Park Forest, IL — As TFTP reports on a regular basis, police officers are constantly in the news for betraying the trust of the communities they serve. Many times they are caught preying on the elderly, or robbing innocent citizens, but perhaps the most disturbing and all too common crimes are when cops prey on children. A Park Forest cop has been charged for allegedly preying on society’s most vulnerable — hundreds of times.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Harry Gillespie Nicholson IV, 47, has been charged with multiple high-level felonies and is currently in custody. A bond was set, but as of the writing of this article, Nicholson remains behind bars.
Nicholson was fired from his job as a Park Forest cop in March after the allegations surfaced. According to police, a victim came forward from Indiana, where Nicholson used to live. The girl reportedly asked her parents to leave the room when she told detectives what Nicholson had done to her as not to upset them.
The girl, who is now 18, told police in March that Nicholson started molesting her when she was just 4-years-old. When she was 12 and old enough to fight back, he began raping her, according to the charges.
According to the affidavit, she didn’t tell her family out of fear of what Nicholson may do and didn’t want them to get hurt. She told police that over the course of 14 years, she estimated Nicholson raped her around “1,500” times, according to the affidavit.
After the girl and her family moved to Lowell in 2018, Nicholson reportedly raped her twice a week amounting to “hundreds of times,” the victim said, according to court documents.
The victim’s allegations were backed up by another witness who told police they were terrified of what he might do. Nicholson, according to the witness, was a “former Marine,” who had “lots of guns,” according to the affidavit.
Among other charges, Nicholson is now facing rape, a level 3 felony, sexual misconduct with a minor, a level 4 felony, child seduction, a level 5 felony, sexual misconduct with a minor, a level 5 felony, child seduction, a level 6 felony, and child sexual battery, a level 6 felony.
Nicholson is due in court on May 27. According to court records, he has already entered a plea of not guilty.
If convicted on all charges and if he receives the maximum penalty for them, Nicholson faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in jail. However, as TFTP reports on a regular basis, child raping cops, often times, receive little to no jail time even when convicted of the most heinous crimes against children.
What’s more, many times the abuse is known about within the department and the top brass help to cover it up. As we reported last month, this was the case in Boston, as newly released documents were released detailing the abuse and cover-up of said abuse carried out by Patrick M. Rose Sr., the former president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association and Boston PD detective.
Rose has been charged with molesting children and the documents prove the department knew, and allowed him to continue to serve in their ranks and even engage with children for years.
The documents are redacted copies of internal affairs investigations into Rose. Boston Mayor Kim Janey’s office said the information was released to shed light on the baffling case of how Boston’s top cop was allowed to go on abusing children for decades.
“It is appalling that there was a documented history of alleged child sexual abuse, yet this individual was able to serve out his career as an officer and eventually become the head of the patrolmen’s union for several years,” she said. “Under no circumstance will crimes of this nature be tolerated under my administration, and we will not turn a blind eye to injustices as they arise.”