Rogers found guilty of sexual abuse

After seven days of testimony, a jury found Joe Rogers guilty Tuesday of second-degree sexual abuse, attempted sexual abuse, indecent exposure and coercion. 

 

Rogers was convicted of seven of eight counts. He was found guilty on one count of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree attempted sexual assault, four counts of first-degree indecent exposure and one of two counts of coercion. 

 

The charges originally included four counts of second-degree sexual abuse but three were dropped when the victim testified in court that the incident had only occurred once and not four times. As a result, Judge Anna Moran dismissed the additional three counts.

"(The victim's) trial testimony was radically different than her grand jury testimony. Her story has changed between grand jury and trial," Public Defender Andy Pevehouse said.

Rogers pleaded not guilty to all charges and received counsel from Pevehouse.

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

According to an affidavit submitted by Soldotna Police Sgt. Stace Escott, school staff brought the 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.

District Attorney Kelly Lawson could not be reached for comment.

More