A Burnsville man is facing a single felony charge after police say he pushed a woman into a bedroom and sexually assaulted her during a party at an Eagan apartment.
Christopher Robert Nicholls, 22, was charged with one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Police were dispatched to an apartment complex in Eagan at 2:07 a.m. on Oct. 21. When they arrived, they spoke with a female victim, who said she had attended a party that evening with her boyfriend and a number of other people.
The woman told police she was walking out of a bedroom when she encountered a man in the hallway. The man allegedly pushed her back into the bedroom, shut the door behind him and pushed her onto the bed. The woman told police the man said "I know you want it," despite her repeatedly saying "no".
The man allegedly pulled her shorts down and began performing sexual acts on the woman, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Dakota County Attorney's Office.
At that point, one of the woman's friends allegedly walked in while the assault was taking place. The female friend told police the victim looked scared when the friend entered the bedroom, according to the complaint.
The victim's friends allegedly told the man to leave the party. Police, searching the area, found a man matching a description given by the victim at a gas station. The man was identified as Nicholls. Police brought the victim to the gas station, where she positively identified Nicholls as the assailant, according to the complaint.
Nicholls, who was interviewed by officers, initially denied being at the apartment where the assault took place. He later admitted going into the apartment to use the restroom, and said he and the victim kissed twice after she jumped on him in the hallway.