BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The image of sunshine and smiles that TV host Scott Rogers projected on his "Around Town Show" was what some say was his overly effusive effort to divert attention from what he was really doing.
In her blockbuster new book, "Familiar Evil," author Rannah Gray said Rogers was smart and clever. After all, he managed to slide past immigration several times as he moved his family across international borders. Child services allowed him to adopt and foster children, not likely had they known he was an accused child predator.
He was smart enough to go do something new and reinvent himself in Baton Rouge. Years before, a hung jury in England let Rogers, who was a performing arts school principal at the time, avoid prison. He was charged but not found guilty of sexually assaulting a young student.
As he resurfaced in Baton Rouge, Gray said he sought to befriend people in high places and he did.
In her book, Gray said Rogers aligning himself with upper crust allies in Louisiana followed the same script he used in England.
Despite accusations of abuse and running a cult, Gray said, "Rogers still had 17 character witnesses at his trial, ministers, law enforcement, civic leaders, teachers and even the parents of some students."
Gray became involved in the search for the truth about Rogers when an ex-student of his from England, a student he allegedly abused, contacted
her. After an internet search turned up a story that contained the names of Rogers and Gray, the ex-student Ethan emailed her and that led to the case being cracked wide open here in Louisiana.
Gray talked at length to Ethan, gathered and verified information and delivered it to a U.S. Attorney with the jaw-d ropping allegations. She heard his and others accounts of being locked in a room and raped, of having their bones broken.
That's what Ethan said he endured. He feared and said he knew the horrors continued for others. Ethan said Rogers first molested him in his old office at the school.
Clinical social worker Leslie Todd said for polished molesters like Rogers, "it's not a hobby but a career."
Careers like that take money and Rogers lived well. He traveled well and enjoyed the comforts of a $500,000 estate in St. Gabriel. Revenue like that was likely not possible from his small, local TV show.
"How he funded his activities is one of the biggest unanswered questions of the Scott Rogers story," Gray said.
But she said he himself hinted an answer to people at his church in his final days. Rogers told them he was being investigated for his involvement in an international pedophile ring. Rogers had frequently visited Malaysia, one of the world's hot spots for child exploitation.
Gray said there is something we can learn from this story.
"If something doesn't feel right to you, just question it and If ever you believe children are danger, you have to do something," Gray said.