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Rogers charged with nine more felonies, pleads not guilty

Posted: July 27, 2011 - 8:00am  |  Updated: July 27, 2011 - 8:48am

The Soldotna businessman originally charged with one count of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of indecent exposure was charged with nine additional felony counts after a grand jury indicted him Friday.

Joseph Rogers, 47, now faces four counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, four counts of first-degree indecent exposure, two counts of coercion, and one count of second-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor. All are class B or class C felonies.

The charges stem from Rogers' alleged abuse of a 13-year-old girl during a period of four months in 2005 and 2006.

Rogers pleaded not guilty to all charges during his superior court arraignment Tuesday.

Though Rogers was originally arraigned in district court on June 25, the charges against him were ultimately dismissed on July 13 when the prosecution failed to indict him within the required 10-day window.

Despite the dropped charges, Rogers remained under the supervision and monitoring of Alaska Pretrial Services in anticipation of his imminent indictment.

He remains out of custody under the same bail conditions initially set by Magistrate Matthew Christian before the original charges were dismissed: $100,000 unsecured appearance bond and electronic monitoring by APS.

Upon Rogers' indictment, the prosecution requested an arrest warrant with a $50,000 cash bond, but Judge Anna Moran quashed the request and left Rogers under his prior conditions of bail even though the case had been dismissed.

Defense attorney William Walton appeared as council for Rogers during the Tuesday arraignment, although Walton clarified he would only be representing Rogers for preliminary hearings and bail issues until the court either approves or denies Rogers' application for a public defender.

"I do (represent Rogers) here today, but I don't in the long haul," Walton told Judge Carl Bauman, "because presently he can't afford to retain me."

Walton pointed out that Rogers does have assets, but that they are currently tied up in a pending divorce.

Before his arrest, Rogers was president of Southcentral Title Agency in Soldotna.

According to an affidavit submitted by Soldotna Police Sgt. Stace Escott, a school counselor brought the alleged abuse to the authorities' attention. The victim's parent had knowledge of the abuse, but did not report it because Rogers "was a prominent business man in Soldotna involved in many public organizations" and threatened to ruin the parent's livelihood, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit indicates police obtained recorded contacts between the victim's parent and Rogers, where Rogers can be heard admitting to the abuse. It also states that Rogers can be heard saying, "The felony is a felony and will be a sexual misconduct at the very least."

Trial is scheduled for the week of Sept. 12.

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probartsr 07/31/11 - 11:02 pm

I find it absurd that we are allowing an admitted child molester out on our streets released on low bail. Does the justice system not care of the safety of our young children? I recall being able to walk about town as a child in Idaho without worrying about some dirty old man chasing me down. There are people sitting in wildwood with a higher bail for lesser crimes. Since when did being a pedofile become "normal" activity? I am not condoning crime at all, but let the punishment fit the crime! Keep our young girls and boys safe!

drudge 08/01/11 - 09:49 am

I find it absurd that people still believe that child molesters are some kind of rabid beast that runs down the street groping every child that crosses their path.

Consider the fact that the majority of child sexual abuse occurs by members of the child's family, in the home. How is the justice system supposed to handle that? Put a cop in every household 24/7?

I recall that it has always been, and still is, safe to walk about town without worrying about some dirty old man chasing you down. Children are in greater danger of abuse while spending the weekend at Uncle Mustache's place down by the beach.

You claim Mr. Rogers is "an admitted child molester," yet the title of the news article you've commented on says ".. pleads Not Guilty." If he had been found guilty, and was convicted, he would be in prison, without bail.

Since when did parading our ignorance become "normal" activity?

I am not condoning the crime at all, but let's use our heads when posting our opinions online! Keep our brain cells safe!

bewildered 08/03/11 - 12:51 pm
The mom?

Okay let’s take a look at this. The Mom KNEW of the abuse and did NOTHING It was the school that stepped in and went to the authorities. Why? and don't even use the cop-out of fear! there are safe houses everywhere!
This whole thing just makes me ill on so many levals.

jlmh 08/03/11 - 10:45 pm
Don't blame mom yet

Saying that the mother did nothing may be a premature assumption. All the article says is that she did not report it [to authorities]. Yet.

She probably counseled her daughter, took actions to prevent further abuse, compiled whatever proof she could, consulted a social worker or school counselor for advice, made arrangements for her livelihood, etc. Just because she didn't race down to the police station doesn't mean she did nothing. She probaby took the man's threats seriously enough to prepare for them before she took action. Perhaps she directed her daughter to the school counselor in the first place... after all, that person is trained in dealing with these situations.

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