Decatur couple out on bond while facing child pornography charges

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) – Decatur police have made two arrests in a case they say was the focus of “dangerous” rumors last year.

The Macon County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a warrant was signed November 30 for Douglas Nichols, 54, and Kelly Nichols, 52. Sergeant Scott Flannery said the couple turned themselves in around 8 a.m. Wednesday, but he could not provide many details outside of what’s included in the jail booking sheet, given it’s Decatur’s investigation.

Decatur Police Chief Shane Brandel said a grand jury issued indictments on the following charges: aggravated criminal sexual assault of a victim under 13, child pornography and criminal sexual abuse involving force for Douglas Nichols, and possession of child pornography film/video/photos for Kelly Nichols.

However, the pair is already out of jail. Within an hour of getting booked, Kelly Nichols posted a $10,000 bond, and Douglas Nichols posted a $15,000 bond.

“A rumor circulating social media regarding police finding children locked in a storage shed is completely false,” then-Deputy Chief Brandel said in a July 2021 news release. He went on to debunk gossip spread about the nature of a sexual assault investigation and the people involved.

It started with a complaint the department received that May “from an individual alleging sexual assault that had occurred over 10 years ago by a subject known to them,” according to the release. That complaint led to what Brandel called a “complex” case involving “significant man-hours” and “serving multiple search warrants at different locations seeking evidence of the allegations.”

More than a year since the initial release, Brandel now confirms the arrests of Douglas and Kelly Nichols are related to this investigation. He referred WCIA to Macon County State’s Attorney Scott Rueter for further details on the charges. Rueter has not yet responded to WCIA’s request for comment.

Decatur Criminal Investigations Lieutenant Scott Rosenbery said the department will not be releasing additional information on the Nichols arrests at this time.

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