Slain Baton Rouge television personality Scott Rogers, 52, was a controlling and manipulative person who abused male children in England in the 1990s, an alleged victim said Friday.
“I met him when I was 12,” said the 35-year-old man, adding that he has been in federal protective custody in the case since Monday. “I started being molested when I was 13.”
Rogers enjoyed a good reputation in Baton Rouge and was popular because of his weekend “About Town” television show and public appearances on behalf of charities. However, he made British children available to pedophiles in both Asia and Europe before moving to the United States, said the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“I think everything (Rogers) built in this town was intended to convince himself that he was not a pedophile,” the man said.
Another alleged former child-victim had publicly complained about Rogers in England over the past year, the man said. Federal authorities in this country began additional investigations.
At the same time, Rogers caused himself financial problems, the man said.
“He had a gambling problem for the past 15 months or so,” the man alleged. “He just took out a second mortgage on his house. Finances were as bad as they ever had been for him.”
At a Baton Rouge casino, the man said, Rogers won an $8,000 jackpot but lost nearly $200,000 over the past year.
“There were two slot machines he liked,” the man said. “He just wanted to win the jackpot.”
The man said he followed Rogers to the United States after Rogers was acquitted in a British court in the 1990s on a charge he sexually abused another male child. In that same case, a jury could not reach a verdict on two charges of gross indecency with a child and three charges of indecent assault on a male.
That criminal case was dropped after the child and his family told British authorities the boy did not want to go through a second trial.
During the pendency of that criminal case, the man said, Rogers became depressed, abused drugs and alcohol and seriously injured himself.
“He took a coffee cup and smashed it in his face and slashed his arm to the bone,” the man said. He added the scar remained on Rogers’ arm until his death.
Publicity from that criminal case financially ruined a performing arts academy and school Rogers had operated in England’s Suffolk County, said the former pupil of Rogers. Both that man and Mathew Hodgkinson were sexually abused by Rogers when they were children at that academy and school, the man said.
Rogers, who operated a film studio at Cortana Mall in Baton Rouge, was killed at his St. Gabriel home Wednesday. At the time, his former pupil was at the federal courthouse in Baton Rouge, where he waited to testify about Rogers before a federal grand jury.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said Hodgkinson is believed to have shot Rogers in the head before turning a handgun on himself. Hodgkinson survived his head injuries but remained on life support Friday.
Stassi said Hodgkinson left behind a note that said: “They broke our happy, loving home. They do not get to take Scott too.”
That note referred to the Aug. 15 seizure by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services of Rogers’ 10-year-old adopted son and a 2-year-old boy Rogers was attempting to adopt, Rogers’ former pupil said.
Neither child had been sexually abused, the man said.
“Those children were never touched,” he repeated. “I was thinking, ‘If ever Scott touched those kids, I’d kill him.’ ”
The man also said, “I think Mathew and I have been his puppets for many years.”
As for Rogers’ apparent murder and Hodgkinson’s apparent suicide attempt, the man said, “I think Scott Rogers is a coward. I don’t think Scott could pull the trigger. I think he got Mathew to do the job. That was his last manipulation.”
The man said both he and Hodgkinson remained with Rogers for more than 20 years because they did not know how to break away after he coerced them to begin sexual relations with him.
After Rogers abandoned England in the wake of publicity over the failed criminal case, he moved to the Dallas, Texas, area, and both of his former pupils eventually joined him.
That was despite the fact that, as children, they were encouraged by Rogers to engage in sexual acts with men he introduced them to after they appeared in dance performances and plays in Europe and Asia, the man said.
After a performance in the Malaysian state of Penang, the man alleged, he and other boys engaged in sex acts.
Rogers strongly discouraged all of the boys from sharing knowledge of encounters with him and other men with classmates in England, their families or anyone else, the man said.
In Texas and Louisiana, the man said, Rogers had him and Hodgkinson work at a series of low-wage jobs, including one at a chicken processing plant. Rogers demanded they turn over their paychecks to him, the man added.
In Baton Rouge, the man said, both he and Hodgkinson eventually worked at Rogers’ television studio, where they eventually began receiving money — $500 per month each. That was the minimum pay he said was required to avoid problems with immigration authorities.
Rogers had gained U.S. citizenship after arriving in Baton Rouge in 2000, the man said. But the man remained classified as a legal alien resident.
The man said he believes Hodgkinson ceased having sex with Rogers by 2004 but continued to work and live with Rogers, just as he did.
Rogers continued to insist on sexual relations with him, he said.
“I hated physical intimacy with that man (Rogers),” he said. “He knew it.”
As children, the man said, he and Hodgkinson and others in England were beaten with a belt or a hard plastic rod from a window blind if they displeased Rogers.
“I consider myself a heterosexual,” the man said, adding that Rogers thwarted every opportunity he had to develop relationships with women.
At 18, the man said, he developed an emotional and sexual relationship with a woman his age. Rogers, he said, told the woman about sexual acts the boy had committed with other boys. That ended the relationship, he said.
Sexual acts between boys at the school in England sometimes were commanded by Rogers, he said.
The man said he is not sure what the future holds for him. He said he longs for contact with parents he has not seen for 22 years.
As a child in England, the man said, he was a scholarship student at Rogers’ studio and school. He stayed with Rogers at that time because his parents’ home was too remote for daily commuting.
“My parents were appreciative of Scott, proud of me and what I was achieving,” he said. “They were oblivious to everything. By the time I was 16, they could have brought the army, and I would not have left Scott.”