Crime

ROGERS — The Rogers Police Department didn’t investigate 18 criminal cases, including four cases involving alleged sexual assaults, according to a report obtained by the Telegram.

Numerous felony sex offenses reported since 2017, along with other felony and misdemeanor offenses, were never investigated, Bell County Lt. Michele Cianci, Special Crimes Unit director, said in an email to Rogers City Manager Chris Hill.

Those cases were discovered Monday by the Special Crimes Unit during a sex offender compliance check, done in the absence of any current Rogers Police officers, Bell County Maj. T.J. Cruz said Wednesday.

The unit, led by Cianci, obtained permission from Hill to delve into the department’s records, she said.

Her emailed report, sent to Hill, was read Tuesday night at a called Rogers City Council meeting.

Cianci personally took possession of the 18 cases that included the sex-related cases she gave to the appropriate supervisors to be reviewed, she said. One sex-related case from 2017, another from 2018 and two from 2019 were never investigated, Cianci reported.

A lot of yellow packets with sex offender information dating back to 2011 and 2012 were never unsealed, Jacqueline Cathers, sex offender registrar with the sheriff’s department, said.

Twenty-six packets with validations needed status verification. Some offenders within those packets already were in prison, had moved out of state, were no longer listed as absconders or had other clarifications, Cathers said.

Every sex offender listed in Rogers was accounted for by Wednesday, Cianci said.

Six sex offender compliance checks were done Monday by investigators, and one sex offender was not in compliance. Robert Wireman, the former Rogers Police chief, had no phone numbers listed for the offender or his contacts. By Wednesday, that offender contacted Cathers’ office and promised to come in and update his information with her.

Rogers sex offenders will report now to Cathers.

Hill said he’s not sure, but it appears it’s been years since sex offender checks were performed by the Rogers Police Department, which currently has no police officers after recent resignations.

No checks and balances or accountability could be found in the Rogers Police Department records, Cianci said.

Her office is still sifting through “a barrage of paperwork,” she said.

The resignation of Wireman, submitted July 12, was effective July 25. The resignation of Kathryn Martinez, a former officer, was turned in July 14 and was immediately effective at her request.

Both resignations were accepted by the Council members.

   Mayor Billy Ray Crow was not at the meeting, he said Wednesday.

Neither Wireman nor Martinez could be reached Wednesday for comments.

Wireman was with the city of Rogers for more than 13 years.

Effective July 30, Wireman was a reserve office with the Valley Mills Police Department, according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

The Bell County Sheriff’s Department is covering the city until a new police chief is hired, Crow and Sheriff Eddy Lange recently confirmed.

Hill was authorized Tuesday night to take applications for a new police chief.

The city hopes to have a police chief in place by October, according to Cruz.