Rogers charged with nine more felonies, pleads not guilty
The Soldotna businessman originally charged with one count of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of indecent exposure was charged with nine additional felony counts after a grand jury indicted him Friday.
Joseph Rogers, 47, now faces four counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, four counts of first-degree indecent exposure, two counts of coercion, and one count of second-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor. All are class B or class C felonies.
The charges stem from Rogers' alleged abuse of a 13-year-old girl during a period of four months in 2005 and 2006.
Rogers pleaded not guilty to all charges during his superior court arraignment Tuesday.
Though Rogers was originally arraigned in district court on June 25, the charges against him were ultimately dismissed on July 13 when the prosecution failed to indict him within the required 10-day window.
Despite the dropped charges, Rogers remained under the supervision and monitoring of Alaska Pretrial Services in anticipation of his imminent indictment.
He remains out of custody under the same bail conditions initially set by Magistrate Matthew Christian before the original charges were dismissed: $100,000 unsecured appearance bond and electronic monitoring by APS.
Upon Rogers' indictment, the prosecution requested an arrest warrant with a $50,000 cash bond, but Judge Anna Moran quashed the request and left Rogers under his prior conditions of bail even though the case had been dismissed.
Defense attorney William Walton appeared as council for Rogers during the Tuesday arraignment, although Walton clarified he would only be representing Rogers for preliminary hearings and bail issues until the court either approves or denies Rogers' application for a public defender.
"I do (represent Rogers) here today, but I don't in the long haul," Walton told Judge Carl Bauman, "because presently he can't afford to retain me."
Walton pointed out that Rogers does have assets, but that they are currently tied up in a pending divorce.
Before his arrest, Rogers was president of Southcentral Title Agency in Soldotna.
According to an affidavit submitted by Soldotna Police Sgt. Stace Escott, a school counselor brought the alleged abuse to the authorities' attention. The victim's parent had knowledge of the abuse, but did not report it because Rogers "was a prominent business man in Soldotna involved in many public organizations" and threatened to ruin the parent's livelihood, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit indicates police obtained recorded contacts between the victim's parent and Rogers, where Rogers can be heard admitting to the abuse. It also states that Rogers can be heard saying, "The felony is a felony and will be a sexual misconduct at the very least."
Trial is scheduled for the week of Sept. 12.