What's creepier than a sex offender groping an unsuspecting woman who's legally blind? A sex offender groping an unsuspecting woman who's legally blind in front of her three-year-old son.
The crime, for which James Rodgers was sentenced this week, is detailed in an arrest affidavit on view below.
Just shy of 5:30 p.m. on February 1, according to the document, a 28-year-old woman contacted Greeley Police to report a sex offense that had taken place less than an hour earlier.
She told officers she'd been at Speedy's Laundromat on 8th Avenue in Greeley with her three-year-old son. At first, no one had been in the joint, but a short time later, a man arrived and engaged her in conversation -- about, unexpectedly enough, religion. He noted that his church holds services on Tuesday and Friday evenings, with a meal provided along with the holiness, and he asked her to accompany him.
Thanks but no thanks, she told him -- since her husband would likely object.
Shortly thereafter, her son needed to use the restroom. She walked him in that direction but remained in the doorway so she could keep an eye on her clothes. While standing there, however, she said the man grabbed her right buttock with his right hand and was reaching for her right breast when her startled reaction caused him to pause, and gave her a chance to flee with the little boy. She was walking as quickly as she could toward other businesses down the street when she was able to reach her husband and then police.
A few hours after an interview during which she described her assailant as an older white male with long, salt-and-pepper hair and alcohol on his breath, she called the cops back to share more information. She remembered going to a 7-Eleven a few days earlier where she'd seen a panhandler she recognized in retrospect as the same guy who'd pawed her. She'd spoken to him at the time about a church he'd been attending at 8th Avenue and 21st Street -- and he'd introduced himself as James Kenneth Rodgers.
Turns out Rodgers was a sex offender, having been convicted in Florida circa 1994 of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of sixteen.
The woman subsequently failed to identify Rodgers in a photo lineup. A couple of reasons suggested by the affidavit: In the photo of Rodgers she was shown, he didn't have the salt-and-pepper hair she'd noticed -- and since childhood, she'd suffered from congenital blindness. Her visual acuity in her best eye was 20/400 uncorrected and 20/200 corrected.
Further investigation revealed that Rodgers had been living in the basement of Waypoints Faith Community Church, where he'd done occasional maintenance work in exchange for room and board. But the pastor there revealed he'd given Rodgers the heave-ho for violating one of the rules of his residency: He'd been visibly intoxicated.
Before long, officers located Rodgers, who confirmed that he'd visited the 7-Eleven in question; in fact, he'd been transported from there to a medical center on a diagnosis of knee pain and alcohol intoxication. He also conceded that he'd been in the area of the laundromat at the time of the reported attack, and while he couldn't remember doing what the woman described, he said that if he had, "he must have been out of his mind and did not know what he was doing," the report says.
Last month, Rodgers pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual contact and one count of failing to register as a sex offender, both class-one misdemeanors. His reward: a sentence of two years in Weld County Jail.
Here's a larger look at Rodgers's mug shot, followed by the arrest affidavit.
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