Former Northwestern student faces charges of criminal sexual assault, battery

Kristina Karisch, City Editor

Former Northwestern student Nicholas Nelson, 22, faces three charges of felony sexual assault and battery.

Nelson, a former McCormick junior, was attending a party on the night of Feb. 3 and going into Feb. 4, according to Evanston Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew. A female Northwestern student who was attending the same party who said she had been friends with Nelson for “several years,” told police Nelson sexually assaulted her at the party.

She filed a Title IX report with the University, Glew said, and made statements during the proceedings that substantiated the filing of criminal sexual assault charges. The University said in a statement that Nelson was expelled after the University’s Office of Equity investigated the incident and the matter was adjudicated through the student conduct process.

Glew said the woman remembers being attacked and choked by Nelson.

Her injuries were consistent with assault and strangulation, Glew said.

Following the Title IX report, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office initially did not find probable cause for assault. But police continued the investigation, Glew said, and eventually arrested Nelson on Oct. 31, when the charges were filed. According to, civil proceedings resulted in his expulsion from the University and prosecutors approved the felony charges.

Nelson is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 20, Glew said, and will most likely be brought before a grand jury.

Nelson was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday and will appear in court on Nov. 28.

Cameron Cook and Amy Li contributed reporting.

This article was updated at 12:30 p.m. with University comment and at Nov. 21 at 3 p.m..

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Twitter: @kristinakarisch