Former Northwestern student pleads not guilty to criminal sexual assault, battery

Former Northwestern student Nicholas Nelson, 22, pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony sexual assault and battery Wednesday.

The charges follow events in February when Nelson, a former McCormick junior, attended a party where a female Northwestern student told police he sexually assaulted her. After a Title IX investigation through Northwestern’s Office of Equity, Nelson was expelled, according to a statement issued by the University. Though Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office initially did not find probable cause for assault, police continued the investigation and eventually arrested Nelson on Oct. 31 on a $50,000 bail.

He was indicted by a grand jury on Nov. 20.

Nelson’s attorney Steven Fine informed Judge Aleksandra Gillespie Wednesday that Nelson would be pleading not guilty, and requested changes to the terms of Nelson’s bail — terms Gillespie said she set.

Fine requested that Nelson be able to seek employment in Palatine, Ill., where he currently lives, and that he be allowed to go home to Minnesota to see his family over the holidays.

Gillespie suggested Nelson set up an interview with a prospective employer before requesting clearance to work.

Nelson, who will likely appear in court again on Dec. 18, declined to comment.

This is a developing story.

Email: cameroncook2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @cam_e_cook

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