By Lisa Pett
A Plover man wills serve 66 days in jail after failing to appear in court almost two decades ago.
The trial of Nikolas Nikolish, 37, was supposed to begin in June of 1997. Nikolish, then 18, had been accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl over a period of three months in 1996. He never showed up.
According to the criminal complaint, during an interview with a Portage County Sheriff’s detective about a theft, Nikolish admitted to having sex with the girl several times.
He had faced a charge of felony repeated sexual assault of a child, but that was reduced to a misdemeanor following a plea agreement, and he received credit for 50 days he’s already served. The plea agreement was approved by the victim in the case, according to Assistant District Attorney Cass Cousins.
Nikolish fled the state before his trial and, according to defense attorney, Gary Kryshak, was incarcerated in Idaho and Utah for various offenses. He had recently returned to live in Des Moines, Iowa and was living with his parents when he was arrested on the outstanding warrant in the sexual assault case.
Regarding the length of time Nikolish remained wanted for the crime, ADA Cousins said the original warrant issued in the case was an in-state only warrant, making it impossible to extradite Nikolish, even though he had several contacts with law enforcement during the past 18 years.
“Technology and procedures have changed,” said Cousins. “It is making it easier for us [the Portage County DA] to review old warrants more easily. We can reassess cases, especially the ones with the most serious offenses. We have been reviewing old cases and having new warrants issued, which made it possible to arrest and extradite Mr. Nikolish.”