Jan Elijah Rogers, the former CSU student being indicted on federal charges of advertising and distributing child pornography, could stand trial for both federal and local charges from Larimer County or the state of Colorado.
Both the federal investigation and the local investigation are ongoing, though the four federal charges are the only charges Rogers faces for the time being.
Rogers, a former CSU student in the human development and family studies department, was indicted in New York on Oct. 1 for four charges related to the advertising and distribution of child pornography. Rogers worked at both the CSU-owned Early Childhood Development Lab School and the CSU-affiliated University Children’s Center from 1998 until last spring. He also baby-sat for children in the Fort Collins area during that time.
The local district attorney is still investigating the case, but Rogers has not been indicted in Colorado. The federal investigation is ongoing as well, though further charges have not been added.
“Our investigation continues,” said Michael Kulstad, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in southern New York. “I don’t know if any concurrent charges are pending.”
Rogers, using the screen name BobbyDigital, advertised his file server in a chat room called preteen101, according to a complaint filed by a Secret Service agent before the indictment. A Secret Service agent came across the ad in late March and gained access to Rogers’ site. The introduction the agent encountered there read in part:
“New Baby or Toddler pictures get bonus credits up the wazoo… Remember, the higher the quality, the younger the girl (or boy), and the better the action, the more bonus credits you receive.”
On the evening of June 19 and the early morning of June 20, the agent made a connection with Rogers and gained access to his various directories. Several of the directory names were similar to series analyzed in other investigations, according to an analyst’s report in the complaint.
Based on status logs generated from the agent’s communication with Rogers’ site, they were able to trace the signal back to Rogers’ computer and get his home address. On or about June 20, a Magistrate Judge in the District of Colorado issued a search warrant for Rogers’ Fort Collins’ home.
During the search, a computer and various magazines were seized from Rogers’ home. During the search, Rogers returned home and admitted to using the screen name BobbyDigital and allowing images of “soft core” child pornography to be downloaded to and from his computer.
Rogers is being charged on four counts. Two of them are for advertising an offer to “receive, exchange, buy, produce, display, distribute and reproduce” images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct on two separate dates, according to the indictment. The third is for distributing this material via the Internet and a fourth for distributing the material though the Internet and other means.
The Larimer County District Attorney was unable to comment on the local investigation at this time, except to say it is ongoing. Donn Hopkins, chief of CSUPD, said the university immediately began cooperating with local and federal authorities when asked.
“We will do what we can to resolve this case and protect our community,” said Tom Milligan, director of university relations at CSU.
Should local charges be filed, it is unclear whether the federal or the local charges would be dealt with first, said Jeff Dorschner, the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Colorado.
In any case involving two jurisdictions, as Rogers’ case does, the two jurisdictions are expected to work together. If one charge is more serious, the person would probably be tried for those first, Dorschner said.
“There’s no standard operating procedure where it’s always done a certain way,” Dorschner said.
Hopkins said local charges are expected to be filed by the end of the week, and Dorschner said Rogers is expected to appear in New York court next week. As of Wednesday night, Rogers was in the custody of U.S. Marshals in Denver.
– Edited by Ben Koerselman and Becky Waddingham