Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 8:55 am | Fair 48º


Jury Finds Santa Maria Man Guilty of Child Molestation, Solicitation to Commit Murder

A jury on Thursday found a Santa Maria man guilty of 16 felony counts, including child molestation and solicitation to commit murder charges.

Felix Nicolas, 39, was found guilty of 16 counts of sexual abuse, including solicitation to commit murder, aggravated sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14, oral copulation of a minor under the age of 14, rape of a minor under the age of 14 and attempted sodomy of a minor under the age of 14, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Thursday.

She said Nicolas sexually assaulted three girls between the ages of 9 and 13 at the time of the crimes.

While incarcerated in the Santa Barbara County Jail, Nicolas hired a fellow inmate to kill two of the victims who are currently ages 21 and 23, Dudley said.

The inmate told a guard about the plan to kill the two victims, and he assisted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department in an investigation into the murder for hire.

"As a result of the bravery of the testifying witness, the exemplary investigative work on the part of the Santa Maria Police Department and Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department, and eventual prosecution by Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Duffy, Nicolas will spend the rest of his life in prison and will never have the opportunity to harm another child," Dudley said in a statement.

Nicolas faces up to 221 years in prison, with sentencing scheduled for Dec. 18.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >