Oct 232002
 
Authors: Shandra Jordan, Colleen Buhrer

Former CSU student and Fort Collins resident Jan Elijah Rogers was indicted Oct. 1 on four federal charges of advertising and distributing child pornography, said Donn Hopkins, chief of the CSU Police Department.

Rogers, 25, was taken into custody on Oct. 1 after the being indicted in a New York federal court. The indictment came as a result of a Secret Service investigation conducted out of southern New York where some Internet pornography investigations are headquartered, Hopkins said.

9NEWS, KUSA television in Denver, reported Wednesday night that Rogers was allegedly operating a child pornography Web site that was traced back to him in Fort Collins through an e-mail address.

Rogers is being held without bond in Denver awaiting a transfer to New York.

In 2000, Rogers graduated from CSU with a degree in human development and family studies. In the spring of 2001, Rogers enrolled at the Teacher Licensure Program at CSU, but withdrew from the program in the spring of 2002.

While he was at CSU he worked at the Early Childhood Lab School, a CSU-run preschool and the University Children’s Center, a university affiliated day care center.

Additionally, 9NEWS reported that Rogers allegedly baby-sat for several children throughout the Fort Collins area.

Tom Milligan, director of university relations, said local investigators have found no evidence of any inappropriate conduct on the part of Rogers while working at the preschool.

“(We) can’t speak for the day care,” Milligan said. “We just don’t know.”

Local officials are still investigating whether any improper conduct occurred at the University Children’s Center while Rogers was employed there.

In June, federal officials and Secret Service agents from New York arrested Rogers in Fort Collins. He was charged with being a fugitive from another jurisdiction, but was later released on bond with several restraining orders. The nature of these restraining orders has not been released.

Before his June arrest, Rogers had no criminal record, Milligan said. Background checks are done on everybody in the teaching program at CSU, and Colorado state law forbids anyone with a criminal record from obtaining a teaching license.

CSU was not informed of the nature of Rogers June arrest. CSU was alerted of the arrest through the background check system.

An employer who has run a background check in the past is informed of any new federal charges against that person.

Rogers was taken into custody again for the four federal charges stemming from the October indictment, this time without bond. Local officials and the CSUPD were informed of the federal charges at this time. The local investigation and CSU’s outreach to parents of children in both programs began following CSU’s notification.

CSU assembled a team of university and community counselors to contact parents of children at the centers, both current and past, to notify them of what happened and discuss any concerns they might have, Milligan said.

Neither the preschool nor the day care have had any similar problems in the past, Milligan said. The preschool has been in operation at CSU for 73 years.

“Anytime something like this happens in the community you stop and look around,” Milligan said. “Of course we’re going to review our practices, but that doesn’t mean the programs are bad.”

Mary Hamilton, director of the University Children’s Center, said they have always followed correct procedure in all aspects of the day care.

“We were just shocked,” Hamilton said. “It’s just a sad thing to happen.”

The day care is privately owned and operated, but the building it operates out of is owned by CSU and serves only CSU faculty, staff and students’ children.

The day care services children aged 6 weeks to 6 years and serves about 45 children at any given time.

The preschool is CSU owned and operated and serves children aged 2 and a half to 6 years. The preschool has about 75 children enrolled, Milligan said.

The preschool has a rule stipulating that no college student is ever left alone with a child, he said.

If convicted on the federal charges, Rogers could receive a 10- to 25-year sentence in prison for two of the charges and a maximum of 15 years on one of the others. Additionally, he stands to be fined up to $250,000, Hopkins said.

The local district attorney is expected to file charges against Rogers by the end of the week, Hopkins said. The district attorney’s office was closed at press time and was unable to be contacted for comment.

-Edited by Ben Koerselman and Josh Hardin

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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