News4 Investigates: Nellsch’s girlfriend said they met through rape fantasy ad

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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**Editors note: this article contains graphic details

She knew she was in a bad emotional place when she saw the Craigslist ad.

Having escaped an abusive relationship, she’d moved to Cullman, Alabama, to start a new life.

But she felt alone, desperate to feel something.

The ad was unlike anything she’d even considered before.

Still, she said it felt thrilling.

“His ad was for a rape fantasy,” she said. “I’m not quite sure why I answered it. I thought, yeah, this sounds exciting, honestly.”

She talked to the man and arranged to meet at her apartment.

“He came in with a mask on. He came in with a knife. He cut my shirt off with the knife, and he got me tied up really easily. I was surprised at how fast I was on the floor, and he had my hands tied up,” she said.

At that moment, she described feeling uncomfortable.

“That’s when I freaked out a little bit, and the fantasy stopped there because I told him I do not like being tied up. I don’t like this. And he untied me,” she said.

That meeting would launch an affair that would last until he would be arrested on May 22, 2019, charged with kidnapping a woman in Clarksville, TN.

Until that arrest, she only knew him as Roy Nellsch, a kind, caring truck driver who admitted he’d fallen in love with her, despite being married himself.

“What enticed you - at all - to even begin a relationship with this guy?” asked News4 Investigates.

“Companionship, I guess. I was just really lonely, and he was nice,” she said.

She asked that News4 Investigates not reveal her identity, as she feels deep shame and regrets for her relationship with Roy Nellsch.

Still, she agreed to answer questions, hoping her admission about Nellsch’s secrets would compel other women to come forward if they know about any other potential victims.

“That is the only reason I am doing this,” she said.

Evidence photo shows bras discovered in Nellsch's truck
Evidence photo shows bras discovered in Nellsch's truck(Clarksville Police Department evidence)

At their first meeting, she said after Nellsch untied her, she asked if she wanted to see what he called his “bag of tricks.”

“The thing that really got to me, that I was shocked over, was that he had a thing full of pins. And he had a stun gun,” she said. “So he would have these long pins - he would put them through their skin - and he would use the stun gun on the pins. I guess to intensify the stun.”

She said Nellsch showed her what else was in the bag.

“He had a tire iron. I know he had some adult toys. He had rope. He had handcuffs,” she said.

She said that he was open about picking up women on the road.

“He was talking about different women he had picked up, and (they) actually enjoyed doing that,” Nellsch said.

In his interrogation with police, Nellsch mentioned frequently picking up women.

“I mean, once every two, three months,” Nellsch said.

Nellsch did not describe to police what happened with the women he picked up but did talk about being familiar with prostitutes.

Stun gun recovered from Nellsch's truck
Stun gun recovered from Nellsch's truck(Clarksville Police Department evidence)

“This ain’t my first rodeo out here with these girls trying to make a little money,” Nellsch said.

Despite the calls to his girlfriend, public records show Nellsch also called his wife while in jail.

That girlfriend told News4 Investigates that Nellsch made it clear that his wife was unaware of what he kept in his truck.

“I had gone into his truck probably two different times, and he had his bag of tricks in there. He had women’s bras hanging from one of the beds in there. I asked him about his wife - what she thought about that -and he said that this wife doesn’t ever go in the truck; she’s not allowed to,” she said.

The girlfriend said she believed Nellsch when he told the other women consented to his “bag of tricks” until she learned he’d been arrested for the kidnapping of Abbey Pimentel.

Pimentel described to News4 Investigates what Nellsch said to her as she escaped from his truck.

“He said, ‘I never expected you to fight that much. I’ve never had anyone fight this much before,” Pimentel said.

News4 Investigates asked the girlfriend if she now believed Nellsch was lying to her.

“I do think he was lying. Definitely, I think he was lying,” the girlfriend said.

News4 Investigates uncovered an Amazon ad for a bondage wrist and high restrainer that had a single review in our research.

Investigators in the case confirmed Nellsch left the review.

In the review, he writes as a description, “Only for small women. Won’t fit anyone except maybe a teen.”

Investigators confirm Roy Nellsch left troubling review on Amazon advertisement
Investigators confirm Roy Nellsch left troubling review on Amazon advertisement(WSMV)

The log of phone calls shows Nellsch wasn’t just talking to his wife and girlfriend from jail.

He spoke several times to Melissa Robinson, a fellow long-haul truck driver.

Robinson can be heard describing what investigators were saying about Nellsch.

“Saying what you did was heinous. It was evil. So I was like – that doesn’t sound like you at all,” Robinson said.

“They’re blowing it way out of proportion. But I figured they would,” Nellsch says in response.

Robinson, who said Nellsch trained her and once rode with him for more than a month, agreed to answer questions from News4 Investigates.

“Do you feel like that you actually knew him? Or was he living a double life?” asked News4 Investigates.

“Look, I knew there was stuff that Roy would stop and pick women up. He admitted that to me. But as far as being the type to try and force himself on women, being on the truck with him. No,” Robinson said.

When asked about the items found in Nellsch’s truck, from knives to guns to ropes, Robinson said she keeps those same items in her truck.

“That’s what I know it was. Equipment. Because I’ve been in Roy’s truck,” Robinson said.

Robinson also said that while Nellsch would not discuss the case because he knew he was being recorded, he maintained his innocence.

“He intended to go to trial. And he reviewed the evidence package and said it had all kinds of holes he could punch in the prosecution’s story,” Robinson said.

As for Nellsch’s wife, she did not respond to a letter, emails, and calls from News4 Investigates.

In the conversations, Nellsch details to her all the steps she needs to take to make sure she has enough money to live.

He repeatedly tells his wife that he loves her and their children.

When Nellsch died in March from acute lymphomic leukemia, he left behind women whose lives he’d changed.

“I hope if any of them see this production, that they can stop looking around the corner. And know that he died in jail,” said Mark Wildasin, U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee.

For Nellsch’s girlfriend, once she learned of what investigators found in his truck, she stopped taking his calls.

“I just feel like a complete fool. It’s super embarrassing for me. I’m shocked at my behavior. Looking back on it, and after going through therapy, I’m shocked about my behavior,” she said.

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