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September 12, 2013

Man convicted in Miss. child sex case

JACKSON, Miss. — A second man was convicted Wednesday of having sex with a 4-year-old girl at a Mississippi hotel and videotaping the abuse.

A federal jury convicted Marco Laquin Rogers, 27, in U.S. District Court in Jackson on two counts — child sex trafficking and the production of child pornography. He faces life in prison at sentencing in December.

Another man, Jemery Atral Hodges, 26, pleaded guilty to the same charges June 20. He awaits sentencing.

Court records say both men are from Mississippi, but Rogers was living in Atlanta and Hodges in Cambridge, Mass.

They were indicted in November after authorities said they found a video of the men having sex with the girl in a Jackson hotel room. Court records had said the girl was about 3 years old, but her exact age came out in testimony.

The video, which investigators believe was made in May 2012, shows the girl crying in pain as she’s assaulted.

When the jury returned from deliberations, Rogers, wearing black-frame glasses, swayed slowly back and forth in his chair, but showed little emotion as the verdict was read.

Rogers’ attorney, Joe Hollomon, said in a telephone interview after court that the case was hard on everyone involved. “It was a difficult case and I can’t say that I was surprised by the verdict,” Hollomon said.

Rogers has been held without bond and was ordered to remain jailed pending sentencing.

U.S. District Judge David Bramlette thanked the jury, saying the case was “extremely difficult.”

U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis said after court that Rogers was an acquaintance of one of the girl’s relatives and brought her from Tennessee to Mississippi, under the guise of taking her to a party. Davis said the girl is safe now and back with her family.

“This was a tough case, especially for the family,” Davis said. “It was a reprehensible crime.”

Court records say the investigation began on Sept. 6, 2012, in Cambridge, Mass., after Hodges visited another man and showed him explicit images of children on his cellphone. The man kicked Hodges out of his house and called police, court records said.

Hodges told authorities that Rogers had access to a young girl for sexual acts, according to an affidavit filed in court records. The complaint also said Rogers traveled with the child to and from three states.

The complaint that initially charged Rogers in October said authorities served him with a court order compelling him to allow agents to photograph scars on his stomach and right leg. Prosecutors said the scars matched those on a man in the video.


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