ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Demry Croft’s football career and his life came apart at the seams a few years ago. The former Boylan and NIC-10 star had serious off-the-field issues first at the University of Minnesota where he was accused of vandalizing a door on campus, and then at Tennessee State where he was accused of rape. Those incidents were covered in previous stories.
In this third part, Croft tells his side of what happened in Winnebago County when he was taken to court and accused of domestic violence
Two years ago, Croft appeared in a Winnebago County court room. A Rockford woman who had been an acquaintance of Croft had accused him of strangling her while they sat in a car in Rockford. Croft had been charged with domestic battery. His accuser said the alleged incident happened in 2019.
(DEMRY CROFT) “I was with my family that night, and we were also eating. We were at a gas station, and I was with my dad, my sister, and my cousin, and they even took her (his accuser) home.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) You were not alone with this young woman? Your whole family was there?
(CROFT) “No, not at all. I was not alone.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) Why do you think she would make up this story about you assaulting her?
(CROFT) “I just feel like people, people do things to good people when they want to get ahead, when they’re doing not so great.”
(SCOTT) Croft was found not guilty of the domestic abuse charges. A Winnebago County judge determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Croft.
So, Croft has never been found guilty of any criminal charges, not in Rockford, and not in Tennessee, but he and his father know that all those accusations about Croft still live on the internet and in the minds of people who heard about the accusations.
Croft says the damage to his reputation is still out there.
Many people still have their doubts about Croft. That’s why he sought me out to tell his side of what has happened in his past.
(SCOTT QUESTION) People are going to watch this, and they’re going to say, ‘Demry, there was the Minnesota door incident. There was the Tennessee State incident. There was the Winnebago County incident. There’s a lot of smoke there.’
(DEMRY CROFT) “Right.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) ‘You expect us to believe there is no fire whatsoever?’ What would you say to those people who are still suspicious because of all this smoke?
(DEMRY CROFT) “To those people I would just say, honestly, just keep watching the story of me, because people go through things every day, and some things are just broadcast more than others, and people tend to follow a different story.”
(SCOTT QUESTION) You have no doubt your son did not do any of these things that people alleged he did?
(ROBERT CROFT/CROFT’S FATHER) “As a father, as a parent, you’re going to talk to you child. ‘Look, man, you’ve got some serious stuff going on here. You can tell me, because you’ve got to level with me, because I’m the one who can help you, and if I can’t help you, if you did this, because if you did this, you will have to be punished,’ and he said, ‘Dad, I didn’t do anything.”
(ROBERT CROFT) “I don’t think any human should go through anything like this.”
(DEMRY CROFT) “I think (my) reputation and my name is everything, and if people don’t know about your name or the last thing they heard about your name is something bad, that’s going to stay in their mind.”
“After I won (in court) both of my cases nothing has been reported. So, they (the public) still probably have that image in their head.”
(SCOTT) Once again, Croft was not convicted of any crimes in court in any of these instances. Currently, Croft does not have an attorney. He’s between attorneys seeking out a new one.
Croft has continued his football career playing professionally the last two years in the Indoor Football league.
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 for the judicial system to decide.
While Croft was not convicted in the cases we’ve reported on, we recognize that 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. The phone number is (815) 636-9811. Someone is available 24/7 to talk.
If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, visit our Stateline Strong page for resources.