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Rogers sentenced to 5 years

Posted: March 1, 2012 - 7:15pm  |  Updated: March 2, 2012 - 12:01pm

Once-prominent Soldotna businessman Joe Rogers was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday at the Kenai Courthouse.

Rogers received eight years with six suspended for each of four counts of indecent exposure, three years with two suspended for attempted sexual abuse of a minor and three years with three suspended for coercion. He will serve five consecutive years in prison.

Judge Anna Moran said she recognized Rogers does not have a criminal past and the incident occurred several years ago with no further offenses, but his conduct was not minor.

“Mr. Rogers presents good prospects for rehabilitation, but the court recognizes the serious nature of the charges, the need to deter himself and others and community condemnation of this conduct,” she said.

Rogers is subject to 10 years of probation, payment of an undetermined amount of restitution, registration as a sex offender, approval of post-incarceration residence and enrollment and completion of a sexual treatment program, among other conditions. He also cannot contact the victim without written request from the victim and approval by his probation officer.

The state’s burden of proof sometimes seems harsh to victims, Moran said.

“I think the nature of these crimes shows the insidious nature of these types of offenses, especially when committed within the family unit,” she said. “Sometimes these crimes are buried under a happy façade.”

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

In early October 2011, Rogers was found guilty of seven of eight charges. They included one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of second-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor, four counts of first-degree indecent exposure and one count of coercion.

The aforementioned sexual abuse charge was dropped by a motion for judgment of acquittal; generally granted if a judge reviews the state’s evidence and finds that no jurors could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge is obligated by law to enter a verdict of not guilty, Andy Pevehouse, defense attorney, said in an email.

However, the judge said evidence on the charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor revealed the defendant actually touched the genital area of the victim for several minutes.

“He could’ve been convicted of the more serious charge of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree,” she said before imposing the court’s sentence.

The victim’s mother spoke to the court before the sentencing. The clear message was the victim is punished more than the abuser, who often receives a penalty disproportionate to the crime, she said.

“You let a pillar of the community off with a slap on the wrist and you’re sending a message that if you ... have any status in this community you can sexually abuse a child and get away with it,” she said.

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at

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TiredOfPoliticians 03/02/12 - 09:53 am
Well..I guess 5 years is better than nothing...

I get sick to my stomach thinking about this pervert who abused this young, innocent girl. I'm also sickened to think that over the years, I completed business in the real estate world with this monster and I gave him respect, which he obviously did not deserve. I hope he can be rehabilitated, but I have my doubts. I don't see how a child molester can change his ways...obviously he couldn't control his urges in 2005 and why should I believe he will be able to control himself after a few years in prison? I hope the young woman that Joe abused can go on and have a happy life and try to put this awful mess behind her.

4FIVE4 03/02/12 - 06:03 pm
Good thing mom spoke out at

Good thing mom spoke out at the trial! Too bad it wasn't sooner. No charges for mom though. Did he pay her off? Very sad.

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.

denali8 03/03/12 - 03:08 am
i'ld like to know what

i'ld like to know what business he owned
i think he got off too easy
best wishes to the young lady

KenaiJames 03/03/12 - 02:20 pm
Rehabilitated ????

I guess anyone who thinks he is a good prospect for rehabilitation can let their kids, or grandkids have a sleepover at his house. Or maybe he can open up a new business like a DAYCARE??

TiredOfPoliticians 03/04/12 - 11:14 am
he can add molester and prisioner to his resume

Joe worked at Southcentral Title Agency in Soldotna for many years.

rainbowbrite 03/04/12 - 04:01 pm
was mom charged at all for

was mom charged at all for failure to report a crime? My understanding was that it was school officials who reported it and mom had known about it but didn't report it back when it happened because Mr. Rogers threatened her.

SnowAk556 03/11/13 - 08:12 pm

I think that what this man did was awful. But it is not the moms or her kids fault. She could not speak out, because she was threatened. What else could she have done? She tried her best, and she spoke out in court. This issue was very scary. We should not blame her, but the person that actually committed the crime. Healing for this family.

Raoulduke 03/12/13 - 05:01 am

This Judge Moran sure is a very gullible person.Thinking this ilk can be rehabed. There is no rehabing for people with his specific problem. This judge is all to often giving some very light sentences for some very SICKO crimes.Now! What child destructing crimes did he commit That he did not get caught.These people do not stop doing this sort of thing ever.I can only hope.While in prison.He can play the same role,but in reverse. He got off very,very light. Mom should have beat him with a very hot cast iron skillet. While he slept.

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