Accused molester acquitted

Published 12:05 am Friday, October 26, 2012

A Covington County jury Thursday morning found Bradley Joseph Rodgers not guilty of child sex abuse charges.

Defense attorney Riley Powell said Rodgers, 32, was initially charged with rape in the first degree, enticing a child and sexual contact with a child under 12.

After testimony, he said, Judge Ashley McKathan, dismissed the enticing charge.

Powell said the alleged victim gave conflicting testimony, and no medical evidence of the charges was presented. No other witnesses testified for the state.

Powell said he argued that the alleged victim’s description of the act of rape was physically and anatomically impossible. The defendant’s sons, who are the alleged victim’s cousins, testified that they were present at the time of the alleged crimes and that they did not take place.

“In the justice system, you have to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt,” Powell said. “If you consider the scales of justice, justice is blind. Just because this is a child, the jury could not look away from the facts.”

Chief assistant district attorney Grace Jeter, who prosecuted the case, said, “This child remains in the prayers of those of us at the DA’s office.

“Child sex abuse cases require children to testify in open court about acts that are unnatural and humiliating,” she said. “Giving such testimony while facing the defendant is a daunting task. These cases are difficult to decide as well, and I appreciate the jury’s diligence in reaching their verdict.

Rodgers, who had a previous drug conviction, had been incarcerated since Dec. 27, 2011, and was being held on a $2 million bond. He was released Thursday afternoon.