A Wisconsin man is in police custody for allegedly instructing a 14-year-old girl — who had reached out to him for help escaping her allegedly abusive father — to record the rape and send him the video.
According to an affidavit filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Bryan Rogers was in contact with the 14-year-old girl from Tennessee via the online game Roblox, Facebook, and an encrypted messaging application.
The girl told Rogers on Dec. 24, 2018, that she was being molested by her adoptive father and the only person she told was her mother, who did not believe her.
Rogers then instructed the girl to record the rape and email it to him, according to the affidavit, citing text messages and an investigator's interview with Rogers.
"And I know you don't want to do it but I don't exactly want to see your dad rape you either. But we need clear video evidence," Rogers allegedly wrote in a chat message, later adding that without the video he could "get in a hell of a lot of trouble."
The girl responded saying it would be hard for her to record the video, adding, "I just can't promise I'll get the evidence."
"Then I can't promise I can get you away from that I hate to say it but I can't risk getting in trouble for you. If you get that video I can get you out of there but without it you will just wind up back with your dad and I'll be in trouble," Rogers responded.
"I can't stay here bryan I'm begging u plz," the girl texted.
He then instructed her to be in her room when her dad comes home and have the phone recording from before he enters.
Investigators found a 7-minute long video created on Jan. 10 saved on Rogers computers that shows an adult man raping the girl.
After receiving the tape, Rogers drove to Tennessee to pick up the girl and bring her to Wisconsin, avoiding tollways and gas stations with surveillance. The girl was found hiding in a closet in Rogers' home.
Attorneys for Rogers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rogers allegedly told an investigator that the video was blurry but that it showed "a full blown rape," adding that he never sent it to law enforcement because he didn't think it would stand up in court.
Rogers was charged with sexual exploitation of a child and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison, according to the Justice Department.
The girl was first reported missing by her mother on Jan. 14. The girl's parents, Christina and Randall Pruitt, appeared before reporters and pleaded for their daughter to come home.
"It's like having your soul ripped out of our body," Randall Pruitt said. "You can't think, you can't eat, you can't sleep, you can't rest. Life has just ceased for us since the day she left."
Police in Monroe County, Tennessee, arrested the girl's adoptive father, Randall Pruitt, and charged him with rape and bond was set at $2 million. Pruitt's lawyer told BuzzFeed News he could not comment saying the court has imposed a gag order.