A 39-year-old Divide County man was sentenced to five years in prison for abusing a 3-month-old child.

Derek Fagerbakke was convicted July 1 of a class A felony count of child abuse. He was originally charged in late July 2020 after the young child had to be airlifted to a Fargo hospital with severe injuries.

He originally told medical personnel that he had fallen while holding the baby, but doctors found that was not consistent with the injuries the boy had, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court. After several interviews, Fagerbakke eventually admitted he’d made up the story about the fall.

He told investigators he had shaken the boy from side to side and that he had forced a pacifier in the child’s mouth, court records indicate.

A jury convicted him on the charge in July, and on Friday, Sept. 3, Fagerbakke was sentenced.

Northwest District Judge Josh Rustad sentenced Fagerbakke to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended. After his release he will have to serve five years on supervised probation.

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