New trial for man convicted of molestation

By Holbrook Mohr
Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a man serving 33 years on charges of molesting two boys.

Allen Rogers Jr., 24, was convicted in June 2010 on charges of sexually abusing two brothers, who were ages 8 and 11 at the time. Court records say Rogers confessed to abusing the boys, saying he was drunk and cried afterward.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that two errors in the case require a new trial. First, a psychologist’s testimony about her conversations with one of the boys amounted to hearsay. That testimony was inadmissible without a separate hearing and judicial finding that the statements were reliable, the Supreme Court said.

The justices also said there was conflicting evidence about whether the crime occurred in Scott or Leake counties, and that question should have been submitted to the jury.

The court record says Rogers confessed in two statements with investigators with the Scott County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 25, 2009.

“The first statement was written by Rogers in very rudimentary handwriting and contained numerous spelling and grammatical errors,” the court record said.

Because the statement was “hard to understand,” an investigator typed a second statement and Rogers signed it about an hour later, according to the court documents.

The second statement is much longer and contains graphic details. It says Rogers was drunk and playing with the boys when the abuse began and afterward, the boys left the room.
“I realized what I was doing. I sat in the room and cried ... That night was the only time I ever done anything like this. After that I would not let myself be left alone with any kids,” the statement said.

Roger’s mother testified at trial that he had received special education in school and was semiliterate. She also said he sexually abused in preschool and was so “easily open for suggestion” that he will say “whatever you want to hear” if pressed enough.

Rogers trial lasted less than a day. He was convicted on two counts, sexual battery and gratification of lust.

The court record also says that testimony from the boys’ mother indicated that Rogers’ brother, James Rogers, also was charged with “some unspecified sex crime involving the boys,” but doesn’t go into further detail. The Associated Press does not generally identify victims of sexual abuse, and the mother’s name is being withheld to protect the identities of the children.

Mississippi Department of Correction records show a 23-year-old James Rogers is serving a 10-year sentence for gratification of lust on a Scott County.

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