79-year-old jailed pedophile Jehovah’s Witness, William Rogers, has been issued with a sex offenders’ prevention order limiting his future contact with children.
Rogers was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment at Ipswich Crown Court last month for violating the terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 by fleeing to the Dominican Republic in 2006 from his home in Ipswich.
He returned on January 15 this year and admitted that he had been “teaching and molesting children” during his eight-year stay while working as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Prior to going to the Caribbean, Rogers had already served a seven-year jail sentence for abusing two girls under the age of 11 during his time as an elder in England.
On his release from prison in 2000 Rogers was supposed to notify his local public protection unit of any trips abroad he planned on making of three days or longer. But he broke these rules and jetted off to the Dominican Republic.
The police were only notified of his whereabouts after discovering from investigations that he had made a withdrawal from his bank account on May 8, 2006.
In addition to the sex offenders’ prevention order, Police have been granted a Foreign Travel Order banning Rogers from traveling abroad on his release from jail for the next five years.
In response to the above story, the SNAP organization has issued a press release, which reads in part…
“William Rogers is in the hands of the law. That’s the best way to protect kids. Now, the question is ‘Will his Jehovah’s Witness colleagues and supervisors, both in the UK and Dominican Republic, do the right thing and aggressively seek out others who he hurt?’
If history is any guide, they won’t. Far too many officials in religious organizations passively sit back and do nothing in child molestation cases rather than using their resources to find and aid other victims.
We hope every single Jehovah’s Witness who saw, suspected or suffered Rogers’ crimes will find the strength to contact their local authorities, not the local elders.”
41 thoughts on “Prevention order for jailed Jehovah’s Witness who fled to the Caribbean to molest kids”
What typical “perfect” JW (who gave up everything) can afford to jet off to exotic locations at the drop of a hat? Just sayin’… it’s many trashcans emptied, floors mopped, etc.
he looks like a turtle :) but hey if he dunnit linch him
And while he was in the D.R he was probably sleeping with under aged girls. I see these old wrinkly men in the Caribbean all the time with under aged girls. Looks good on the JW org. They make me sick !
Just another one for the stat sheets. It makes me wonder how a organization that is so all inclusive of your personal power that yet they overlook these pedophiles in their mist with their micro managing of their ranks.
It just speaks volumes to you that they put more importance on their reputation and name then the protecting of these children.
Their Shepherding of the flock manual needs a long over revision and should be read at the kingdom hall every 6 months and made a study article.
It should read as follows,
Handling Child molestation accusations.
When anyone comes to you with a Accusation of child abuse the elder should immediately encourage the individual to call the police perhaps doing so while in the presence of the elder. Also to protect all party’s concerned a tape recording of the admission should be made if in the future it may be needed by the authorities in handling the case.
Under no circumstances of any nature are you to do otherwise and if you do not follow these guidelines then your position of Elder may come into question.
As the Governing Body appointed by Jesus Christ Himself who was very fond of children while he was earth, we ask that you follow these guidelines as if they were coming from Jesus Christ. Now we hope you Elders will show your due diligence and empathy towards these victims as they try to recover from such a heinous Crime.
Ipswich star mentions “convicted of six sexual assaults on two young girls”.
Note: the “eight-year stay” referred to is the stay in the Dominion Republic. (Maybe others read it like that as is, but I missed that detail). I hope no girls were molested there *shiver*
I have a friend in Australia tell me that there are 5 ex-elders in that country serving prison terms for abusing kids. It’s just what he told me so it’s unconfirmed but if true it’s telling.
But that idiot to death if he is a JW
I feel so sorry for his young, innocent victims. Whatever the law does to him, it won’t be nearly enough. The children will have to live with the damage he did to them for the rest of their lives. The elders will have to live with their complicity, too.
Has anyone any news of the progress of the Candace Conti appeal and the other similar cases being handled by her lawyers?
The JW malpractice needs to become as common knowledge as that of the Roman Catholics. At least the Catholics have been forced to own up, to apologize and even to reform their practices.
JWdom, as yet, is stubbornly silent, self righteous and inert.
*** w86 1/1 p. 13 par. 12 Days Like “the Days of Noah” ***
Shocking as it is, even some who have been prominent in Jehovah’s organization have succumbed to immoral practices, including homosexuality, wife swapping, and child molesting. It is to be noted, also, that during the past year, 36,638 individuals had to be disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation, the greater number of them for practicing immorality. Jehovah’s organization must be kept clean!
Is this man still a JW? Has he been disfellowshipped?
Time and time again it is the “superior authorities” that dispense justice to these wicked people. The WTBTS, on the other hand, do everything they can to avoid their responsibilities.
How many more victims need to suffer before the WTBTS change their child protection policy?
Keep up the vital and honourable work you do, John.
Peace be with you
Hi Excelsior – I’m afraid I know as much as you do about his current status in the organization. What I do know is it took the concerted efforts of the police to track this monster down rather than any conscientious actions from the elders who knew his true nature. That alone speaks volumes.
It seems to me Rogers was taking advantage of the fact he was unknown, and it’s clear he does not believe in the religion. He is just there to take advantage of children.
He is a disgrace to humanity, and WT are a disgrace for allowing paedophiles to run free in their Org.
i think the JWz are failing to see that their perverse and corrupted religious crap is endangering the lives of children in their ranks. what a hypocrytical religion.
the JWz only kick out those whom they have fallen out with. if a pedophile kept nodding at the BS from the GB, they wouldnt give a damn about his conduct.
Yes and the holy spirit appointed these pedophiles.
So true! LOYALTY to the Organization is the foremost indicator of whether somebody is considered “sheeplike” or “repentant,” rather than conduct. So sad! So heartbreaking! So enraging!
@ KateWild: It doesn’t seem possible that Rogers was “unknown.”
Being the sticklers for protocol as they are, if Rogers was associated with a congregation in the DR and submitting field service reports, the local elders would have insisted that his congregation record be sent along.
If he was, as he seems to have claimed, doing “missionary work” and teaching children under the auspices of the congregation, it is just another example of the organization’s heavy culpability. As you say, “WT are a disgrace for allowing paedophiles to run free in their Org.”
Each time one of these stories comes to light, my heart breaks a little. I shudder to think how many are not being reported vs. the number that are. I’m glad the authorities got him before he could get to anyone else.
My God! Not a face to kiss, but to have nightmares for more than several nights !
The body snatchers are hard at work to mislead God’s people.
This man is mentally diseased, and so is the Watchtower for putting up with such individuals. They may or may not have disfellowshipped this man, but even if they have, we are aware that in due time he can offer repentance and be allowed back into the congregation. Sick! Do you think Jimmy Savile, had he lived, would be allowed to visit children in hospital again? I don’t think so. So why do Jehovah’s Witnesses allow these wicked men to come back into their midst. If a child of mine had been abused I would make sure the offender did not walk again! Unfortunately, the sisters in the congregation rarely get to know about these things, foolishly thinking that the congregation is ‘kept clean’. ALL should be made aware of such evil men, they should never be allowed back through the doors. Watchtower Society needs to wake up!
I was in his congregation (Spanish) in London in the mid 90s. He took the emblems and served as presiding overseer, having served in El Salvador for a number of years. To my knowledge he was not a Gilead missionary school graduate but someone who had gone on his own steam with his wife. He also has a daughter who must now be in her late 20s. I can confirm Bill Rogers was disfellowshipped, which came suddenly as a complete shock at the time. Much later I heard what had happened and that he had moved to Ipswich and was jailed. This is the first news I have heard since.
The news of this man’s disfellowshipping is good news. I am not impugning your veracity, but do you have any proof that this is indeed the case?
My heart goes out to his wife and daughter. Imagine having a husband and a father like that?
A cynical touch – partaking of the emblems would provide him with a convenient superiority over any who were concerned with his behaviour.
John, do you have any further evidence that you could provide to the police? Think hard. If there is anything that you can recall, then please contact the authorities. Who knows? You may help to add to his sentence.
Yet more innocent victims of vile abuse that may have been prevented if the WTBTS had informed the police about his crimes! What a terrible indictment of a morally bankrupt religion.
Peace be with you
I think disfellowshipping is never “good news”; as it just shocks people but doesn’t have any real effect. As no details are made available, how can anyone help him with this weakness and at the same time protect other kids? It would be more interesting to know whether the necessary information was transferred to the DR (Dominican Republic), and whether policy about child abusers (no field service with children, not alone in field service, etc) was properly carried out. Was his travel known in ipswich congregation, and if not, did the DR JW congregation do background checks etc? Then we would get a more detailed view on the WT organizational side of this story.
There is no doubt he was disfellowshipped at the time because I heard the announcement. He had disappeared for quite some time before, which is why it was all sudden. I have no other information or anything else I can add. I
I also definitely know that he was later reinstated, but it appears many in London, including elders involved at the time, did not know he had gone to the Caribbean and only recently discovered it.
If there had been more abuse going on in the Caribbean (which it seems there was) then it must have been a relapse and it is being dealt with.
I cannot comment any more because I do not have any more facts than what I have given.
I am wondering after Armageddon whether disfellowshipped pedophiles (no no no dont read into my words WT) i said it right, if people after Armageddon become pedophile and are DFd will they be reinstated before their eternal destruction (or that of their victim). (Jesus:) You turn your converts into subjects of Gehenna.
This isnt about DFing the guilty. It is about the guilty getting the victims DFd while they stay protected longer that way. The rest of the brotherhood then seek to reinstate the DFd criminal instead of the DFd victim which should not have been DFd, nor threatened with DFing.
Sorry to keep questioning you, but I genuinely would like to know more about how paedophiles are disciplined in the WTBTS.
If this man was reinstated, then he would presumably have a file, just the same as any other witness. Wouldn’t his disfellowshipping be part of that file? Would he be on the list of paedophiles that Bethel compiles and keeps? Would this information be passed to the Elders in the Dominican Republic?
How will the brothers deal with this relapse? Will he be disfellowshipped again?
I fully understand if you don’t know the answers, and I am in no way having a go at you. I am very grateful for your comments.
Peace be with you
As I said, there’s nothing more I can say. I’m not an elder and am not involved with what went on or is going on now. I don’t know the details of how these matters are handled now but I think lessons were learnt and will leave it at that.
One thing, just to be sure about your questions, here are the procedures now…
1. If this man was reinstated, then he would presumably have a file, just the same as any other witness. Wouldn’t his disfellowshipping be part of that file? Yes, it would be on the file.
2. Would he be on the list of paedophiles that Bethel compiles and keeps? Yes, and he cannot ever be an elder or ministerial servant again with that charge against him.
3. Would this information be passed to the Elders in the Dominican Republic? Definitely this is passed on, even after he has been reinstated, this will always be mentioned no matter where he goes. This does not usually apply to other matters, particularly where 5 years has passed and they are less serious.
4. How will the brothers deal with this relapse? Will he be disfellowshipped again? If it is proven he has done it again and he is unrepentant then he will be disfellowshipped again. Whether he is disfellowshipped or reproved will depend on a number of factors as to what steps he has taken to put things right etc.
It needs to be said that the media report states he is back in prison for for breaking certain travel conditons after his release from prison – not for any further abuse. Apparently he has admitted this so this is something further which will need to be dealt with by the local congregation and the law.
That is my final say on this.
Thank you, John.
I realise that my questions have made you uncomfortable. I am very grateful for your answers.
Perhaps it is time to advise all members of the congregation that a member has been convicted of a sexual offence involving children. Nothing more than that. No details, just a heads up that this individual has committed a serious crime and sin in the past. Then families can come to their own conclusions, and potential further victims are protected.
Then, if repentance has been demonstrated, the individual can be forgiven of the sin, and the potential continuing of the crime can be avoided.
I am all for religious freedom. As long as it does not endanger other people. A compromise must be reached.
Thanks for your input on this post, John. We are both united in our genuine wish to protect children from abuse. I am sure that religions and secular society can unite to protect the right of all children to a happy and secure childhood, and to protect the rights of those individuals who have committed serious and repugnant crimes and have been punished.
Peace be with you
“Perhaps it is time to advise all members of the congregation that a member has been convicted of a sexual offence involving children.”
Agreed, but effectiveness would be limited without also changing policy to always inform police so an investigation can be started (for the law) as well. Otherwise such an announcement cannot be made ;-) (Because if an announcement were made something like: “the elders found him guilty” (or “confessed to” or whatever), then they could be charged for “slander” so they will never do such an announcement, understandably)
As an afterthought, I have been careful to comment without going beyond the facts as they have been given in the media.
The police will have, or will have had, various questions to ask him on a criminal basis. The local elders also will need to ascertain his spiritual standing, they are not policemen.
If a confession was made a Judicial Committee will be formed.
Merely returning and making a confession does not in itself mean he is repentant.
A few obvious questions would be…
1. Why did you leave UK in the first place?
2. Why did you return?
3. Why did you break the legal conditions you were bound to by not informing the authorities of your travel.
4. What did you do while you were there?
5. When did you last commit abuse?
6. What have you done to put things right?
Breaking his legal terms to disappear abroad means it doesn’t look good. So this and many other factors will need to be weighed before his standing in the congregation can be decided.
Any truly repentant person can be forgiven, but the notoriety (and in many cases addictive nature) of child sexual abuse makes it necessary to be especially careful to avoid being hasty in these matters.
Do we know whether the elders informed the police about this man suddenly dissapearing????
I noticed the above comment “What have you done to put things right?” as possibly being a question that would be asked of William Rogers.
My question is, how can a child abuser ever “put things right” with his victim?
The abuse cannot be undone. The trauma cannot be taken away. The physical damage to a small body cannot be undone. The sexual arousal of an innocent child cannot be undone. The memory of the abuse cannot be wiped away.
Even an apology could mean I’m sorry………(I ever got caught).
What is it that William Rogers can ever do to set things right with his victim/s? What will the elders accept as “setting things right”? What are they looking for?
Somebody please tell me.
My abuser has died. What would it have taken for him to “set things right” with me and my sister and all his other victims?
The more I think about this question, the more outraged I am that such a question could even exist. Would anything the victim said ever make any difference to “set things right”? What if I said “It’s really my fault that he abused me, I was too young, too helpless, too traumatized, too scared to tell anybody, I put myself in the wrong place at the wrong time, so it’s all my fault. I made him do it”. Would that “set things right” enough for the elders?
I wish I had never read that comment. The abuse never really ends, does it? It’s never over. The GB has found another way to keep the abuse going.
John, I apologize. None of this is directed at you. You are just an innocent bystander…..of my pain.
“What have you done to put things right” should probably be (I am no elder) interpreted as: “did you apologize to God and tell him how sorry you are?” perhaps also any attempt to put this in writing towards the victim (as approaching personally should be not done). But the elders don’t really care much about people anyway.
I’m sure they’re not thinking that the victim is “obliged” to admit to anything as a way to make things “right”.
I read your comments with great sympathy and sadness. You are right, there is no way to put things right. The terrible damage has already been done.
That is why I am so grateful for this site. It allows brave, wonderful people like you to have a voice, to be listened to and believed.
You are a beautiful human being. A unique and magnificent event in the universe and a good and kind friend to all of us.
You have achieved the hardest thing to attain – not to pass on your pain to others and not to be embittered by your totally awful abuse. I salute you and honour you as the kind of human being I try to be.
I am truly humbled by you and all those other brave souls who have suffered such terrible abuse.
Peace be with you
The comment ‘put things right’ was probably not the best choice of words. So it is not misunderstood I will explain it clearly. Questions will be asked about what he has done to show repentance. Anyone can be forgiven by God provided they repent of what they have done. I am not here to get into debates or defend anyone, but in the end it is God who knows the person’s true heart condition.
John, I apologize for what must have seemed an attack on you. There was absolutely nothing wrong with anything you said. You were only relaying information, just like you are today.
The GB has their own language and attach their own meanings to words that mean something totally different in the dictionary. I’m sure to outsiders, we all must sound like we have our own version of pig-latin.
Part of our problem is that we have to re-learn what words and phrases actually mean, not the connotation we’ve learned as JWs.
Thank you for explaining as no doubt not all know the JW lingo.
Excelsior, I read your message on May 6th and have been contemplating on how to respond.
Your kind, tender and loving words touched my heart….like water on a parched desert…on a level I wasn’t aware I had.
I don’t remember anyone ever saying those words to me quite like you did. I don’t really look at myself like that, so I had to digest your message.
I am brave to speak out. I don’t do it for myself. When I speak openly about my abuse, I think it gives some people the courage to give themselves permission to talk about their own abuse. I consider it as a duty and a privilege.
There are so many who suffer quietly, not being able to break their code of silence. For me, talking about abuse takes away its power over me. It empowers me to give the silent ones a voice.
One of the hardest things I’ve ever done is forgive myself for not speaking up sooner. I often thought I could have spared other little girls from abuse over a span of more than nearly 50 years….if only. If only I had told someone.
Over the years, I did attempt twice to talk with elders, but both times I was treated as “Oh well, at least he didn’t penetrate you”.
I have finally made peace with that young girl who didn’t know what to do, I forgave her. How could I not? She was so sweet and innocent and beautiful and unique. I know she did the best she could do…she meaning me at that time.
I will treasure your dear words always Excelsior!
You are one of the many people that make this site so special to me. I am encouraged by the spirit of love and support and acceptance I find on here. Even though I long for a real person to converse with, I find a connection here that is like no other.
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