This case is over ten years old, but the way these two woman remembered their abuse, and the fact that they were not in contact during their recall is interesting….
“A 68-year-old Springfield man, who admitted sexually assaulting three young girls in his home in 1964, was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison and ordered to pay two of his victims $ 20,000 toward their psychotherapy bills.
The prosecution of James A. Rogers, of the 6300 block of Pioneer Drive, was the oldest case ever brought in Fairfax County. Rogers was arrested in October and pleaded guilty in March, and the case seemed on its way to a routine conclusion.
But when two of the victims — former neighbors of Rogers now in their forties — demanded that Rogers pay more than $ 178,000 in restitution for the therapy and medical bills they accrued in recent years, Circuit Court Judge Robert W. Wooldridge faced a dilemma: how to penalize a sex offender financially, especially for damages inflicted nearly 40 years ago. Prosecutors often seek restitution from defendants in cases of theft or property damage, and sometimes do so in violent crimes. Fairfax prosecutors said they had obtained court orders forcing sex offenders to pay for therapy for rape or molestation victims. But since no one had ever tried a 37-year-old case in the county, there was no precedent for Wooldridge’s ruling.
Rogers’s attorney, Thomas Woehrle, argued that restitution wasn’t appropriate in a criminal case and was better left to a civil lawsuit. Wooldridge disagreed but allowed Woehrle to subpoena the victims’ detailed medical and psychological records. When the women took the witness stand to detail the lasting effects of the childhood sexual assaults, Woehrle cross-examined them at length about the other traumas they had suffered in their adult lives.
In the late 1990s, both women were depressed and in counseling. One, who is 43, said she was at her sister’s house in 1998, and “something just clicked. It made me look his name up in the phone book. I don’t know why. He was still there. And I started remembering.”
The other woman, who is 45, said she received electroshock therapy in 1999, and “it triggered something in my mind. I started to have memories of very horrific abuse.” Both women denied that therapists suggested the abuse to them. They have said previously that when they approached another old friend from the neighborhood, the friend told them she had never forgotten what occurred in Rogers’s home. That friend became the third accuser in the case.
The first two women went to Fairfax police in 1999 and agreed to wear hidden transmitters and visit Rogers, a retired mail carrier. Twice they confronted him after not seeing him for decades. According to the transcripts, he admitted to some molestations. But he adamantly denied the women’s most serious allegations, both on tape and to a Fairfax detective, and prosecutors did not charge him with rape or sodomy.
One of the women told Wooldridge, “I have been essentially imprisoned for life due to Mr. Rogers’s abuse, and I believe Mr. Rogers should share that imprisonment.”
Rogers told the judge, “I truly, truly am sorry for the tragic situation that’s happened to these girls. I’ll have this on my mind the rest of my life.”
Man Gets Prison for ’64 Sex Assaults; Fairfax Defendant Also Ordered to Pay $20,000 Toward Victims’ Future Therapy, Tom Jackman, Washington Post, Metro
Man Accused of ’60s Child Abuse; Three Girls Allegedly Were Molested; Case May Be Oldest Ever in Fairfax, Tom Jackman, Washington Post, Metro