Accused Flagler Estates rapist in custody

A St. Johns County man was arrested on charges of sexual assault, battery, assault with intent to commit a felony, armed burglary to a structure, and violation of probation early this yesterday morning.

The suspect, identified as 39-year old Joseph Edward Nichols, who resides at 10405 Underwood Ave., in Flagler Estates was booked into the County Jail on bonds totaling $1,200,000 on the new charges and no bond on the VOP charge.

The female victim, who is over 18 years old, stated that Nichols, who she knew, entered her Flagler Estates residence when no one was home and was allegedly acting strangely when she and another woman got home early Tuesday evening.

After the witness left the home, the victim stated that Nichols requested oral sex from the victim. When the victim refused, Nichols allegedly grabbed a knife from the kitchen and again demanded sex.

The victim said that when she refused again, Nichols threatened to harm her children — if she didn’t comply.

According to Media Relations Officer Kevin Kelshaw, Nichols tore the victim’s clothes while holding a knife to her head and committed a sexual assault. When the other witness returned to the home, Nichols left and the victim called the Sheriff’s Office.

Nichols was located at his residence and was taken into custody without incident. He was positively identified by the victim and transported to the St. Johns County Jail as the investigation continues.

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