Nowicki Convicted of Child Sex Crimes

Aaron James Nowicki, age 49 was convicted of Child Sexually Abusive Activity on
September 28, 2023 by a jury of his peers. The jury heard testimony from several police
officers, a forensic computer expert, and the defendant himself. The case arose from an
undercover collaboration between the Genessee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST), the
Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department, and Sault Tribe
Police Department, and TRIDENT.

The undercover operation included use of the social media application Grindr, which
permits individuals to meet for sexual encounters. Testimony revealed that while the terms of
service require that users be at least 18 years old to use the site, minors in Chippewa County
have been using it since before the GHOST operation took place in 2021. During the operation,
undercover officers posed as a 15-year-old boy, and several individuals, including the defendant,
were arrested when they arrived at the location for sexual intercourse. The case had received
media attention prior to trial due to the fact that Nowicki was removed from the Catholic
Priesthood in 2019 due to alleged sexual misconduct.

The case was presented to the jury by Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jillian Sadler
with the assistance of lead investigator Detective Kristin Autore from the Sault Ste. Marie Police
Department. When the defendant took the stand, he testified that he has been an active user of
Grindr over the past 11 years, and has had sexual relations with several individuals whose
profiles indicated that they were 18 years of age. When pressed, he admitted that he never asked
any of them their actual age. He testified that relied solely on the age stated by their profile,
while also admitting that he knew that people under the age of 18 would sometimes use the site,
and would have to tell Grindr that they were 18 or older in order to do so. Ultimately, the jury
determined that the defendant failed to take reasonable precautions to determine whether the
person he was meeting for sexual intercourse was 18 years of age or older.

According to Prosecutor Stratton, “The protection of our children ultimately falls to the
parents and community, though law enforcement will continue to do everything in their power as
well. Parents need to be aware that these social media platforms exist as they pose a very real
danger to teenagers who are looking to spread their wings, and may accidentally fall straight into
the arms of a predator. The undercover operation revealed that our small community is not free
of those would prey on children.” Sault Ste. Marie Police Chief Wesley Bierling echoed the
sentiment and further stated, “The officers in this case did an exemplary job of locating child
predators and removing them from our community. Too often, cases are referred to law
enforcement after a child has become a victim and suffered traumatization. This type of inter-
agency cooperation makes Chippewa County safer for everyone. I applaud all the agencies
involved in this proactive operation for their hard work and dedication to the safety and security
of our most valuable resource, our children.”

Nowicki will be sentenced in the 50 th Circuit Court, but a date has not yet been set.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *