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In July, 1979, parents sent a letter to Archbishop Weakland reporting sexual advances by Nichols toward their child while at a vacation cottage. Archbishop Weakland responded in August, 1979, promising that Nichols would receive the appropriate spiritual and psychological help needed.
In 1979, a senior in high school wrote a letter to Archbishop Weakland reporting sexual abuse by Nichols four years previous at St. Aloysius Parish, West Allis. Archbishop Weakland responded in August, 1979, saying that Nichols would receive the appropriate spiritual and psychological help needed and advised that the teenager seek counseling. Also in 1979, the parent of this high school senior filed a letter of complaint with the State Psychology Examining Board, reporting that Nichols had abused the child four years previously. There is no record of a response from the Board.
In 1981, Nichols was relieved of active ministry to function in private practice as a psychologist. His faculties were not withdrawn and he was permitted to serve in a help-out capacity as well as serve at the Visitation Convent in Elm Grove.
In March, 1984, notice of a disciplinary review by the state licensing agency was issued due to a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor in 1978. In September, 1984, Nichols chose not to respond to the complaint which led to the relinquishing of Nichols’ license to practice as a psychologist.
In February, 1985, a newspaper article reported that Nichols pled no contest to a formal complaint of sexual contact with a minor client. Nichols had no assignment at the time and subsequently his faculties were withdrawn. He was permitted to celebrate Mass privately.
In July, 1985, Nichols met with Archbishop Weakland. Nichols accepted no blame for his actions.
In June, 1993, an individual made a telephone report of sexual abuse by Nichols from 1966 when the individual was 13-years-old at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Milwaukee. The individual followed up with a July, 1993, personal meeting with a coordinator of the office handling sex abuse claims. This same coordinator sent a letter with background information on Nichols’ history along with newspaper clippings from the time his license hearings took place.
In 1993, a civil suit was filed against the archdiocese due to sexual abuse by Nichols occurring at St. Aloysius Parish, West Allis.
In April, 1994, Vice Chancellor Father James Connell, met with Nichols in the hospital where Nichols was recovering from a heart attack but also dying of cancer. Father Connell obtained Nichols’ agreement to issue an apology to an individual he had sexually abused. Nichols also signed a release of all of his documents for use in the civil case. A settlement in the civil case was reached in 1994.
In May, 1995, the previous restrictions on Nichols were formalized into a canonical precept restricting all public ministry. He was permitted to celebrate Mass in a convent.
Nichols died in July, 1996.
In 1999, there was a report of sexual abuse by Nichols by an individual who reported the abuse as occurring in 1977.
In 2002, there were two reports of sexual abuse by Nichols by two individuals who reported the abuse as occurring in 1969 and 1978.
In 2003, there were two reports of sexual abuse by Nichols by two individuals who reported the abuse as occurring in 1959 and 1972.
In 2010, there was a report of sexual abuse by Nichols by an individual who reported the abuse as occurring in 1970.
This narrative is based on facts contained in documents related to this Diocesan priest offender.
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