Former college football player admits to rape, gets probation

Former Montana Technological University football player Derek Nygaard, who was charged with raping his ex girlfriend in 2020, as well as sexually assaulting another woman, was sentenced last week to probation with counseling.

The unusually light sentence was handed down with acknowledgement by the judge that it was not common practice. The judge noted that one of the only reasons it happened is because Nygaard’s two victims agreed to the no-prison plea deal and took pity on how a prison sentence could affect the rest of Nygaard’s life.

Nygaard agreed to probation and counseling, as well as 6 years as a registered sex offender in lieu of prison time. He told the court he had bettered himself since the incident.

“I have begun the long process of maturing and taking on the responsibility of becoming a man my family and I can be proud of,” Nygaard said. “This work has just begun, and I sincerely regret having to stand before you today. However, it will be the last I will ever find myself here.”

The rape took place in 2020 but Nygaard was not charged until 2021, when he was no longer a football player or a student of Montana Tech.

The judge told Nygaard at the sentencing hearing, “What influences the court the most … is that the victims have indicated that they feel that you should be given a chance,” Judge Kreuger said, “and this chance you are getting is an incredible chance.”

If Nygaard fails to follow the requirements and conditions of probation he could be sentenced up to life in prison.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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