
I attempted to reach the accuser, but she declined to return my call.
I contacted the accuser’s attorney, Lindy Korn, to seek her opinion about naming the accuser in this story.
While declining to answer my question, Korn said, “This is a publicly filed complaint and it has the proper parties [identified].… Sometimes, people file with a Jane Doe. [But] this is a publicly filed complaint [in her name.] She approved of that complaint.”
I asked an advisor of the accuser. He said, “My opinion is that by using her full name you fully demonstrate your respect for her using it in the complaint.”
Out of an abundance of caution, and absent a direct reply by the accuser, I decided to split the difference by only using her first name. At the same time, I feel this may be infantilizing an adult woman who has chosen to go on the public record and stand behind her allegations in her own name.
After publication, if the accuser requests her full name be used, I will revise the story to add her last name.
Her first name is Noelle.
Nick Is Damaged by the Accusation Already
Prior to her filing suit, Nick worked as a lawyer in private practice, as managing editor of the Reporter, and a part-time lawyer for Niagara County Social Services.
There was a fair amount of gossip about him in town, based on what Noelle was claiming publicly about him. People read about him on Facebook or saw podcasts wherein Noelle openly accused him of being a predator. The podcast hosts, Brett Biro and Peter Green, regularly accused Nick of being a predator on their Edge of the Falls broadcast.
For months this went on. But no legal action – either by Nick – who might have sued for Noelle for libel and/or slander – or Noelle – was undertaken until 10 days ago. That’s when she filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court [complaint].
In her lawsuit, Noelle swore under penalty of perjury that Nick raped her while he was representing her in a legal matter.
It is unclear if the alleged rape was what most people consider rape – a forced encounter where the man physically overpowers a woman and penetrates her, or that, rather, Nick used his power as Noelle’s lawyer, and through threats and intimidation, allegedly coerced her into having sex with him, without actual physical violent force.
We will learn more if the case goes to trial.
With this legal filing, Nick’s life was immediately altered. He stepped down as managing editor of the Reporter. He was placed on unpaid leave at the Niagara County Social Services, losing his salary of $45,000 per year and his health insurance.
Many people immediately assumed he was guilty with no more evidence than the fact that he was being sued.
After being accused of raping a client, he is not likely to get much private legal work. Deservedly or not, overnight, he has become overnight a pariah, based solely on allegations made by Noelle.
One of the problems with rape allegations is that because the crime is so heinous, a man’s life is destroyed simply by the allegation without any adjudication in court. He is punished before being found guilty.
He may deserve punishment – but if he does, it should come after, not before, the matter is adjudicated.
Nick represented Noelle in two small claims court disputes with her ex-landlord. It was not an eviction case. She was already out of the apartment. The dispute was over some $2,500 which her ex-landlord claimed she and her fiancé, Ryan, caused in damages to his property and/or unpaid rent.
During Nick’s representation of Noelle and Ryan, Noelle alleges Nick began a series of sexually inappropriate actions culminating with him raping her in his office.
Here is her story, as alleged in the complaint. Keep in mind that these are all allegations, and nothing has been proven in court.
Nick categorically denies Noelle’s version.
August 14, 2019: Noelle hired Nick to represent her in the landlord-tenant dispute.
August 25: Nick allegedly told Noelle to send him “pretty female clients” and that he was happy that Noelle’s friend was a client of his.
He allegedly texted Noelle, “By the way, you didn’t tell me how beautiful Marissa was. Next time give me a heads up on good looking referrals. Lol.”
Nick met with Noelle and her fiancé, Ryan. Later, Nick allegedly told Noelle that he could not stop staring at her while she was in his office.
After their first court appearance in Niagara Falls, which was adjourned, Nick allegedly hinted to Noelle that she should come to his office and court appearances without her fiancé.
Before another court appearance in Wheatfield, Nick allegedly called Noelle and asked if she was alone or with her fiancé. She replied she was alone. Nick allegedly told Noelle that, if she wanted “things done properly,” she should come to his office alone.
Noelle claims Nick texted many inappropriate messages. One text he allegedly wrote was “And I think you need to come by, by yourself, to talk about the case.”
Nick also allegedly texted Noelle:
“When are you going to meet me alone?”
“When are you going to fuck me?”
“You know what we need to make happen in terms of what I said last time.”
It is important to note that certain, select texts are quoted in the complaint. It will be quite likely that all the texts between them will be revealed in discovery or at trial and this may show a different picture than the one being portrayed in the complaint.
According to the complaint, Nick allegedly tried to get Noelle to engage in sexual acts. He would get “extremely angry” if Noelle ignored him or did not go to his office alone or provide him with nude photos.
Noelle evidently did send him nude photos prior to the alleged rape. [The Reporter has seen, but does not possess, the nude photos, and they do not seem to be photos of a woman who was coerced into sending them. But it is not always possible to determine coercion through nude photographs].
To explain why Noelle sent nude pictures to Nick and otherwise complied with his alleged demands, the complaint alleges she “…felt as though she had a mental breakdown during this time period, between the severe worrying about what would happen with her case if she did not give in to [Nick’s] repeated sexual advances and threats.”
In September, Noelle allegedly went to Nick’s office alone for a meeting. Nick grabbed her face, she alleges, and began to kiss her, sticking his tongue in her mouth.
Noelle alleged she was “disgusted,” and asked Nick: “Are we talking more about my case?”
Nick allegedly replied, “another time.”
At the end of October, or early November, she is uncertain of the date, after Nick allegedly asked her to come to his office alone, she again came alone and when she arrived, she alleges Nick raped her.
She said she felt “disgusted, violated, and ashamed” after the alleged rape. The complaint provides no further details of the alleged act other than to say it occurred.
Explaining why she may have submitted to the [apparently nonviolent] rape, she alleges that Nick hounded her “…until she gave in out of mental exhaustion and being terrified of the adverse legal consequences [Nick] threatened her with.”
Noelle claims Nick gave her “a sexually transmitted disease – herpes,” when he allegedly raped her.
After the alleged rape, Nick allegedly demanded that Noelle delete texts and other messages from her phone. Since the lawsuit quotes texts from him, it is not clear if she complied with that demand in part, or not at all.
After the alleged rape, Nick would allegedly “beg” her to engage in more sexual acts and for her to send nude photographs.
While it is clear she sent nude photographs to Nick, what is unclear is whether she sent nude photos both before and after the alleged rape or only before the alleged rape.
After the alleged rape, Noelle said she tried to avoid taking Nick’s calls or responding to his messages. Noelle said she would have her fiancé call – and that Nick would get angry that her fiancé answered the phone.
Noelle alleges that she had additional meetings at Nick’s office, or in court, after the alleged rape. At these meetings, Nick would allegedly tell Noelle’s fiancé to wait outside.
When her fiancé would leave the room, Nick allegedly would “grill” her as to why she would not “sneak around” to see him.
According to the complaint, “Defendant would tell Plaintiff he would come over if she wanted to ‘screw her for a bit’ and show her what she’s ‘missing out on’ and would insist he’s ‘worth it.’”
According to one person who has seen the entire text exchange, Noelle expressed admiration of Nick’s physical appearance and made numerous sexually suggestive comments by text. These texts were not shared with the Reporter and so they remain unverified, just as most of the allegations remain unverified and may not be verified until trial is held.
Based on the complaint, Noelle evidently did not inform her fiancé during the term of Nick’s representation of the alleged rape, sexual assaults, and inappropriate behavior and was worried that Nick might tell him.
Nick’s behavior after the alleged rape made Noelle, she claims, “extremely uncomfortable and upset, particularly considering how much power Defendant possessed over Plaintiff and Defendant’s threats to tell her fiancé about the rape. Plaintiff’s anxiety got to the point that she would shake and be on the verge of tears seeing Defendant call her and knowing she had to appear in court with him.”
At a February court appearance in Wheatfield, Nick allegedly grabbed Noelle’s buttocks and told her to “make another office appointment happen.”
At every court date after the alleged rape, Nick would allegedly insist that “she made time for an office visit with him again, ASAP.”
Around March 9, 2020, Nick did not show up at a court date in Niagara Falls, because, Noelle alleges, she did not answer him or see him after being groped in the buttocks during the February court appearance.
Nick claims the reason he did not appear at court in Niagara Falls was because he had a conflict in his schedule – and that he assigned another attorney to attend the court appearance, which was not a hearing, and that Noelle and Ryan were adequately represented by that attorney.
Noelle allegedly called Nick afterward and asked why he did not attend court. She claims Nick replied: “When you decide to come to my office and make time to satisfy me, then we can talk about things going good in court.”
Nick denies this and every allegation made as utter fabrications.
After this, Noelle fired Nick as her lawyer, after seven months of representation.
In the lawsuit, as mentioned above, the allegation of the rape is somewhat vague as to the application of physical force. If it goes to trial, it will no doubt be explicitly described.
The complaint states, “Plaintiff did not consent to engaging in sexual intercourse with Defendant” and “Defendant coerced her into doing so by threatening negative ramifications for her legal case if she did not comply.”
This suggests that the allegation is that Nick did not use physical force, but psychological force, when he “coerced” her into having sex with him – and that her fear of losing the lawsuit may have prevented her from objecting when he had sex/raped her.
Can a Lawyer Have Sex with a Client?
The New York State Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct are clear: A lawyer may NEVER demand sexual relations with a client as a condition of representation.
If Noelle’s allegations are proven, Nick may be subject to disciplinary action by the State Bar for misconduct and/or violation of ethics which may result in suspension or disbarment.
The Rule is stated at 1.8 (j). A lawyer shall not: (i) as a condition of entering into or continuing any professional representation by the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm, require or demand sexual relations with any person; (ii) employ coercion, intimidation or undue influence in entering into sexual relations incident to any professional representation by the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm.”
The comment on this Rule, published in the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, warns of the dangers of consensual sex between lawyer and client but explicitly states there is NO PROHIBITION against consensual sex.
It reads, “[S]exual relations between lawyers and their clients are dangerous and inadvisable. Out of respect for the desires of consenting adults, however, paragraph (j) does not flatly prohibit client-lawyer sexual relations in matters other than domestic relations matters….”
It is possible that, if sexual contact occurred, Nick might have thought she gave consent, and that she even enjoyed the encounter, while Noelle felt coerced, raped, and assaulted.
Nick was her lawyer and allegedly was aggressive about getting her alone. He allegedly kissed her the first time they met alone. The second time they met alone, he allegedly had sex with her. In between, he allegedly committed various sexually suggestive acts via text and phone.
According to the complaint, Nick “groped her and sexually assaulted her on countless occasions while she was in his office for meetings pertaining to her legal case.”
That he was allegedly “harassing her, subjecting her to vulgar text messages, sexually assaulting her, and raping her” while “predicating his legal representation of Plaintiff on her performing sexual acts for him and failing to perform his duties as her attorney after she refused.”
A review of all texts between Noelle and Nick might be informative in revealing the extent of coercion Nick allegedly employed and whether Noelle’s text responses to his allegedly “vulgar” texts would have permitted him to understand she was feeling coerced.
I urge Noelle to release the texts in their entirety. I would understand if her attorney advised her not to do so and she declines.
In support of her claim for damages, Noelle’s attorney alleged in the complaint, “Plaintiff suffered tremendous emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, injury to her reputation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-pecuniary losses… severe emotional and physical distress… mental, emotional and physical injury, distress, pain and suffering… humiliation… and other injuries [and] medical costs … as a result of the stress and anxiety … [including] diagnostic analysis, treatment and therapy, and follow-up therapy.”
What Are the Possibilities?
(1) Noelle is telling the truth. Nick openly, blatantly, and knowingly coerced her into having sex, sending nude pictures, and enduring sexual assaults, such as groping and kissing, because she was terrified of losing her case with her landlord and suffered mental collapse because of Nick’s unrelenting, aggressive nature.
(2) The parties misunderstood consent. Noelle felt coerced while Nick thought she was consenting.
(3) Noelle is lying. She either made up the story of having sex or engaged in consensual sex.
Obviously, the accused has a motive to lie – to save oneself from prosecution and damaged reputation.
Can there ever be a motive for an accuser to lie?
In false rape cases, the motives of accusers have included:
-Money from a lawsuit
-Producing an alibi to cover up consensual sex while in a relationship with another
-A disturbed mental state
-Relabeling consensual sex to ‘rape’ because of its ‘disappointing or shameful character’
Some studies suggest false rape charges are more frequent than false reporting of any other serious crime. Several studies suggest that about 7% to 8% of reported rapes turn out to be false, more than twice as high as other serious crimes.
On the other hand, there is no crime where more guilty persons go unprosecuted than rape. According to the National Sexual Violence Center, “Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police.”
While 8% may be falsely accused, as high as 80 percent of rapists are never prosecuted – since more than 60 percent of rapes are never reported and of those reported, many rapists are not charged or convicted.
With 8% falsely accused and 80 percent never accused, there is no injustice like rape.
Did Not Report it Once
Noelle’s critics have asserted that the fact she did not immediately file a police report after the rape is a sign that she is not being truthful. This is not persuasive.
Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek, the DA for the county where the alleged rape occurred, said in an interview with NPR, “Sexual assault is one of those things we see every day in our office where people often don’t come forward immediately.”
It is not unusual that a woman, like Noelle, if she was raped, did not file a complaint until some 10 months after the alleged rape. As mentioned above, more women do not file complaints, than do.
What is unusual is that Noelle did go public on social media and appeared in more than a dozen live podcasts after the rape allegedly occurred to discuss it and expose her alleged rapist.
There may have been good reasons for her not to file criminally. She may have had little faith in the system, or no faith in the police. She might have felt Nick – a lawyer, and newspaper editor, with political connections [he has worked on the campaigns of several judges] – might have been too powerful to oppose in the legal world.
She may have decided her voice had to be heard in a way where she could control the outcome – by going on social media and podcasts. It may have taken time for her to muster the courage to go public.
I am told by a source that Noelle has filed a criminal complaint against Nick with the New York State Police. That does not mean Nick will be arrested. There may be an investigation – and, if so, that may lead to charges or a finding that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute.
It is now 10 months after the alleged rape. There is likely no physical evidence of whether a rape occurred. Had Noelle filed a criminal complaint right after it happened, there might have been evidence obtained through forensic work.
Yet, it is fully understandable that rape victims often do not immediately file complaints as they struggle with a range of emotions. After being raped, what victim wants to answer personal questions, endure an intensive physical exam, and evidence collection? Just completing the forensic exam or “rape kit,” can be a struggle for victims already in shock and terror, which causes many women to delay reporting rapes or not report them at all.
However, it should be noted that a police report of the alleged rape was filed about one week after [not before] the civil suit was filed.
If Nick is criminally charged, it will certainly bolster Noelle’s civil case.
Conversely, if he is not charged, it could potentially hurt her case for the defense could tell a civil jury that a criminal complaint was filed and no charges were leveled against the defendant.
One piece of evidence that may be persuasive might exist. Noelle alleges she got herpes from Nick when he allegedly raped her.
Imagine, if it is true, this poor woman went to an attorney. He gets her alone, as she alleges, rapes her and she gets herpes, for which there is no known cure.
This would mean, of course, that Nick has herpes because you can’t give someone herpes unless you have it.
If Nick has herpes, that is one mark against him. [Of course, he might have herpes, and not have raped Noelle.]
However, if Nick does NOT have herpes, that is one big mark in Nick’s favor.
I am offering to publish the results of a herpes test should Nick decide to take one. I urge him to take a test and release it.
I will understand if his attorneys advise him not to release such a report, even if it reveals he does not have herpes.
She Did Not Fire Nick for Five Months After He Allegedly Raped Her
Some have criticized Noelle for not filing a criminal complaint while continuing to use Nick as her lawyer for five months after he allegedly raped her.
This is not persuasive either.
There could be many reasons, including, as Noelle explained in her lawsuit, she did not want to lose the case Nick was handling for her.
Her former landlord, Glen Page was suing. If Noelle lost, she would have a $2,500 judgment against her that could ruin her credit and possibly allow the landlord to collect money through wage garnishee or possible attachment of bank accounts.
It is also possible that Noelle would have been successful on her counterclaim against Page, which was for $2,500.
Noelle says she was terrified of losing the case in which there was a range of results from winning $2,500, losing $2,500, or neither party owing anything to the other.
Some will undoubtedly scoff at the idea that one would even send nude photos, let alone submit to sexual advances over a small claims matter.
However, Noelle says her concerns were real. It is possible, and it seems to be suggested in the lawsuit, that she might not have understood that the legal consequences were only monetary.
If it is true, as she alleges, that Nick threatened her with consequences, it is possible that he exaggerated her legal jeopardy should she lose the case.
Nick denies that he ever threatened her with legal consequences and at all times explained that the worst consequence she could experience if she lost was a monetary judgment, which at some point might have to be paid.
Another accusation against Noelle is that this is a money grab. Her supporters insist this is not true – and that she is only interested in justice. The money is inconsequential, her friends say – she simply wants to stop a sexual predator and be a voice for women. The fact that she has publicly named herself adds to her credibility.
If it were about money, she could have simply demanded money, and remained anonymous. She did not have to put her name on the line publicly.
Noelle’s critics argue, however, that her first “ask” in the legal system was not to get Nick arrested by filing a criminal complaint.
Her supporters say that by the time she decided to use the legal system, it was long past the time any evidence was available to sustain a criminal charge, so she alleged a civil rape where the standard of proof is lower.
Her critics contend that her first “ask” was in the form of a demand letter [link] written by her attorney, Lindy Korn, a Buffalo attorney well known for litigating sexual misconduct lawsuits. At the time of the first demand letter in June, Noelle had been disparaging Nick for three months on social media and on videos broadcast on Facebook and YouTube.
In June, Noelle demanded $425,000 and included mutual non-disparagement as part of the conditions.
The non-disparagement offer might be viewed as a consideration made to induce Nick to settle. It is not unusual to settle cases for monetary damages and include non-disparagement or confidentiality agreements.
Attorney Korn, on behalf of Noelle, in her demand letter, claimed Nick committed “rape, sexual assault, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and breach of contract…
“However,” she wrote, “prior to filing a formal complaint, my client is interested in exploring a private and amicable resolution of this dispute…. my client has suffered severe emotional distress, including humiliation, injury to her reputation, embarrassment, anxiety, depression, self-harm, sleepless nights, and other tangible emotional distress as a result.
“Mr. D’Angelo gave [Noelle] a sexually transmitted disease – herpes – when he raped her. Accordingly, we believe that a jury will easily award her significant damages…. Mr. D’Angelo faces significant risks and exposure if this matter is litigated…. Clearly, if this matter is litigated, Mr. D’Angelo faces financial liability as well as significant negative publicity when the media develops an interest in this case….
“[Noelle] is willing to release her claims against Mr. D’Angelo for the following demands: 1. Mutual non-disparagement provisions; 2. Reimbursement for legal fees paid to Mr. D’Angelo in the amount of $500; 3. Damages for emotional distress and mental anguish in the amount of $425,000; 4. Defendant to agree to psychological treatment/counseling and proof of the same; and 5. Attorney’s fees and costs….”
In other words, Noelle was willing to resolve the matter for $425,500, plus costs, [or possibly for some other mutually agreed upon sum].
Noelle may not have been interested in money, but her lawyer informed Nick that with payment of money, Noelle would stop accusing him and the matter could be quietly settled.
Because of the non-disparagement condition, Nick would have likely been able to continue working at the county [he lost some $60,000 per year with salary and health insurance because of the lawsuit] and would not be today an outcast in the legal community.
In Noelle’s defense, she did demand that Nick get treatment or counseling as part of the agreement.
As we know, Nick declined to settle. The lawsuit was filed. Lindy Korn was right – the publicity has destroyed Nick’s life. That doesn’t mean Nick is guilty. It only means that prior to being found guilty, he is already being punished.
Significantly, Noelle says she is not the only victim. She claims there are up to 14 other women who will come forward to accuse Nick of similar conduct.
The Reporter requested proof of other women claiming Nick assaulted them or acted inappropriately from a source who has been working with Noelle to get her message out. He sent screenshots of texts between various anonymous individuals. These texts have not been verified as being genuine.
One exchange is purportedly from a woman [we will refer to her as Jane, not her real name] who says she worked as Nick’s intern several years ago.
In a text shown to the Reporter, the former intern, Jane, claims Nick pushed her up against a filing cabinet when they were alone in his office and “made out” with her. She asked him to stop and he apparently did.
She wrote, “The most he ever did to me was push me up against his filing cabinet and make out with me but I told him to stop. He would only ever want me to come in when no one else was going to be there, I felt so uncomfortable.”
Nick adamantly denies any inappropriate conduct with Jane.
“There was never a time when we were alone in that office,” he said. “She never came in after-hours or on a weekend. Somebody was always in the office.”
Jane is significant because, as of press time, she is, other than Noelle, making the most serious allegation against Nick that we are aware of – that he pushed her up against a filing cabinet and made out with her.
It is also rumored, but not confirmed, that Jane went with Noelle to state police, in the company of Noelle’s attorney, Lindy Korn, to add her complaint or tell her story alongside Noelle’s to police.
The Reporter asked to view texts between Jane and Nick to ascertain similarities to texts alleged by Noelle in her complaint.
In several texts, after Jane stopped working as Nick’s intern, Jane asked Nick if she could use him as a reference as she looked for a job. She also expressed a desire to work for his law firm. Nick texted that there was no position available.
In January 2020, she texted Nick, “Just so you know too I put you down as a reference again for a couple of firms a few days ago. I hope you don’t mind.”
Another text to Nick reads, “Just so you know I put you as a reference.”
A text exchange from February 18th, 2020:
Jane: “Hey I am filling out an application for a nursing home in Ransomville. I don’t think they will call because I know people there who are getting me in, but it’s okay to put you down as a reference right?!”
Nick: ‘Yes you can!”
Jane: “Thank you! I wish you guys were hiring (sad emoji) every place I found the hours were so shitty.”
Explaining why she used Nick as a reference, Jane texted Noelle, “I was put in a shitty spot because he was a good reference to have for jobs because when I was there he had me do some good learning things for my degree and I was afraid if I said something he would ruin my career which is why I never put him on blast and told him I left [as his intern] for another reason.”
However, Jane continued to communicate with Nick. In March 2020, Jane recommended Nick as a lawyer to a friend for a child support violation, texting, “My friend is looking for a lawyer and I said you!”
In April, Jane texted Nick seeking legal advice for herself: “Hey… what’s the process of getting a restraining order for harassment … my ex LOL.” Nick gave her advice.
She texted, “Thank you I appreciate you.”
In addition to Jane’s text, the source sent or allowed the Reporter to view text exchanges with three other women. If the messages are genuine, there were some exchanges that could be inferred to be flirtatious.
No further allegation was made or can be inferred from the texts shared with the Reporter.
To date, no woman, other than Noelle has publicly alleged rape.
Absent that, we are where we were in the beginning – investigating the truth of one man accused of raping and sexually assaulting one woman.
A Prior Conviction
Finally, the record will show that Nick had a prior conviction of a sexual nature. He was 16 and the girl was 14. He was accused of raping the girl under a stairwell in the Niagara Falls High School. He denied it.
He was charged with felony rape when the teen girl alleged he forced himself on her. It received a lot of publicity at the time.
A forensic examination, made the day of the alleged rape, suggests she was not raped.
According to Nick’s former attorney, Richard Saraf, who provided a copy of the medical examination of the teen girl to his client, “As you can see, SANE testing was performed on [redacted] at the hospital. These tests appear to have resulted in all negative findings. There is no specific ‘rape testing Kit’ per see, but the tests that were taken were negative. Possibly the Niagara Falls court records contain something in addition to the attached, but these records will give you the ability to say that plaintiff’s records from the hospital all proved negative.”
Nick was offered a plea deal of a misdemeanor sexual misconduct charge and the felony rape charge was dropped.
While Nick professed innocence, claiming he never sexually accosted the girl, and that she fabricated the story, he accepted the plea deal, avoided felony trial and admitted in court to having consensual sex with the girl. Because they were both under the age of consent, as part of the plea deal, he was afforded youthful offender status, a sealed record and, because of that, Nick has no criminal record.
It was also stated on the record that the sexual misconduct was due to age and not due to force.
To say he was convicted of a prior rape, as some of his online accusers have done, is technically wrong because he did not plead guilty to rape and he has no conviction for rape.
Nick’s life has been destroyed, rightly or wrongly, by an allegation without adjudication in court. He is punished before being found guilty – other than in the court of public opinion.
This should open the door to a full exploration of facts since it may take years before this goes to court.
Meantime, Nick is a pariah.
He may deserve it, but his punishment should come after, not before, it is adjudicated.
Of course, if the alleged victim did indeed experience rape or sexual assault, she should not be subjected to additional trauma.
Maybe the solution is to keep both the accuser and the accused’s names confidential until there is a legal ruling or final judgment of innocence or guilt.