Who is Thomas Joseph Nicol? 'Today' producer accused of raping 'intoxicated' woman, warned to keep off cocaine
Police alleged Nicol sexually assaulted the woman both 'digitally' and via penile intercourse on the night of the incident
A senior 'Today' show producer who was earlier accused of raping a "very highly intoxicated" and "vulnerable" woman in his house has been given a warning to keep off cocaine while police reveal that the case will rely on forensic evidence and text exchanges between him and the alleged victim.
Thomas Joseph Nicol, 32, the suspended supervising producer of Channel Nine's breakfast TV show, has vehemently denied a charge of sexual intercourse without consent over an alleged incident with a woman between 8.30 pm on January 29 and 6.30 am the next day. The Bondi man appeared in front of Waverley Local Court in Sydney's east on Tuesday morning.
Who is Thomas Joseph Nicol?
Thomas Joseph Nicol, known popularly as Tom Nicol, lives in the Greater Sydney Area, according to his LinkedIn profile. He worked as a supervising producer at the 'Today' show and in content and integration at Nine. He previously worked at Sky News, according to a 2012 interview posted on YouTube.
Nicol was charged with sexual assault in February this year, which he has since denied. New South Wales Police confirmed they arrested the 32-year-old at a Bondi home just before 7.30 pm on February 9. A February 11 report by The Australian stated that Nicol was granted bail with strict conditions including that he refrains from drinking alcohol and use social media and that he is home between 8 pm and 6 am. Police alleged Nicol sexually assaulted the woman both "digitally" and via penile intercourse on the night of the incident, that both were intoxicated and there was "a suggestion cocaine or other drugs may have been used", reported The Daily Mail. The show producer, however, has not been charged with any drug offenses.
“The allegations are strongly denied. The charge will be vigorously defended in court,” Nicol had said in a statement. But Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman on Tuesday believes that the prosecution case against Nicol "is strong". There was no issue with Nicol's identity, she said, adding that the alleged attack occurred at his house. Police had forensic evidence and that prosecutors will rely on text message evidence, she said in a report by the Daily Mail. The text messages, "do not fully implicate the accused", but would "certainly" be relied upon by prosecutors, the magistrate said.
The alleged victim was described by police as being "very highly intoxicated" when offence took place and said her "considerable vulnerability" came through in a case summary. There were claims that there was an alleged 'lack of concern' toward the victim on part of Nicol and that apart from alcohol, other drugs were "implicated" over the course of the incident.
'Friends around the edges'
Nicol's lawyer Penny Musgrave argued that the TV exec's bail conditions surrounding the night time curfew and ban from social media, should be removed. She said Nicol may not face trial for two years and he thus needed to "maintain his life" during such time that he does.
The magistrate warned Nicol, saying "If police suspect you are on any intoxicating substance including cocaine, alcohol, anything of that nature, they are able to test you. If you test positive they will detain you, in custody, is the likely outcome".
Huntsman declined to let Nicol back on social media, saying there were suggestions the couple may have been introduced through social media platforms and "there were friends around the edges as well". The case will resume in court next month.