A Ramsey County jail inmate was touched inappropriately in his sleep last week by a onetime mixed martial arts fighter in custody for suspicion of sexual assault who was placed in his cell, according to charges filed Wednesday.
The suspect in the jail assault, Brett C. Rogers, 35, was in custody for allegedly grabbing one man’s genitals in a library and propositioning two other men in the skyway.
Rogers fondled the inmate’s genitals over his uniform as the man slept, according to one count of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct filed against Rogers in the jail assault.
“[The victim] did not hit the button in the cell to get correctional officers to respond because he feared that by the time they arrived, Rogers would have hurt him,” the complaint said.
Ramsey County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Eastham said Wednesday that such types of assaults in the jail are “incredibly rare.” He said that once jail staff became aware of the incident, the Sheriff’s Office “aggressively” investigated it.
He said that when inmates are booked on probable cause criminal sexual conduct charges, the information does not include the gender of the alleged victims.
According to the complaint: The victim in the jail assault had a cell to himself when Rogers was brought into the unit on Jan. 11. The victim was sleeping in the bottom bunk, but woke up and voluntarily moved to the top bunk because, he later told authorities, Rogers was “the biggest, strongest dude in the jail” and could not fit in the top.
The inmate went to sleep, and woke up to discover Rogers fondling his genitals. Rogers backed off, and the inmate went back to sleep. The inmate woke up a second time to Rogers fondling him again.
Out of fear for his safety, the inmate waited until after he had been released from his cell to report the incident to a correctional officer on Jan. 12. He was moved to a different cell.
Rogers, a mixed martial arts and heavyweight fighter, allegedly denied the incident when he was questioned by a sheriff’s deputy. He said he had tapped the inmate’s leg, the complaint said.
“I wish he was in front of me so I could beat his [expletive] ass,” Rogers allegedly told the deputy.
Rogers was charged last week in Ramsey County with one count each of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and interfering with privacy for the library and skyway incidents.
According to those charges: in mid-November, Rogers grabbed a man’s genitals in a St. Paul library elevator. Later that month, a man reported that he was in the skyway near Galtier Plaza in downtown St. Paul when someone matching Rogers’ description asked if he wanted to hang out or go to an apartment. When the man refused, the suspect grabbed his hand and pulled it toward the suspect’s crotch.
On Jan. 4, a man was walking to a bathroom near the Union Depot when he made eye contact with Rogers. Rogers, who was closer to the bathroom, entered. Rogers stood next to the man at the urinals, propositioned him for sex and grabbed the man’s buttocks.
Rogers pleaded guilty in 2011 to attacking his then-wife, who sustained numerous injuries, including the loss of a tooth. At one point, Rogers was a top-10 ranked heavyweight in mixed martial arts for Strikeforce, the organization that promoted his fights around the country.