The good things former Boulder City teacher Charles Richard "Rick" Rogers did were outweighed "a million times" by horrible things he did to young boys over the course of a decade, District Judge Michael Villani said Tuesday before sentencing Rogers to 60 years in prison for child molestation and pornography.
"The man is a monster, and he has no soul," Susan Rush, the mother of one of Rogers' victims, said in asking Villani to ensure Rogers never is released.
For Rogers, long recognized for his work with children, the end came on March 25 when someone anonymously left a zip drive at the Henderson Police Department. The device contained hundreds of images of Rogers molesting children. Those good things he did for children, prosecutor Stacy Collins said, were designed to disarm parents and get access to their children.
The next day, police arrested Rogers in his home and found thousands of photos and videos depicting child victims.
According to the indictment that was issued against Rogers, he sexually assaulted and molested several young boys from 1999 to 2009. The victims, some as young as 6 and 7, also are seen in DVDs and photos performing various sex acts.
Rush said her son, adopted when he was 16, suffers from insomnia and has nightmares when he does fall asleep. She said Rogers first victimized the boy when he was 10 after his father had died. He was assaulted at a Boulder City recreation center.
"He thought I was asleep due to the sleeping pills he gave me," said Rush's son, now a college student. "I was afraid if he knew I was awake he might kill me."
The boy never told anyone about the abuse until he saw Rogers' face on television the day he was arrested, Rush said.
Authorities said Rogers gained access to other boys by having sleepovers at his home. He either drugged them or gave them alcohol. In one video, the indictment said, Rogers is seen fondling a boy between 10 and 12 who is unconscious.
After the hearing, Boulder City police Detective Michelle Isham, who investigated the case against Rogers, said Rogers had labeled many of the photographs and videos.
"Boulder City is a small town," she said. "We recognized some of the victims that were depicted."
After Rogers' arrest, Isham said, dozens of parents whose children had contact with him came forward.
"They said, 'Here's a picture of my kid. We don't know if he was molested or not, but call us if you need to,'" she said.
Rogers, 47, asked Villani to give him "a light at the end of the tunnel." With his aged parents sitting in the courtroom, he rebutted comments made by Collins, who said Rogers "cannot be fixed" and would continue to prey on boys if ever released.
"I don't see myself as a predator," Rogers said, "and I can be fixed."
Defense attorney Bill Terry said Rogers has cancer and needs a second kidney transplant. He is on dialysis and has been taken by ambulance to University Medical Center a few times during the 15 months of his incarceration at the Clark County Detention Center.
"I don't expect to outlive a long sentence," he said. "I've done a lot of great things in my life, but what I did, I feel like I threw my life out the window."
Rogers indicated he deserved a break in sentencing by pleading guilty and sparing his victims the trauma of having to testify at a trial.
"You did some good things in your life," Villani said, "but I have to look at the harm you did to the victims. That outweighs the good by about a million times."
Villani sentenced Rogers to two consecutive life terms with parole eligibility after 20 years, and four terms of 10 years to life, two of them consecutive.
Rogers taught at Garrett Middle School in Boulder City. He also taught at McCaw Elementary School in Henderson from 1992 to 2002, and at Taylor Elementary School, also in Henderson, from 2002 to 2006.
He also was well-known to law enforcement. Rogers worked as an unpaid, part-time reserve officer for the Boulder City Police Department during the late 1980s and early 1990s. As a reserve officer, Rogers carried a weapon and rode along with a full-time officer.
Contact Doug McMurdo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5512 or read more courts coverage at lvlegalnews.com.