A Tennessee girl who ran away in January ended up over 700 miles from home after her mother reportedly failed to protect her from her adoptive father, who had allegedly been raping and molesting the girl for years.
The 14-year-old girl fled to Wisconsin last month with a man she met online, identified as 31-year-old Bryan David Rogers. She was suicidal, frightened, and had no adult in her home she could trust, according to documents filed Monday at the U.S. Western District Court of Wisconsin.
Rogers’ attorney, Marcus Jens Berghahn, pointed out that Rogers said the girl told him she tried to get help after Randall Lee Pruitt, 41, sexually assaulted her many times. Pruitt is now behind bars in Madisonville, Tennessee. He’s charged with rape.
The girl’s mother, who hasn’t faced any charges, apparently wasn’t willing to help her daughter, according to what the teen told Rogers, court documents read. The woman is the teen’s biological mother. Court records indicate she married Pruitt when the girl was a small child. They have three other children together, including another daughter from the woman’s previous relationship, and a boy and girl born to Pruitt and the mother.
The teen victim was the only child homeschooled, while the others went to public school.
“While she told her mother about the rapes, KV’s mother took no action, either because she couldn’t or, perhaps, because she didn’t want to believe KV. Desperate, KV asked Rogers to help her.”
Rogers is behind bars, charged with sexual exploitation after he allegedly convinced the girl to record her father raping her. Bryans said he only wanted the video for evidence, claiming without evidence the teen would be returned back to her father. Berghahn argued his client never harmed the girl and never had sex with her.
The documents state that Rogers tried several times to get the girl to go to the police, hospital, or a friend’s house for help. The girl reportedly told Rogers she was scared her father would harm her after he shot her dog, skinned it, and dumped the body on the family property.
Bryan: Then go to a hospital and get a rape kit
Bryan: KV hell you could just go to the police after he rapes you and get a rape kit done on you. It’s only a few miles to town
KV (teen girl, pseudonym): Bryan…
Bryan: Then they will have DNA evidence that he raped you and since you’re a minor it won’t matter if he forced himself on you or not. Between the rape charged and having all those guns as a s convicted felon he will be put away for a long f ing time
After the teen girl threatened suicide several times and it became clear she was too scared to get help alone, Rogers pushed again for her to get evidence. He said in a text message he couldn’t “risk going to prison” for someone he just met.
“I hate to say it but I can’t risk getting trouble for you. If you can get that video I can get you out of there but without it you will just wind up back with your dad and I’ll be in trouble.”
In early January, the girl turned on her cellphone’s video recorder, which allegedly captured Pruitt coming into her room and sexually assaulting her. The girl sent the video to Rogers and with that, Rogers drove to Tennessee and picked the girl up. The girl left her Madisonville home on January 14.
Rogers then drove the girl to his mother’s home in Madison, Wisconsin. He kept her in the basement where his bedroom was. According to his lawyers, Rogers has maintained a steady job in the area for years, but recently moved back to his mother’s house so he could return to college.
While with Rogers, the girl wrote a 6-page letter to the FBI and included an SD card that reportedly showed Randall abusing her. Rogers then drove the teen to the Missouri, where they mailed the package to the FBI’s St. Louis field office, then drove back to Wisconsin.
Rogers’ defense team said the package sent to the FBI included the graphic video. Yet, an affidavit filed earlier this month indicated Rogers said he never gave the video to authorities because he didn’t think it would hold up as evidence in court. The FBI has not yet confirmed publically what was included in the package.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the pair had no idea whether the FBI received the package or not, according to the documents. When police arrived at Rogers’ home on January 31, he allegedly lied about the girl being there because he wasn’t sure whether she would be returned to her father. Rogers didn’t know at the time that Pruitt had been arrested and charged with rape.
On Tuesday, a Wisconsin judge denied bond for Rogers and ruled there was enough probable cause to hold him in jail until trial.
[Feature Photo: Randall Pruitt/Police Handout]
**Editor’s Note**: The story has been updated to reflect Rogers’ defense lawyers argued that he did turned over graphic video to the FBI.