A 44-year-old Riesel man who pleaded guilty in September to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday.
Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District Court rejected Raymond Earl Rogers’ request for deferred probation and sentenced him to 15 years in prison on each of five counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child by contact.
Strother heard testimony Monday from the victim, who is now 17, along with her uncle and her aunt, and considered opinions from two experts, who said Rogers is a low risk to re-offend and would do well in sex offender treatment.
Prosecutors Sydney Tuggle and Will Hix asked the judge to sentence Rogers to the maximum 20 years on each count, while defense attorney Thomas West, who is succeeding the retiring Strother in January, asked the judge to place him on deferred probation.
“We are thankful that this brave survivor finally got the opportunity to close this chapter of her life and move forward,” Tuggle said. “As her family testified, now that this defendant is in the dark, her light can truly shine. Thank you to Judge Strother for carefully considering all the evidence before him today and giving the survivor the closure she deserved by his sentence.”
Rogers, who will serve the sentences concurrently, must serve at least 7½ years before he can seek parole.
“He took responsibility for his actions and both experts who interviewed him said he was low risk for re-offending,” West said.
McLennan County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Rogers two years ago on a first-degree felony trafficking of a minor charge. He was released on bond but arrested a month later on a continuous trafficking of a minor charge after investigators said they learned more about the extent of the man’s contact with the girl.
Rogers initially was indicted on the trafficking charge, but prosecutors sought a new indictment against him last year with the six new counts.
Detectives reported Rogers bought the girl a ring, which an arrest affidavit describes as an “engagement style” ring. He also gave her a cellphone, which the two used to communicate about their relationship, including sending messages indicating they loved each other, according to the affidavit.