Judge accepts second plea in 23-year-old molest case

2014-02-07T15:00:00Z 2014-02-07T22:55:07Z Judge accepts second plea in 23-year-old molest caseBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
February 07, 2014 3:00 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A judge accepted a revamped version of a plea agreement Friday from a Hammond man, who pleaded guilty to molesting two girls 23 years ago.

Duane Rogers was sentenced to 24 years behind bars, as compared to the 20 years he faced under the initial plea, which was rejected in July by Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa, according to public defender Bob Harper.

Rogers, 50, pleaded guilty to two B felony counts of child molesting.

According to documents, a parole officer contacted Valparaiso police Jan. 31, 2012, and told them Rogers confessed at a meeting upon his release from prison that he molested two girls in 1991.

Valparaiso detectives went through the department's cold cases and found a molestation accusation from February 1991. According to the file, a father said while he was hospitalized after surgery he left his 8-year-old daughter in Rogers' care at their Evans Avenue home. He accused Rogers of molesting his daughter, then 8, and the girl's 11-year-old cousin, who was sleeping over one night.

At the time, Rogers denied the allegations and told police the girls likely were upset with him for scolding them.

Detectives found both girls, who were by then in their late 20s and early 30s, who told police they had vivid recollections of Rogers fondling them and performing a sex act on them.

In 2006, Rogers pleaded guilty to molesting an 11-year-old girl while a guest at her parents' Portage home, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison. He also has previous convictions for sexual battery, burglary and failing to register as a sex offender.

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