Dec. 8, 2005 Police Officer Earl L. Rogers Jr. was arraigned Thursday in connection with his alleged July assault on movie theater usher Gretta George.
According to documents filed at the Superior Court on St. Thomas, Rogers pled not guilty to charges of assault, "maliciously and willfully" disturbing the peace, and false arrest.
When contacted Thursday afternoon, Ernest Basonthe prosecuting attorney in the casesaid Rogers had not been arrested, but was instead summoned to court on a complaint filed by the V.I. Justice Department. Bason said individuals who are arraigned are usually arrested first, but this time the court "did things a bit differently."
He also said no bail was set for Rogers, who was released on his own recognizance Thursday morning. Bason added since Rogers is a police officer, he was not found by presiding Judge Rhys Hodge to be a "flight risk."
In July, Rogers allegedly assaulted George at the Market Square East movie theater after she told him not to exit through the entrance door of the building. According to witnesses at the scene, Rogers got angry with George and pushed her out of the theater and onto the sidewalk. (See Witness Says Off-Duty Officer Assaulted Movie Usher.)
After the incident, Rogers was supposed to have been suspended for 25 days without pay. However, at a recent court hearing for an unrelated case, Rogers testified that he had not been suspended. Rogers said he had instead cut a deal with the V.I. Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit to remain on "administrative leave" while still collecting his paycheck. (See Officer's Testimony Brings Scrutiny to Police Affairs.)
Rogers will be summoned to court again, Bason said, after he has been processed through the court system. Until then, no trial date has been set.
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