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Teacher’s arrest on child porn charges stuns Boulder City

Updated Friday, March 27, 2009 | 3:33 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Charles Richard "Rick" Rogers

Garrett Junior High School

UPDATED STORY: Teacher charged with possessing child porn to be placed on house arrest

A Garrett Junior High School science teacher and youth soccer coach was arrested Thursday on felony charges of possession of child pornography, Boulder City Police said.

Based on an anonymous tip, police picked up Charles Richard “Rick” Rogers, 46, as he was about to leave school, police said.

About 2 p.m. Thursday, police obtained warrants and searched Rogers’ car, classroom and home in Boulder City. They confiscated computers, photographs, VHS cassette tapes, cameras and digital storage devices from the home and the classroom, according to an arrest report.

Rogers was arrested about 4:30 p.m. He was being held at the Clark County Detention Center on $192,000 bail on 64 counts of possession of child pornography.

Rogers is scheduled to appear in Boulder City Justice Court at 7:30 a.m. on March 28. He has worked for the School District since Jan. 6, 1992.

Boulder City Police Chief Thomas Finn said the Henderson Police Department on Wednesday received an anonymous letter claiming Rogers had sexual images of minors. Included with the letter was a thumb drive and two digital memory cards containing pornographic videos and images of young boys in sexual acts with men, according to the arrest report.

The letter claimed the digital storage devices came from Rogers’ home, the report said. The storage devices also included photographs of Rogers, his vehicles, children in soccer uniforms, and Rogers’ school lesson plans, the report said.

The Henderson Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Unit will examine the items, Finn said.

Leslie Iwinski, whose daughter is a sixth grader at Garrett but was not in Rogers’ class, said the arrest was scary.

“You want to be able to give your child freedom — what are you supposed to do, keep her locked up? But this is a wake-up call.” Iwinski said she thinks Clark County School District should perform stricter background checks on people who work with children.

“The reality is, this is everywhere,” she said. “Thank goodness we keep a close eye on our kids and we know a lot of people here.”

Rogers has been placed on paid administrative leave from his teaching job while the case is investigated, Clark County School District spokeswoman Penny Ramos-Bennett said. All teachers are required to undergo an FBI background check before they are hired, she said.

Jamey Hood, principal at Garrett Junior High, refused to comment.

Rogers was also a part-time soccer coach for the Boulder City Department of Parks and Recreation. Rogers, who worked for the city for 24 years, will no longer coach a city soccer team, Roger Hall, director of parks and recreation said.

The city does background checks on anyone who works with children, City Manager Vicki Mayes said. She didn’t know if Rogers had undergone such a check 24 years ago when he started working with the city.

Davis Bonk, 16, a Boulder City High School student, said Rogers coached him in soccer for six years.

“He was a mentor,” Bonk said. “He was a good guy and a father figure.” Bonk said he never saw any signs in Rogers of any inappropriate behavior.

Carrie Stevens said Rogers coached her children in soccer years ago and was shocked by his arrest.

“He’s a great guy. I’m totally floored,” said Stevens, who owns the Coffee Cup Cafe.

Toby Frye, who lives a few houses down from Rogers on Dorothy Drive, said the arrest was strange. Rogers is also Frye’s daughter’s science teacher, he said.

“He’s a great teacher; he was well-liked,” he said. Frye said Rogers fostered children and took in kids whose families were having problems. An ATV and BMX bicycles were chained in Rogers’ front yard Friday.

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