Eric Humphrey, 29, will serve twin sentences of from 4-5 years each in the Nebraska State Penitentiary on two counts of child sexual assault. Humphrey will get credit for 401 days served in the county jail. The prison sentences will run concurrently, which means at the same time.
At maximum Humphrey will serve slightly less than three years, four months. He will also register as a sex offender.
After an extensive year-long investigation, Humphrey was arrested on March 6, 2012, along with roommate Paul Timmer. A teenage girl first told investigators that she and Timmer had sex in the men’s home and later told them Humphrey tried to have sex with her too.
Investigators compiled more than 600 pages of evidence. The investigation revealed that Humphrey had an ongoing sexual relationship with the girl, not Timmer, prosecutors said later.
After long consideration, the county attorney and defense attorney Michael Nozicka arrived at a plea agreement.
Humphrey agreed not to contest two charges if three other counts were dropped.
In court, Nozicka said Humphrey had a minimal past criminal record. He told the court that the District 9 Probation Office has recommended probation after the pre-sentence investigation.
Nozicka also said it was only after several interviews that the victim made any allegations against Humphrey, and he reminded the court that Humphrey’s co-defendant, Paul Timmer, once faced even more serious charges, which were later reduced to misdemeanors.
Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling said she would accept probation, but Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch took a sterner approach.
“The charges are more serious than that,” he said, before issuing the prison sentence.
Timmer’s charges were amended to misdemeanor child debauchery and abuse after investigators could only prove that he had knowledge of Humphrey having sex with the girl and did nothing about it.
He pled no contest to those charges and was sentenced on Aug. 16 to 165 days in jail -- the time he had already served.
Timmer was told in county court that he would not have to register as a sex offender, but later it turned out that he did, and he was instructed to do so at his sentencing.
Timmer never did register. He is currently wanted in Lincoln County for failure to register and remains unaccounted for.