Oct 272002
 
Authors: Shandra Jordan

Twelve charges ranging from unlawful sexual contact to sexual assault on a minor were filed Friday against former CSU student Jan Elijah Rogers by the Larimer County district attorney.

The local charges include six felony charges and six misdemeanor charges against nine victims, said Stuart VanMeveren, the Larimer County district attorney.

These charges are in addition to four federal charges filed against Rogers for advertising and distributing child pornography.

The local charges are a result of an investigation by local authorities begun on Oct. 16, when the United States Secret Service informed local authorities that Rogers had been indicted on the federal charges, said Van Meveren.

Rogers was arrested in June at his Fort Collins home and his computer, several magazines and videotapes were seized. He was released on bond on an undisclosed date. It is unknown when he returned to Fort Collins, and local authorities were not informed of the investigation until October.

“I feel the federal authorities could have given us a heads-up sooner,” said Donn Hopkins, the chief of the CSU Police Department.

On Oct. 1, a federal indictment was filed in a southern district of New York. Rogers is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshals in New York.

Rogers graduated from CSU in 2000 with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. While enrolled at CSU, he worked at both the Early Childhood Lab School, a CSU-owned preschool, and the University Children’s Center, a CSU-affiliated day care center. Rogers worked at the day care from when it opened in August of 1998 until shortly before his June arrest, said Mary Hamilton, the director of the day care.

Local investigations have not found any evidence of any unlawful conduct at the preschool.

However, all but two of the incidents that resulted in the local charges took place in the day care, said VanMeveren. The other two took place in private homes.

The charges relate to nine victims who were allegedly videotaped by Rogers. The local authorities are not releasing the names or exact ages, but VanMeveren said the children range in age from 18 months to 5 years.

Some parents have viewed still shots from the video to identify their children, VanMeveren said.

The investigation is ongoing, and it has not been released whether or not the local videotape was released on the Internet.

“I’ve been in this business for 20 years and I’ve never had anything like this happen,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said they never had any disciplinary problems with Rogers except that “he was late sometimes.”

Hamilton said the day care would have discussions with parents and staff members over the coming weeks to provide support and discuss ways to avoid a similar situation in the future.

“We’re trying to pull together and move forward,” Hamilton said.

The day care has a staff of 10 professionals and students who work part-time and as substitutes. They serve about 45 children of CSU faculty, staff and students at a time.

Rogers is currently in the custody of federal officials, so could stand trial in New York first.

“Possession is nine-tenths of the law and we’ve got him now,” said Michael Kulstad, the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in southern New York.

VanMeveren said his office would be filing an arrest warrant and a detainer soon. The detainer is a request to bring Rogers back to be tried under Colorado law.

“We want him back here as soon as possible,” VanMeveren said.

The maximum penalties for the local charges are life in prison. For the federal charges, the maximum penalty is 10 to 25 years.

VanMeveren said that at this point he intends to seek the maximum penalty.

-Edited by Becky Waddingham

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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