"It was just terrible," Nicholas Kollias tells Elizabeth Smart

By Chris Harris
November 16, 2017 05:47 PM
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One of the two University of Rochester students kidnapped in 2015 before being tortured and sexually abused over 40 hours is breaking his silence about the attack, in which nine people were involved.

On today’s episode of Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, Nicholas Kollias opens up to special correspondent Elizabeth Smart, who herself was abducted and sexually assaulted in 2002.

Smart asks Kollias if he was abused sexually during his confinement. He tells her he was.

“At one point, these individuals thought it would be funny or something that they took pleasure in doing and they forced me to kinda do things and it was just terrible,” Kollias recalls in a clip provided to PEOPLE. “Yeah, it happened and it’s the worst feeling ever.”

Kollias says his assailants took turns torturing them with hedge trimmers, bats, pipes, light bulbs, and guns. He was also shot in the leg.

Throughout his 40-hour ordeal, Kollias tells Smart he focused on his family.

“I thought about my family and how much I mean to them and they mean to me… I didn’t want it to be the end,” he says.

Nicholas Kollias
Elizabeth Smart
Warner Bros.

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“That’s what it was like for me as well…The fact that my parents would always love me…and for me, that was worth surviving for,” Smart adds.

Kollias recalled being in the emergency room with his attackers just feet from his bed.

“It was extremely terrifying to have these individuals a couple of feet away from me, not even in handcuffs,” he tells Smart. “They just had a police officer with them. They made me do head movements for identifying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ if these were the people. It was just so terrifying.”

A SWAT team was called in to save Kollias and Ewo, who are listed as current and past players for the school’s football team. Both were taken to a nearby hospital after being rescued and were treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Nine Convicted in Connection With Incident

Nine people went to prison in connection with the incident.

Lydell Strickland was convicted of kidnapping, gang assault, predatory sexual assault, robbery and weapons possession. He was sentenced to 155 years in prison, online court records confirm.

David Alcarez-Ubiles was convicted of kidnapping and weapons possession and sentenced to 15 years. Elliot Rivera pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to 35 years.

Jesus Castro-Ubiles convicted of two counts of kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon, and sentenced to 35 years.

Samantha Hughes pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to 15 years.

Leah Gigliotti pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to 15 years.

Dennis Perez pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree kidnapping and was will sentenced to five years post release supervision.

Inalia Rolldan and Ruth Lora were convicted of kidnapping and weapons possession and sentenced to seven years in prison and five years of post-release supervision.

Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen airs Thursday. Check local listings for times.