Man who ran Hartford after-school program found guilty of sexually assaulting child

Hartford Courant [Hartford CT]

October 4, 2022

By Taylor Hartz

A man from Manchester who ran an after-school program at a Hartford elementary school and a home-based ministry has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a child, state officials said.

Robert Nichols, 43, was found guilty by a jury in Hartford Superior Court of two counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree and risk of injury to a child, according to a statement by Hartford State’s Attorney Sharmese L. Walcott.

According to testimony at trial, Nichols was running an after-school program connected to the Michael D. Fox Elementary School in Hartford during the 2009 and 2010 school year when he offered to let an 11-year-old boy stay at his home over the summer to help his mother “with disciplining the child,” Walcott’s office said.

During that time, Nichols sexually and physically assaulted the boy, according to court testimony and Walcott’s statement.

According to police, the boy came forward after learning that Nichols had been charged with assaulting an 8-month-old.

In the case involving the baby, he is charged with first-degree assault, risk of injury to a child and intentional cruelty to persons and is awaiting trial, according to police and court records.

Court records show that Nichols was first arrested by Manchester police in August 2018 and has pleaded not guilty in connection to the abuse of the baby. He was charged with assaulting the boy in May 2020, records show.

Nichols is set to be sentenced for the 11-year-old’s abuse on Nov. 29 before Judge Michael J. Gustafson, who presided over his trial.