KEARNEY — A University of Nebraska at Kearney student has been convicted of sexually assaulting and false imprisoning a woman at a Kearney house in February 2019.

Miguel A. Guzman, 21, of Grand Island pleaded no contest Wednesday in Buffalo County Court to reduced charges of third-degree sexual assault, third-degree assault and second-degree false imprisonment, all misdemeanors. The incident happened Feb. 24, 2019, at 2018 12th Ave.

Guzman originally was charged with felony first-degree sexual assault in the incident.

A no contest plea is neither an admission nor denial of guilt, but the plea is treated the same as a guilty plea. Court records detailing the incident are sealed.

“Based on the facts as they evolved, we felt the plea was a fair resolution to guarantee a conviction and ensure justice for the victim,” said Melanie Young, deputy Buffalo County Attorney.

Judge Gerry Jorgensen accepted Guzman’s plea and ordered the Nebraska State Probation Department to do a presentence investigation report, including alcohol and psychological evaluations. Findings of that report — including background information on a defendant, family and criminal history, employment history and a substance abuse evaluation — will help the judge issue an appropriate sentence.

Sentencing will be in April. Guzman faces up to one year in jail on each charge.

The fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta, where Guzman was a member, was suspended shortly after the incident. However, the fraternity was reinstated in March 2019, said Todd Gottula, a UNK spokesperson. Guzman is no longer a member of the fraternity, although he remains a UNK student.


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