Victim of Ozark teen's sex attack says he was attacked 2nd time
An 18-year-old man from Ozark who is charged in Christian County with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old acquaintance could eventually be charged with the same crime in Greene County. The acquaintance says Nicholas Cole went to his house in Springfield and attacked him again on the night after the attack at Cole’s house in Ozark.
Christian County prosecutors charged Cole last week with first-degree sodomy. He was jailed in lieu of a $75,000 bond, and would face a prison sentence between five years and life if he’s convicted.
Investigators believe Cole lured a 17-year-old baseball teammate to his home in Ozark by posing as a girl named Morgan. The victim said he communicated with Morgan for four to six weeks on Snapchat, a social media tool. After she gave him an address, he drove there on Jan. 5.
When the teenager got to Cole’s house, Cole told him the girl must have given him the wrong address and invited him inside to warm up and try to contact Morgan. That’s when the 17-year old man said Cole attacked and raped him. The victim said he eventually escaped out a bedroom window when Cole left the room. When he started his car, he said Cole came running out of the house but he managed to get away.
According to an application for a search warrant written by an Ozark Police detective, the victim said Cole sent him text messages that said he’d recorded the rape and would put it online if he told anyone. The next night, the victim said, Cole went to his home in Springfield, broke a screen, and got into the victim’s bedroom.
The victim said the invasion triggered an alarm and Cole told him to turn it off, but he refused because he hoped someone in the home would hear it. The victim said Cole “picked him up, took him to the alarm code and told him to turn it off or he would beat him up. (He) stated he turned it off. Nicholas then picked him back up, threw him over his shoulder and took him back to his room,” according to the detective’s statement.
The victim said Cole told him to take off his clothes but he refused, so Cole ripped off his clothes and again raped him. He again threatened to put the video online if he told anyone, the victim told the detective.
When detectives executed the search warrant at Cole’s home in Ozark on Feb. 22, they seized a desktop computer, an iPhone, an iPad, and a notebook computer. The detective told a judge that investigators wanted to look for the video that Cole might have recorded of the rape, and evidence of the Snapchat messages that he might have made while posing as Morgan. Detectives also wanted to look for torn clothing that the victim said he left behind, but they didn’t find those, according to the documents filed in Christian County Circuit Court. The documents say nothing about what detectives might have found on the electronic devices.
In an interview with the detective, according to the probable cause statement for the Christian County sodomy case, Cole admitted he used the fake name and gave the 17-year-old boy an address to meet Morgan.
“Cole admitted approaching (the victim) while (the victim) was still in his vehicle and inviting (him) into the residence. Cole explained that Cole and (the victim) were acquainted through sports activities. Cole admitted he invited (the victim) into his residence. Cole admitted that he and (the victim) ‘did stuff,’” the probable cause statement says.
At a Child Advocacy Center, the victim told a trained interviewer that “Cole ripped off his clothes” and sexually assaulted him. He “described that he received scratches on his arms while he was trying to physically resist Cole. (He) described fleeing through a window. Further, I observed that Cole is physically larger and outweighs (the victim),” the detective’s statement ends.
If Cole is convicted of first-degree sodomy in the Christian County case, he could get a prison sentence between five years and the rest of his life. His next court hearing is scheduled for March 20.
As of Friday, no charges had been filed against Cole in Greene County. Prosecutors and police don’t comment on pending investigations that might lead to charges.
Cole was a senior at Springfield Catholic High School and played on its baseball team in the spring of 2016 after previously attending Ozark High School. Springfield Catholic High School sent this statement to parents:
"The Administration is just learning of a recent, local news release which may raise concern: The "Catholic High School" student identified in the article is not currently attending Springfield Catholic High School and has not been in attendance since Feb. 17, 2017. Please keep the families involved in your prayers.
Principal Springfield Catholic High School"