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Child Exploitation
06/22/2009

ICE arrests Tucson man on sex tourism charges

Suspect also employed as associate principal in area school

TUCSON, Ariz. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested a Tucson man Friday on federal charges related to the sexual exploitation of children.

Albert Thomas Rogers, 51, contacted an ICE undercover special agent regarding a tour including the sexual exploitation of children in January. Through continued communication with the agent, Rogers expressed interest in spending "relaxation intimacy," to include oral and anal sex, with a 13- to 14-year-old boy in Mexico. In February, Rogers submitted a reservation form to ICE's undercover operation in Yuma, Ariz., that included a $50 deposit.

According to the criminal complaint, Rogers, currently employed as a superintendent for the Tanque Verde Unified School District and as an associate principal at Emily Gray Junior High School in Tucson, requested a tour date of June 19 and was taken into custody in Yuma when he arrived. ICE agents are working with the Tucson Police Department to determine if Rogers' alleged criminal activity extended to the workplace.

"To pedophiles who think they can hide from the law by violating the innocence of children beyond our borders, our message is that we will do everything in our power and use every tool at our disposal to keep our children safe - whether they are around the block or around the world," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE investigations in Arizona.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

ICE began the undercover sex tourism operation in Yuma in 1997. Since that time, agents have arrested 43 suspects, including Rogers. This investigation is part of Operation Predator, an ongoing ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.