ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Former Rockford Boylan standout Demry Croft went from being known for his accomplishments in football as a record-setting quarterback first at Boylan and then at the University of Minnesota and at Tennessee State to being known as the guy in the court room facing criminal charges.
At Tennessee State in 2018 he was the Tigers’ starting quarterback until he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery. The following August in 2019 Croft was arrested in Nashville and charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual battery. A woman had come forward claiming she was raped by Croft in Nashville the previous December, December of 2018.
(SCOTT QUESTION) Can you explain your side of the story? What happened? Why a woman would accuse you of something like that? What happened?”
(DEMRY CROFT) “I ask myself that every day.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) So you are saying the young woman who accused you of these things, she was just making this up?
(DEMRY CROFT) “Yes.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) It never happened?
(DEMRY CROFT) “Never happened.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) Did anything happen between you two?
(DEMRY CROFT) “No sir.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) Any conflict whatsoever?
(DEMRY CROFT ) “No sir.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) Were you friends?
(DEMRY CROFT) “Not even close.”
(SCOTT) Croft pleaded ‘Not Guilty” to the charges of rape and sexual battery. The charges and the case were later dropped.
(SCOTT QUESTION) So, this individual just decided she didn’t want to be a part of it anymore?
(DEMRY CROFT) “No parts of it. There were things that were left, that I can’t really speak of, but it was in the court documents that she left and said that she just couldn’t do it.”
(ROBERT CROFT/DEMRY’S FATHER) “She sent an email in to the courts that she lied and wasn’t going to show up, and the State rest their case. They dismissed it. It was over.”
(SCOTT) Croft has since filed a lawsuit against Tennessee State’s Board of Trustees claiming that his Title IX rights were violated. Under Title IX, hearings are held by panels at universities when allegations of sexual misconduct involving students and faculty members are brought up. The panel evaluates the accusations and the evidence.
Croft says university officials denied him his rights to a hearing and more. He was suspended from Tennessee State. He never played another football game there.
(ROBERT CROFT/FATHER) “On behalf of my son, where Tennessee State went wrong is they totally skipped over the Title IX process. When he was a student there, when they first got word of this, they were supposed to interview him, the accuser, and he (would have) had a chance to defend himself. He did not.”
(DEMRY CROFT) “I never had a Title IX case. I never appeared for one. I never talked to anyone from Title IX. I was just skipped right over into the court system and indicted.”
(DEMRY CROFT) “At that point in time, when I was still a student, I should have had a meeting with the Title IX EOI Equity Center and all of those people and sat down with the board of trustees and actually had that meeting for my due process.”
(SCOTT) Croft’s case against Tennessee State University is scheduled to go to court in January of 2025. His father says it could be a landmark case with regards to Title IX.
Croft was also accused of a crime by a young woman in Winnebago County a few years ago. I’ll have that story Thursday.
NOTE: We at WTVO AND FOX 39 don’t have an opinion one way or the other on the previous allegations against Croft or on Croft’s accounts of what happened. Cases like this are best left for the judicial system to decide.
While Croft was not convicted in this case, sexual assault and domestic violence are an issue in the Stateline. If you need to talk to someone, reach out to the Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling Hotline at 815-636-9811. Someone is available 24-7.
If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, visit our Stateline Strong page for resources.