With a July 15 trial staring him in the face for taking a Madisonville teenager hundreds of miles away to his mother’s home without anyone knowing, a Wisconsin man agreed to plead guilty to a charge of taking her across state lines to have sex with her.
Bryan Rogers, 31, had faced two federal charges of knowingly transporting the teenager across state lines for the purpose of committing sexual assault of a child.
He was also charged with persuading the minor to engage in sexual conduct for the purpose of capturing it on video, then transporting the video across state lines, as well as lying to the FBI about not having any in-person contact with the teen.
All those charges were dropped in exchange for the plea to the crossing state lines charge.
Police said Rogers took the girl from Madisonville in January after she had contacted him through various internet messaging services. Court transcripts of the messages show he was hesitant to come get her, but the girl told him she was being sexually abused by her adoptive stepfather and she could not handle it anymore.
Rogers then allegedly asked the girl to make a video of her being sexually assaulted by her stepfather as proof to hold against him, but messages between the two show Rogers initially did not want to see the video or to come to get the girl in Madisonville, but he eventually changed his mind, the video was sent to him and he came to get her.
Rogers had sought to make bail, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Oppeneer said he was “making no judgment about whatever motives Rogers, 31, may have had when he is alleged to have persuaded the 14-year-old girl to make a video of herself being sexually assaulted by an adult, or about the likelihood of success that prosecutors would have of getting a conviction,” but said there was enough evidence for him to believe Rogers had violated a federal law by persuading the girl to make the video and then send it to him.
Rogers’ lawyer, Jonas Bednarek, filed papers making a case that Rogers was not a flight threat nor presented a danger to anybody, but he remained in jail.
Now, though, Rogers faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and five years of supervised probation, and a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been announced.
The girl was reported missing on Jan. 14 and a tearful press conference was held a couple of weeks later with her parents. Less than a week after that, her adoptive father, Randall Pruitt, was arrested and charged with raping the girl.
Her mother, Christina Pruitt, was indicted by a Monroe County Grand Jury earlier this month on a charge of tampering with evidence.
Both Pruitts are scheduled to be back in court on July 29.