Nickey Stane was arrested on October 3, 2019 and charged in the August 22, 1996 rape and murder of 22-year-old Debbie Dorian in Visalia, California.
Dorian had been bound and gagged with duct tape, and sexually assaulted by an intruder. Her father found her body inside her home when he went to look for her. She had likely been dead for up to two days. Dorian had been studying economics at Fresno State University.
A DNA profile of the suspect was obtained from the sexual assault kit performed at Dorian’s autopsy, and this was linked to a sexual assault in Visalia in 1999. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon.
Stane is also charged in a series of sexual assaults in Tulare County, California that took place between 1999 and 2002. The assailant in those attacks raped women at gunpoint, usually women walking alone at night. ‘John Doe Warrants’ had been filed to stop the statute of limitations from running. Stane is also charged with using a device to record women in a washroom without their knowledge.
Stane has previously been charged with several misdemeanor sexual assault charges in the 1980s, but these took place before the routine collection of DNA.
The charges against Stane are pending together in Frenso County Superior Court. Prosecutors have yet to announce whether they will seek the death penalty.
In July of 2021, the defence motioned to have the murder charge separated from the other rape cases, claiming that it would prejudice his trial. The defence motion was denied, and the defendant appealed to the 5th Appellate District Court of Appeal in December of 2022.
California v. Nickey Duane Stane. Second Amended Felony Complaint. Court No. VCF223788. Tulare County Superior Court District, Tulare County Superior Court Division.
Johnson, Brian. “Accused Sexual Predator Nickey Stane Who Terrorized Visalia Women 20 Years Ago Appears in Court.” ABC News 30, October 4, 2019. Accessed December 27, 2020. https://abc30.com/5593118/.
Fox 26 News. “Fresno Police name Nickey Stane of Visalia Primary Suspect in Debbie Dorian Murder.” Fox 26 News, October 4, 2019. Accessed December 27, 2020. https://kmph.com/news/local/fresno-police-to-release-information-related-to-debbie-dorian-murder-case.
KFSN. “Debbie Dorian Murder Suspect Hoping for Separate Trial on Tulare County Sex Crimes.” ABC 30 News, May 23, 2022. Accessed January 30, 2023. https://abc30.com/nickey-stane-trial/11886592/.
Rodriguez, Rich. “52 Year Old Visalia Man is Arrested for Sexual Assault Cases Dating Back 20 Years.” Fox 26 News, October 3, 2019. Accessed December 27, 2020. https://kmph.com/news/local/52-year-old-visalia-man-is-arrested-for-sexual-assault-cases-dating-back-20-years.
Rodriguez, Robert. “Alleged Serial Sexual Predator Enters Plea in ’96 Rape, Killing of Fresno State Student.” Fresno Bee, February 27, 2020. Accessed December 27, 2020. https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/crime/article240697541.html.
Rose, Sontaya. “Accused Murderer, Sexual Predator Nickey Stane Appears in Court, Denied Bail.” ABC 30, February 6, 2020. Accessed December 27, 2020. https://abc30.com/nick-stane-nickey-nicky-visalia-cold-case/5909651/.
Superior Court of California, County of Fresno. “Case Information: F20900679, The People of the State of California vs. Nickey Duane Stane.” Superior Court of California, County of Fresno. Accessed January 30, 2023. https://publicportal.fresno.courts.ca.gov/FRESNOPORTAL/Home/WorkspaceMode?p=0.
YourCentralValley.com Staff. “Visalia Man Accused of Killing Fresno State Student in 1996 Pleads Not Guilty,” YourCentralValley.com, February 28, 2020. Accessed December 27, 2020. https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/crime/visalia-man-accused-of-killing-fresno-state-student-in-1996-pleads-not-guilty/.