MADISON, Wis. — A Madison, Wisconsin, man induced a Madisonville, Tennessee, teen to film herself being sexually assaulted as she begged to be rescued from an abusive situation at home, federal court records state.
Bryan D. Rogers, 31, appeared Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Madison on a charge of sexual exploitation of a child to produce a visual depiction.
Records state Rogers transported the girl last month from Tennessee back to his home in Madison. He'd been communicating with the girl for weeks online.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday that the 14-year-old had been found alive and safe.
According to an affidavit supporting the complaint, Rogers came into contact with the minor girl in Tennessee through an online game. She told him that she was being sexually assaulted.
The affidavit alleges that Rogers persuaded the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, to make a video recording of the conduct, and send the video recording to him. It claims that Rogers traveled to Tennessee and returned to Wisconsin with the minor.
The girl appeared desperate to get away, records show.
On Jan. 14, 2019, law enforcement authorities in Monroe County filed a missing person report for the teen. No one knew where she was until Jan. 31, 2019 -- when she was located at Rogers' home in Madison, Wisconson, the affidavit alleges.
FBI special agents responded to his home where he reportedly told them he had been in contact with the girl through the online game, Roblox. He said she was being sexually assaulted and that she had sent him a video of the abuse.
According to the affidavit, he stated he had never met her in person and that he did not travel to Tennessee to pick her up. He later admitted to picking her up and bringing her back -- after she was located at his home.
Later that evening, agents responded to his home and found her hiding in a closet in the basement. The affidavit alleges the girl told him she had never told anyone else about the abuse but her mother, who didn't believe her.
He told her to get a video of the rape, and according to the affidavit, she got the video and emailed it to him.
"He saw the video and said it was blurry but that it was a video of a 'full blown rape'," the affidavit states.
Rogers claimed he did not send the video to law enforcement because he thought it wouldn't stand up in court, according to the documents.
The phone he said he used was found in his mother's basement. The affidavit includes text message conversations between the pair.
"And I know you don't want to do it but I don't exactly want to see your dad rape you either. But we need clear video evidence," Rogers said in one text. "But understand that I can get in a hell of a lot of trouble for harboring you Unless you can prove what he did they will just release you back to him if we get caught."
Text messages show Rogers explaining how the teen can record the alleged assault. The video was later found on his computer and is 7 minutes and 10 seconds long, the affidavit states.
If convicted, Rogers faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Madison Police Department, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, and Monroe County (Tennessee) Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julie Pfluger and Elizabeth Altman.
The teen's adoptive father, Randall Lee Pruitt, has been put behind bars without bond and charged with rape, and Jones said it was related to the case.
According to sheriff's office spokesperson Rick Lavoie, the arrest was made around 2:30 p.m. Thursday.