ST. GEORGE – In 5th district court Wednesday, a man accused of violently raping his ex-girlfriend last year was sentenced to serve 15 years to life in prison.
Nicholaus Nester, 36, of St. George, was sentenced by Judge G. Michael Westfall to serve time in prison for first-degree felony rape, first-degree felony forcible sodomy, and second-degree forcible sexual abuse. Each first-degree felony carries a five-years-to-life prison term, while the second-degree felony carries a one- to 15-year prison term.
Nester pleaded guilty to the charges Feb. 11.
Prior to Westfall issuing the sentence, the victim in the case, Nester’s ex-girlfriend, was allowed to address the court. Sitting behind the woman as she read a prepared statement were supporters who filled roughly half of the gallery seating.
Though Nester said he was sorry for what had happened, the woman said, his actions proved otherwise. He wasn’t sorry he sexually assaulted her, she said, but rather sorry things didn’t end the way he had intended that day.
The incident took place on Aug. 25, 2014. According to court documents, Nester had gone to his ex-girlfriend’s home to pick up some personal items. After getting inside the home, Nester pulled the woman from her desk and hugged her. She hugged him in return and then said she had to get back to work. At that point, Nester threw the woman on a bed and started to remove her shirt.
The woman struggled with Nester, telling him “no” repeatedly. According to court documents, he told her, “I’m bigger than you and stronger than you, so stop fighting it.”
As the incident progressed, Nester slapped, hit and choked the woman multiple times. After raping her, he forced her to take a shower, get dressed and then go into the kitchen. While in the kitchen, he told her to pick up a knife. When she didn’t, he grabbed a knife and told her to stab him with it. The woman refused. At this time, Nester turned back into the kitchen, allowing the woman a chance to escape to a neighbor’s home, where she called police.
Nester began to chase after the woman but then ran away from the scene. He was later found and apprehended by police after a short chase.
Nester told police he had been drinking, using drugs and taking pills the night and early morning prior to the incident and that he had blacked out. He also denied raping the woman.
Nester was subsequently arrested and charged with the felonies related to the incident.
In the courtroom Wednesday, the woman told Nester she wants him to serve the rest of his life in prison.
“Until you die, you will be labeled a sex offender and a rapist,” she said. “I hope no one takes pity on you.”
Nester’s attorney, Aric Cramer, said Nester was “really a Jekyll and Hyde kind of person.” When high on methamphetamines, Nester becomes “feral and someone else” and “turned into a very dangerous person,” he said.
Off the drugs, Nester is capable of loving others and being loved, Cramer said.
“I’m just not sure if there’s much rehabilitation that can be given to the defendant in this case,” Westfall said before issuing Nester’s sentence.
Once the hearing concluded, the woman and her supporters filed out of the courtroom and into the hallway. Smiles and expressions of relief were on many of their faces.
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