Nichols now facing 13 countsPublished 7:09pm Friday, June 10, 2011
An 18-year-old Niles resident is now facing 13 charges stemming from allegations of criminal sexual conduct involving three female minors.
The pre-examination for Trey Nichols continued Friday in Berrien County Court in Niles. Nichols was arrested May 12 along with Niles residents Parnell Martin, Leon Murphy and Martise Washington, all 18, and Martell Miller, 17.
Nichols was arraigned on one count of criminal sexual conduct in the 1st degree; three counts of arranging to manufacture or finance child sexually abusive material; one count of extortion; and three counts of surveillance.
At the start of Thursday’s court proceedings, a total of four more counts of criminal sexual conduct in the 1st degree were added to those charges Nichols was already facing.
Three female witnesses were heard from during the proceedings, each of whom had allegedly been filmed or video recorded by Nichols. One of the victims engaged in sex with Nichols.
Prosecuting attorney Steve Pierangeli added a 13th charge Friday for surveillance of an unclad person.
Nichols’ attorney, Tat Parish, requested that Judge Scott Schofield allow an expert to examine the sex video of Washington and one of the victims because a radio could be heard in the background, making the conversation difficult to hear. Schofield denied the request.
Parish also requested to make a written motion claiming the prosecution has not released all evidence in the case. The attorneys for Miller, Martin and Washington — who also appeared in court in St. Joseph Thursday — are also submitting motions by 4 p.m. Monday. The prosecution has until 4 p.m. Monday, June 20 to issue a response. Oral arguments will then be scheduled.
A fifth defendant, Leon Murphy, has pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in the 3rd degree and possession of child pornography. He testified in court Thursday.