JACKSON, Miss. — An Atlanta man was convicted in U.S. District Court Wednesday on human trafficking and child pornography production charges for traveling to Mississippi where he had sex with a 4-year-old girl and videotaped the abuse. This conviction follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Massachusetts’ Cambridge Police Department. According to court documents, Marco Laquin Rogers, 27, of Atlanta, traveled to a Jackson hotel in May 2012 to have sex with the child and videotape the act. Rogers is scheduled to be sentenced in December before U.S. District Judge David Bramlette III. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison on the human trafficking charge and up to 30 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for production of child pornography.
“The horrific abuse inflicted upon a defenseless child in this case is unspeakable, and yet this individual went even further by recording and sharing the evidence of his sexual crimes,” said HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. “Predators destroy lives, and HSI will continue to do everything it can to protect children by investigating and seeking prosecution wherever these criminals may be found.”
Parmer oversees a five-state region including Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Co-defendant Jemery Atral Hodges, 26, of Cambridge, Mass., pleaded guilty to the same charges June 20 and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month. Both men were indicted in November for having sex with the child after Hodges showed another man child pornography images on his phone, and that man reported it to local law enforcement.
Cambridge police subsequently contacted HSI Atlanta and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who worked in coordination with HSI Jackson to investigate this case, which led to the identification and rescue of the child victim.
“The safety and well-being of young children is a high priority for the Department of Justice,” said Southern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. “Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute these cases to protect the vulnerable and innocent victims of such crimes.”
“This particular case could have persisted over a period of time if it wasn’t for how our investigators pursued what appeared to be a local crime. Working with our federal partners led to the resolution of this horrific act that seemingly has no jurisdictional restrictions. We have been fortunate to have such close ties with our federal partners, without which, this criminal may not have been brought to justice,” said Commissioner Robert C. Haas of the Cambridge Police Department.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678. HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.
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