Man jailed for raping woman in church grounds

Jason Rogers custody picture © Dorset Police

A man has been jailed for 12 years for raping a woman in the grounds of a Bournemouth church.

Jason Robert Rogers, 26 and of no fixed abode, was sentenced yesterday, Monday 11 April, at Bournemouth Crown Court for one count of rape. Rogers had also been charged with robbery but was found not guilty at a trial in January. He was found guilty of rape following a retrial at the same court in March.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison with a further licence period of an additional six years upon release.

The court heard that in the early hours of Sunday 26 July 2015 Rogers met his victim as she begged in the town centre.

He followed her though the town and offered to pay her in return for a sexual act. The victim – a sex worker – agreed and the pair walked together to the grounds of St Peter’s Church.

Once there the victim was struck over the head and raped. She believed Rogers had a knife but did not see a weapon.

Rogers was identified via DNA evidence and was arrested at 4.30pm on Wednesday 29 July. He was charged the same day.

Detective Constable Neil Third, of Dorset Police’s Serious Sexual Offences Team, said: “Rogers carried out a sadistic attack on a vulnerable woman and I hope the sentence handed out today goes some way to reassure his victim that he can no longer harm other women.

“I would like to pay tribute to Rogers’ victim for coming forward and reporting this offence.

“Dorset Police takes all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously, regardless of someone’s background or circumstance. We will listen, our team of specially-trained officers will thoroughly investigate and we will bring offenders to justice.”

Jo Cain, case manager for Sex Worker Risk Assessment Conference (SWRAC) and employed by Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “Services are working together to prioritise the protection of people involved in prostitution. There is a multi-agency meeting which is held monthly to manage the risks that these women face on a daily basis.

“These risks are often related to issues such as homelessness, mental health, substance use and domestic abuse. The council, police and health services work together to enable women to access the support necessary for them to achieve a sustained exit from prostitution.

“Women working in prostitution are very often the victim of serious physical and sexual assault and this is wholly unacceptable.

“Offenders are known to target this group because they believe that women will be afraid to speak with police or seek support when violence is used. We will work with partner agencies to support these victims and ensure they receive the same access to justice we would all expect.

“We recognise that these women have the same rights as the rest of the population. These women deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, their lives matter.

“It is positive to note that since the multi-agency work began in 2014, there has been an increase in these women reporting crime.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victim in this case who was extremely brave and showed immense courage to report the crime to police and support the prosecution.”

Rogers’ victim said: “I hope that by coming forward I will encourage other sex workers to also consider talking to police if they are the victim of violence.

“Attending court was difficult but I felt supported by both Jo and Dorset Police.”

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