Prosecutors want to use texts in child sex case

August 28, 2013 9:22:45 AM



JACKSON -- Federal prosecutors in Mississippi want to introduce text messages at an upcoming trial to show that a defendant in a child trafficking case had access to a "3-year-old girl to use for sexual acts," according to court documents. 


Prosecutors want to use the messages to show the victim was being abused before the incident for which Marco Laquin Rogers was charged in October. The filing does not say who received the messages. 


Rogers and Jemery Atral Hodges were charged last year after authorities said they found a video showing the men having sex with the child in a Jackson hotel room in May 2012. 


Both men were indicted in Mississippi on Nov. 7, 2012 on two counts each -- sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and selling or buying of children. 


Rogers, 27, is scheduled for trial Sept. 9. 


His attorney did not immediately respond to a message Tuesday. 


Hodges, 26, pleaded guilty June 20. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 26. 


The trafficking charge carries a penalty of 15 years to life in prison. The second charge is punishable by 15 to 30 years in behind bars. 


Court records say the investigation began on Sept. 6, 2012, in Cambridge, Mass., after Hodges visited another man and showed him explicit images of children on his cellphone. The man kicked Hodges out of his house and called police, court records said. 


An affidavit, written by a Homeland Security Investigations agent, said Rogers was listed under the name "Black Perv" in Hodges' phone. 


Hodges told authorities that Rogers had access to a 3-year-old girl for sexual acts, according to an affidavit filed in court records. The complaint also said Rogers traveled with the child to and from Atlanta, Jackson and Memphis, Tenn. 


Court records say both men are from Mississippi, but Rogers had been living in Atlanta and Hodges was staying in Cambridge, Mass. 


The complaint that initially charged Rogers in October said authorities served him with a court order compelling him to allow agents to photograph scars on his stomach and right leg. The affidavit said the scars matched those on a man in the video.