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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 23, 2016

Former Joplin Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former Joplin, Mo., police officer has pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the civil rights of a woman he arrested by attempting to get her case dismissed in exchange for a sexual relationship.

 

Brian Rogers, 30, of Joplin, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, to the deprivation of rights under color of law.

 

According to his plea agreement, Rogers – who was a Joplin police officer at the time – arrested a woman identified in court documents as Jane Doe for driving under the influence in October 2015. She was subsequently charged with DUI by the Joplin Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

 

Rogers admitted that he communicated with Jane Doe via texts and Facebook Messenger in December 2015 and offered to get the charge dismissed. Rogers said he would like to see Jane Doe’s body and asked her to send him pictures, which she refused to do. Rogers asked Jane Doe what she was offering and said he wanted her to “show me one hell of a time!” Rogers also asked her to come by his office, which she also refused to do.

 

On Dec. 28, 2015, Rogers approached city prosecutor Becky Seidl and suggested she dismiss the case. Rogers stated that he had experienced a maintenance issue with the breathalyzer that he had used to take the sample from Jane Doe. Rogers told Seidl they would have a hard time of making the case stick and he was inclined to give Jane Doe the benefit of the doubt.

 

Seidl told Rogers she agreed and the case would need to be dismissed. After speaking with Rogers, Seidl spoke to police officials, who contacted the FBI. When federal agents interviewed Jane Doe, she agreed to place a recorded phone call to Rogers. During the call Rogers stated he had spoken with the city prosecutor and he believed the charges would be dropped. Rogers also stated he would check up on the status of the case the following day.

 

On Jan. 25, 2016, federal agents interviewed Rogers. Rogers admitted that he had hoped his actions in helping to dismiss Jane Doe’s case would lead to him and Jane Doe developing a friendship and then a sexual relationship. Rogers had hoped that after getting the charges dropped Jane Doe would meet with him.

 

Under federal statutes, Rogers is subject to a sentence of up to one year in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

 

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.

Topic: 
Civil Rights
Updated September 23, 2016