Man who fled to Thailand is ordered to serve 12 years for sexually abusing 8-year-old boy
A 65-year-old Elyria, Ohio, man will serve about 12 years in prison, minus time already served, for sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy in Minot in the summer of 2014.
Mark Allen Rogers, who had fled to Thailand and had to be extradited back to the United States after he was charged in 2014, pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition, a Class A felony, in March in district court in Minot. On Monday, Judge Stacy Louser rejected a joint sentencing recommendation from the prosecution and defense that would have called for Rogers to serve just three years in prison.
She said she couldn’t accept that recommendation “in the interests of justice.”
Instead, Louser sentenced Rogers to 17 years in prison, with five years suspended. He will receive credit for about 14 months already served in custody. Louser also will require him to be on supervised probation for five years after he is released from prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
The state and the defense had recommended 10 years, with seven years suspended, and five years supervised probation. His defense attorney, Raissa Carpenter, said this would allow Rogers to get sex offender treatment. Rogers also has several medical conditions that would probably make him eligible for medical parole, she said.
Louser said she does not want Rogers considered for early release because of his medical condition. She said the safety of the public is more important than the medical costs that might be incurred because of Rogers’ health conditions.
At the sentencing hearing, Rogers apologized to the victim and to the boy’s mother for his “strange behavior” and “improper actions I wasn’t aware I was doing.”
Rogers told the judge he has worked as a school teacher and school principal in Thailand and in other states and has no significant record. He believed he was helping out the boy’s mother by babysitting for him. Rogers told Louser on Monday that he had no prior history of doing something like this and had never before allowed a child in his apartment before this incident.
Two different tests indicated Rogers either has a low or moderate risk to reoffend, based on statements made by Louser in court. But Louser said he seemed to be minimizing his behavior and blaming the victim for what happened. In the pre-sentence report, according to the statements made by Louser, Rogers said the charges were “overblown” and said he might have been charged because of cultural differences between the U.S. and Thailand.
According to a probable cause affidavit in the case, one of Rogers’ neighbors asked him to babysit for her 8-year-old son a few days a week. Rogers had been taking the boy to the YMCA, which made a report to Social Services that Rogers was behaving suspiciously with the boy and was showering with the child in the youth locker room. The boy disclosed that Rogers had been naked in his presence at his apartment as well as at the YMCA. Rogers is accused of trying to get the boy to sleep with him and also of rubbing a vibrating machine over parts of the 8-year-old’s body while the child was fully clothed. The boy told authorities that he felt uncomfortable and disgusted when Rogers did this.
A hearing is to be held within 90 days to determine how much money Rogers owes taxpayers for the cost of his extradition back to the U.S.
Rogers will be allowed no contact with children under age 18, but his defense attorney, Raissa Carpenter, said he wants to be able to talk to his minor children on the phone. The children live in another country. He also wants to be able to buy and send them gifts.
Ward County Deputy State’s Attorney Kelly Dillon said his probation officer would be able to give him permission.