An Omaha man was sentenced Tuesday to nine to 10 years in prison for raping an unconscious 16-year-old South High student.
Douglas County District Judge Greg Schatz sentenced Nicholas Bregg — now 20, then 18 — to the term for the Feb. 15, 2014, rape that occurred after Bregg and codefendant Javohn Templeman carted the unconscious girl out of a house party.
Under state law — which cuts most sentences in half — Bregg must serve 4½ years in prison before he is eligible for parole; absent parole he will be released after serving five years.
The Douglas County Attorney’s Office had offered both Bregg and Templeman a plea bargain that would reduce first-degree sexual assault to second-degree attempted sexual assault and false imprisonment. Prosecutors said they had concerns about the police investigation and they hoped to avoid putting the victim through a trial.
Tests had shown that both Templeman’s and Bregg’s semen were found in the girl. However, police did little to find out who else may have assaulted the girl at the party near 33rd and Jefferson Streets in South Omaha. And despite the DNA tests that pointed to the two men, nearly a year passed between the crime and the filing of charges. That prompted Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer to apologize to the victim’s family and to launch an internal investigation.
Despite those concerns, Judge Schatz said he had no doubt that a jury would have convicted Bregg of first-degree sexual assault. Schatz said he understood that the County Attorney’s Office offered Bregg a deal because of Bregg’s young age and his lack of criminal record and because of concerns about the investigation.
Bregg’s attorney, Glenn Shapiro, called Omaha police’s probe a “jacked-up investigation” that didn’t uncover what happened to the girl at the party. One of the detectives in the case has defended the police investigation — noting that Bregg, Templeman and Templeman’s sister were convicted. The sister, Jalyia Templeman, was convicted of a child-pornography charge after posting a photo of the half-naked girl on Instagram. She faces up to 20 months in prison when she is sentenced next month.
Javohn Templeman, who took his case to trial, was convicted in October and will be sentenced Friday. He faces up to 50 years in prison — which equates to 25 years, real time.
Bregg told the judge he was sorry but that he didn’t remember that night.
“I just want to apologize from the bottom of my heart,” Bregg said. “I’m not a bad guy at all.”
Prosecutor Beth Beninato took issue with Bregg’s contention that he didn’t remember. She noted all the things that Bregg did that night. He talked to the victim and shared a drink with her. He synced his phone with a speaker in the basement. He and Templeman helped carry her upstairs after she passed out.
They loaded her in a car, then hauled her up 19 steps to the bedroom of a friend’s house. The two took turns raping her. At one point, Bregg pulled Templeman off of the victim as Templeman raped her. Moments later, a female friend awoke to find Bregg raping her.
Finally, they dumped her, bruised and battered, at her curb. She then crawled across the front lawn toward her South Omaha home.
The victim, now 18, attends a different school. She’s recovering but is reeling from vexing questions about who else might have assaulted her at the party.
“Because they’re such a strong family unit, (the victim) will recover ... with time,” Beninato said. “But it is gut-wrenching to listen to how this defendant’s actions affected not only (the victim) but how they have affected her entire family.”
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