Another exclusive: Rogers' friend believes abuse happened
ST. GABRIEL - A day after details about the double-life TV personality Scott Rogers was living came to light, more of his past unraveled Friday.
Rogers' friend, Darla O'Connor, told WBRZ in an exclusive interview, Rogers became unrecognizable.
"He became a man I did not know," she said. "A person I'd never seen," she added.
O'Connor was interviewed by sheriff's deputies following Rogers' death. Her conversation was recorded and was released with numerous CDs containing hours of interviews with O'Connor, a man named Stuart, and another woman named Maria Edwards. The WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit obtained the case files through a public records request to the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office once Rogers' death investigation was closed.
Details of the files were first reported on WBRZ.com and WBRZ News 2 at TEN on Thursday.
O'Connor told investigators during her interview she was unaware of the allegations made against Rogers by Stuart dealing with sexual abuse. Stuart said he and the man who killed Rogers, Mathew Hodgkinson, moved to Louisiana with Rogers from Dallas and before that England and were, essentially, brainwashed into serving Rogers. In recorded interviews with deputies, Stuart said Rogers assaulted them and other boys.
Click HERE to see a timeline of how Rogers and the group got to Iberville Parish.
"I met him when I was 12; by the time I was 13, he was engaging in sexual abuse with me," he said in a recorded interview with deputies. "There were at least three other kids that I know of because that sexual abuse was group in nature."
"I believe that the stories from England are true and I believe that Stuart is telling the truth," O'Connor told WBRZ investigator Ryan Naquin. Naquin first reported the details of the case on television Thursday.
"I do not know that any children from the United States were touched, but I would put my house on anything that Stuart says," she added.
It was revealed in case files that Rogers planned the murder-suicide and convinced Hodgkinson to the pull the trigger after learning a grand jury was looking into if he doctored adoption papers for two foster children he was caring for.
Hodgkinson, who was also married to Rogers' daughter in what officials called a sham marriage arranged so he could stay in the country, left notes for the people the pair left behind.
"I am so sorry that you may now be in trouble for just saying 'yes' to me," Hodgkinson wrote to Rogers' daughter.
In another letter, left for Maria Edwards, Hodgkinson explained where money was hidden around the house for her and gave her access codes and passwords to accounts so she could handle bills and business.
Rogers ran a production company and hosted the "Around Town" TV show.
Hodgkinson also wrote Edwards should take custody of the foster children. The children were removed from his care prior to his death.
Just days before he died, Rogers changed his will and left everything to Edwards, who was inside the Rogers estate when the shooting happened and called 911.
At the Edwards' house Friday, Edwards' husband told WBRZ his wife was not interested in discussing the case but was shocked to learn Maria Edwards was listed as the person with the sole power over Rogers' assets.
While Edwards is listed as the beneficiary, court records show no will has been filed and Rogers' daughter, Kimberly, is listed as the administrator of her dad's estate, estimated at $165,000. There will likely be a court battle over the assets.