April 21, 2012 in City

Evaluation ordered for child porn suspect

DSHS worker to stay in jail pending results
By The Spokesman-Review
 
No previous record

Darrell Rogers, 51, is a married father of two with no criminal history. He’s lived in Spokane his entire life and has worked for the state Department of Social and Health Services since 1995.

A state social services employee accused of distributing child pornography must undergo a mental health evaluation before he can leave jail, a judge ruled Friday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said the material distributed by Darrell Rogers, who licenses foster homes for children, is some of the worst he’s encountered in his 36 years of practicing law.

“This is not normal child pornography,” Hicks said. “This is child pornography that is very disturbing.”

The material includes victims as young as 3 months old, Hicks said.

Rogers, 51, is a married father of two with no criminal history. He’s lived in Spokane his entire life and has worked for the state Department of Social and Health Services since 1995. Family, friends and co-workers attended his hearing; some left afterward in tears.

Distributing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for each image.

U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno will review Rogers’ mental health evaluation. Rogers and his wife must pay $25,000 bond to secure his release from jail. If he is released, Rogers will be confined to his home and must wear an electric monitor. Firearms that FBI agents found in his home during a search Tuesday must be removed.

Imbrogno called the conditions “perhaps about as stringent as they get for this type of charge,” she said.

Hicks cited Rogers’ employment as a person in a position of trust with children as further reason for a mental health evaluation.

“He’s leading a double life, in effect,” Hicks said.

A DSHS spokesman said Rogers will be reassigned to a position in which he does not have contact with children if he’s released from jail pending the resolution of his case. Imbrogno said she’ll decide after reading his evaluation if Rogers can be employed.

Rogers has been in the Spokane County Jail since Tuesday, when FBI agents arrested him at his home in the 7100 block of North Westgate Place in the Indian Trail area in north Spokane and seized a computer containing sexually explicit images of children.

The FBI began investigating him in February after an agent in Maryland downloaded child pornography from an Internet Protocol address linked to Rogers’ home.

The material features the infant and children up to 6 years old, Hicks said.

Rogers told the FBI the material was on a computer in the guest bedroom when questioned, Hicks said.

Rogers also told investigators he’d never hurt a child and would contact authorities if he knew of someone who was. He said he wasn’t sexually attracted to children but was “trying to figure out” child pornography.

Public Defender Matthew Campbell said a mental health evaluation isn’t necessary and said Rogers is not a danger to the community. “He has no criminal history,” Campbell said.

Campbell said prosecutors have not opposed pre-trial release in other child pornography cases, but Hicks said the cases didn’t involve such disturbing material.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus