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Man charged with two counts of sexual trafficking of a child

Rodgers

An area man has been charged with sexual trafficking of a child after authorities received a CyberTip from an employee at Facebook.

James Rodgers, 40, of Farmington, is charged in St. Francois County with first-degree sexual trafficking of a child - under 12 years of age, and second-degree sexual trafficking of a child - under 18 years of age.

According to a probable cause statement by Cpl. Dustin Reed of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, on Sept. 30, Reed was provided with two CyberTips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). These CyberTips contained information provided to the NCMEC by Facebook. The tips indicated that a Facebook employee reviewed Facebook Messenger communications and felt the communications were online enticement of a child. The CyberTip identified a user named “Jimmy Rodgers,” with the Facebook username, “jroggers11" who identified himself as a 40-year-old male. Based on chat logs provided by Facebook, Rodgers solicited images of child pornography from other users.

It further states that on Wednesday, Rodgers was located at his residence on Carleton Street in Farmington where he was interviewed and reportedly admitted to officers that he communicated with two females online. He stated that he believed the females were 13 and 14 years old. Through these electronic communications, he sent the girls images of his genitals and a video of him performing a sexual act on himself. He reportedly asked both girls for nude images and videos and they both sent him explicit images and videos.

Rodgers further stated that the images would still be saved to his Samsung cell phone which is the device he used for the communications with the females. The original CyberTip included a 20-second video from Facebook which showed a juvenile female performing a sexual act. A search warrant was obtained and during a search of Rodgers’ phone, the same 20-second video was located. Dozens of other images and videos were located on his phone which appeared similar in nature. The images and videos were exchanged on Aug. 15.

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One of the juvenile victims was positively identified as a 9-year-old white female. The other female victim was not positively identified but appears to be approximately 10 to 13 years of age.

The highway patrol reports the investigation is still ongoing and additional charges are anticipated.

Rodgers is currently being held at the St. Francois County Jail on a $500,000 cash-only bond. If released on bond, Rodgers is prohibited from accessing the internet or any social media accounts.

If convicted of first-degree sexual trafficking of a child, Rodgers faces a range of punishment of life imprisonment without eligibility for probation or parole until he has served not less than 25 years of such sentence. A conviction of second-degree sexual trafficking of a child carries a possible sentence of between 10 years to life behind bars.

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Staff Writer

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