Herpes Test Casts Doubt on Accuser’s Story in NF Lawyer Rape Case; Will D.A. Investigate for Perjury?

Owner and Publisher of the Niagara Reporter Frank Parlato

By Frank Parlato

The Reporter is identifying the accuser only by her first name, Noelle, even though she has identified herself on social media and in public filings by her full name, in order to strike a balance between shielding alleged rape victims and not, as society and the media are so fond of doing, infantilizing adult women. 

When Noelle, a former client of lawyer Nicholas D’Angelo accused him of raping her, she swore he gave her herpes.

Noelle brought a civil suit on August 20 against Nick, then filed a criminal complaint a week later with New York State Police.

She alleged under penalty of perjury that Nick “gave plaintiff a sexually transmitted disease — herpes — when he raped her.”

 

Nick denied the allegations, claiming Noelle lied about the rape and about him giving her herpes.

Since Noelle waited 10 months from the time she alleged Nick raped her until the time she filed suit and a criminal complaint, there was no forensic evidence that remained that might prove the truth of her assertions. The only evidence that might still exist that might support Noelle’s story is her allegation that she got herpes when Nick allegedly raped her.

According to the CDC, “there is no cure for herpes.”

If he had herpes when he raped Noelle in late October or early November 2019, as Noelle alleges, [she is uncertain of the date] he would still have herpes and would test positive on a blood test.

The new evidence suggests Noelle was not telling the truth about the herpes allegation.

Nick, who was formerly managing editor of the Niagara Reporter, accepted the challenge of this publication and got an HSV2 [herpes] blood test performed by Quest Diagnostics on August 25, 2020 – five days after the lawsuit was filed.

The results, shared with the media, show he tested negative. Nick does not have herpes provided the blood test is accurate and authentic.

The Reporter confirmed that Quest Diagnostics requires patients to show photo ID to the lab technician before taking the test and, according to numerous studies, 99% of negative results from HSV2 tests are accurate.

“I’m not the one who gave her herpes,” Nick said. “I’ve never had herpes in my life, as the blood test proves. It is just another of the many falsehoods in her allegations against me. She obviously got herpes from someone other than myself and I suspect she made up the rape story to try to explain to her fiance how she got herpes and maybe gave it to him.”

Noelle declined to speak to the Reporter.

Her lawsuit alleges Nick used his role as her attorney to manipulate and psychologically coerce her into having sex, which she claims under the law constitutes rape since it implies she was not in a position to consent.

In the lawsuit, the allegation concerning the rape suggests there was no application of physical force.

The complaint [click here to read full complaint] states, “Plaintiff did not consent to engaging in sexual intercourse with Defendant” and “Defendant coerced her into doing so by threatening negative ramifications for her legal case if she did not comply.”

Nick represented Noelle in two small claims court disputes in Niagara Falls City and Town of Wheatfield courts involving her ex-landlord. It was not an eviction case as she and her fiance had moved out of the apartment by the time Nick began representing her.

Attorney Nicholas D. D’Angelo tested negative for herpes.The ex-landlord was suing Noelle and her fiance for $2,500 for alleged damages to the apartment.

Although it is possible that her landlord would have been successful in his claim, it is also possible that Noelle would have been successful on her counterclaim against the landlord, which was also for $2,500 — meaning that there was a possible range of results from losing $2,500 to winning $2,500 or anything in between including neither party owing anything to the other.

Noelle alleged in her lawsuit that she was terrified at losing the lawsuit, so she submitted to having sex and sending nude photos to Nick, alleging “she gave in out of mental exhaustion and being terrified of the adverse legal consequences [Nick] threatened her with.”

Noelle alleged she “felt as though she had a mental breakdown during this time period, between the severe worrying about what would happen with her case if she did not give in to [Nick’s] repeated sexual advances and threats.”

She admits she did not tell her fiance that she had sex/was raped or sent nude photos during the time Nick represented the couple, until March of this year, and she was “extremely uncomfortable and upset, particularly considering how much power Defendant possessed over Plaintiff and Defendant’s threats to tell her fiance about the rape.”

In a demand letter [click here to read full demand letter], sent prior to suing Nick, Noelle’s lawyer, Lindy Korn sought to settle the matter quietly and amicably for $425,000.

Korn explained that the media would “develop an interest” in the story if Nick did not settle and that if he did settle, Noelle would agree to a non-disparagement agreement which would prevent her from making public allegations against Nick.

“Mr. D’Angelo faces significant risks and exposure if this matter is litigated,” Korn wrote, “…. Clearly, if this matter is litigated, Mr. D’Angelo faces financial liability as well as significant negative publicity when the media develops an interest in this case…. [Noelle] is willing to release her claims against Mr. D’Angelo for the following demands: 1. Mutual non-disparagement provisions; 2. Reimbursement for legal fees paid to Mr. D’Angelo in the amount of $500; 3. Damages for emotional distress and mental anguish in the amount of $425,000; 4. Defendant to agree to psychological treatment/counseling and proof of the same; and 5. Attorney’s fees and costs….”

After Nick declined to settle, Noelle sued. Korn was right. Nick suffered tremendous reputational and financial damages after the lawsuit became public. He stepped down as managing editor of the Reporter, and the Niagara County Social Services, where he worked as a lawyer, placed him on indefinite, unpaid, administrative leave, costing him his $45,000 per year position and health insurance.  Nick’s private law practice also took a hit since few clients are seeking a lawyer accused of raping a client and giving her herpes.

Nick told the Reporter he will continue to fight for his reputation and, referring to the herpes allegation, quoted a Latin expression used in court to instruct jurors when deciding whether an accuser should be believed: ‘Falsus in uno; falsus in toto.”

False in one thing; false in everything.

When contacted by the Reporter, Noelle’s attorney, Korn, declined to comment on the merits of the case other than to say that “the complaint is the complaint” and that the allegations will be tried in court.

Meantime, a criminal investigation is looming.

With the new development, that Noelle swore under oath that Nick gave her herpes, when it appears he did not, State Police may not only investigate Nick for alleged sexual offenses but target Noelle for possible charges of perjury and filing a false police report.

NY Penal Law [§ 210.15] states “A person is guilty of perjury in the first degree when [s]he swears falsely and when [her] false statement (a) consists of testimony, and (b) is material to the action, proceeding or matter in which it is made. Perjury in the first degree is a class D felony.”

A D felony is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

 


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