Trial postponed in July rape case

Eliah J. Nick is accused of forcing a woman to have sex with him at the Capri Motel.

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WALLA WALLA -- The trial for a Lewiston, Idaho, man accused of raping a woman at a Walla Walla motel in July has been postponed a second time in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Eliah J. Nick, 27, had been set for trial starting today, but the proceedings now are scheduled for March 23. His trial initially was set to begin Oct. 20.

Nick is charged with second-degree rape for allegedly forcing the woman to have sexual intercourse with him July 30 in the room in which he was staying at the Capri Motel, 2003 Melrose St.

The woman, a female companion of hers and Nick had gone there after leaving a bar, according to a police report filed in court. The female companion reportedly told police she was outside the room smoking when she heard the victim saying "no" and sounding distressed. The companion said she then witnessed the alleged rape through the window that had curtains opened about six inches. She said she pounded on the door, it was opened and Nick "continued this activity," the report says.

The companion "grabbed (the woman) and got her out of the room," the police report continues. The companion later took the woman to Providence St. Mary Medical Center and police were called.

Police contacted Nick at the motel. In a statement recorded at the police department, he said the intercourse was consensual, both women encouraged it and they wanted him to go to a cash machine and get them $140 afterward, according to the report. He said he told them no and slammed the door.

Nick was arrested and booked into the County Jail, but was released the following day after bail was posted. He reportedly works for a railroad company and had been in the area finishing up a work assignment.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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