A 20-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at a Raleigh daycare center last week was ordered to undergo an “intensive sex offender evaluation” in 2014 after he was accused of having sex with an underage girl and recording the act on video, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Monday.
Bruce Edward Rogers, who was then 17, was charged with one felony count each of first-, second- and third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. But he was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser crime of felony publishing of an obscenity and was sentenced to two years probation and ordered have no contact with the girl or be around any child under the age of 16 without adult supervision.
He was also ordered to not participate in social media or chat rooms and ordered to enroll in a sex offender program.
Rogers, now 20, successfully completed the terms of his probation on Oct. 26, Freeman said.
Last week, police charged Rogers with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at The Building Blocks Child Development Center, where he worked. The center is owned by his parents.
Freeman described the new charges against Rogers as “troubling.”
“It’s always troubling when someone who you have prosecuted picks up subsequent charges,” she said.
The daycare operated in the rear of Mount Sinai Saints of God Holy Church of America on South Swain Street, east of downtown. It was closed by state officials on April 10, shortly after police charged Rogers with one felony count of statutory rape of a child by an adult and two felony counts of indecent liberties with a child. Police think the crimes took place between Jan. 1 and April 5 at the daycare center.
Rogers, who will turn 21 on May 22, was charged in 2014 with three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Raleigh police accused Rogers, then 17, of having sex with a 14-year-old girl and using his cellphone “to record it for live performance,” according to an arrest warrant filed at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.
“He and the victim had consensual sexual relations that had been videotaped by him,” Freeman said.
Freeman said Rogers pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of publishing obscenity, which meant he did not have to register as a sex offender. She said it would have been a challenge to persuade a jury to convict Rogers of the original charges because the girl participated in the act consensually and knew that it was being videotaped.
Freeman said evidence presented in court indicated Rogers shared the video with others, including the girl’s classmates at school. The girl was subsequently bullied and threatened and eventually moved to another part of the state.
“In these types of cases, where there’s a video or a picture of private parts and someone shares it, it is traumatizing, especially if they are a young teenager,” she said.
Officials with the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education, which is responsible for regulating child care facilities, ordered Building Blocks closed after it concluded the daycare “failed to prevent children from being exposed to a safety threat posed by an employee with a criminal history to have access to children” and exposed “children to a significant risk of harm,” according to a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The daycare center was opened Sept. 9, 2014, by Bruce Edward Rogers Sr. The church opened a year later and shares the same phone number, according to state records.
Rogers remained in the Wake County jail Monday in lieu of $550,000 bail. If he can post bail, a magistrate has ordered him to have no contact with the child as a condition of his release from jail, according to the arrest warrant.