HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — Thanks to DNA testing, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office was able to solve a 1983 sexual battery case involving a 12-year-old girl. 

  • 1983 sexual battery case solved in Hernando
  • Williams Nichols accused of raping a 12-year-old girl
  • Nichols died on October 23, 1998 in Orlando at the age of 57

According to officials, William Nichols is accused of raping a young girl in 1983. 

The sheriff's office was able to obtain DNA evidence from the original crime scene and sent that off to DNA Labs International in Deerfield Beach, Florida, and Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping and genetic genealogy. 

The technology is able to narrow suspect lists and generate leads in criminal investigations.  The evidence collected in 1983 was reviewed, and it was determined that a sufficient DNA sample of the suspect existed.

From the DNA evidence, the company Parabon produced trait predictions for the associated suspect.  Their research developed a profile, including the suspect's ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape, that was consistent with the known suspect's physical description. 

Parabon was able to conduct a genetic genealogy analysis and provided the results to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.  From there, Hernando detectives were able to identified William Nichols as the suspect.  Officials said Nichols had died on October 23, 1998 at the age of 57 in Orlando, Florida. 

Officials said Nichols had a criminal history of sexual offenses, including rape, that were committed in Wisconsin prior to moving to Florida.  Those crimes ranged from 1958 to 1972.  He went to prison on only one of the charges.