Bury St Edmunds/US: Dance teacher and TV host Scott Rogers’ tearfully told how he feared he would be jailed after child sex abuse trial
- Credit: Exclusive strictly copyright Andy Abbott
Police in the US have said the inquiry into killing of Richard-Scott Rogers has effectively ended with the death of his son-in-law Mathew Hodgkinson.
Mr Hodgkinson, 36, is believed to have travelled to America with Mr Rogers in December 1995 following a warning over a religious-cult style atmosphere at the Academy of Dancing and Performance Arts in Bury St Edmunds.
Mr Rogers founded the academy in 1983.
It has been claimed in the US that Mr Hodgkinson – his son-in-law – had been abused by the 52-year-old from a young age and was still in a relationship with him in their home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Mr Hodgkinson died in Our Lady of the Lake Hospital on Friday.
He shot Mr Rogers on August 27 before turning the gun on himself in an apparent suicide pact as their lives were unravelling in the US.
Inquiries are now under way in Suffolk and the US in relation to allegations of child sex abuse against Mr Rogers which have surfaced since his death.
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In 1993 he tearfully told how he feared he would be jailed after standing trial on child sex charges.
Following Mr Rogers’ acquittal of a serious sexual assault on a 13-year-old boy he also spoke of the “horrible” time he and his family had endured leading up to the trial in which he faced six child sex charges.
Speaking outside Inner London Crown Court Mr Rogers, then of Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds, said: “People have taken the opportunity to be as vindictive as possible. We have had hate letters and bricks through the window with notes attached.”
His defence team had called an expert and 17 character witnesses, including a clergyman, to discredit the prosecution.
A jury of eight men and four women took six-and-a-half hours to clear Mr Rogers of a serious sexual assault on a boy after a 13-day trial.
However, after seven hours they had still failed to reach verdicts on a further three indecent assault charges and two of indecency.
Judge Brian Pryor discharged the jury “regretfully”.
Mr Rogers and Mr Hodgkinson feared for their immigration status after agents discovered Mr Rogers had lied on an application form stating he had never been arrested in the UK.
The self-styled community champion and local TV talk show host created a new life in the States after fears were expressed in 1995 by Suffolk County Council about his influence over children and young adults at his dance academy.
In 2012 Mr Rogers was praised by Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services for services to fostering and adoption.
It described him as “an advocate like no other”.
He was a certified licensed foster parent.