Escaped Sex Offender Captured In Oklahoma Casino

Rogers Facing Extradition To Benton County

Posted: March 5, 2010 at 5:28 a.m.

A Level 4 sex offender who escaped custody of McDonald County, Mo., authorities Tuesday found freedom short-lived.

Richard Lawrence Rogers, 57, wanted on two Benton County warrants, was captured Wednesday evening. The U.S. Marshal Sex Offender Task Force arrested Rogers as he was coming out of a casino near Tulsa, Okla.

Capt. Bud Gow of the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office said deputies there also arrested Rogers’ girlfriend, Diane Thompson, in connection with helping him escape.

Thompson is being held in the McDonald County Jail in connection with felony aiding and abetting. She is believed to have picked Rogers up after he walked out of Neosho Freeman Hospital in Neosho, Mo.

While being held at the McDonald County Jail awaiting an extradition hearing, he experienced medical problems and was taken to the hospital.

McDonald County authorities believe Thompson dropped Rogers off with his daughter, who lives in Tulsa.

Rogers has Benton County warrants for sexual indecency with a child and failure to comply with registration and reporting requirements.

Rogers was using the alias Lee Campbell when he was arrested in Missouri by the task force Feb. 26, according to information from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Rogers moved to the area from Illinois with criminal convictions of sex charges against children ages 8 to 13, said Wes Bryant, an investigator with the Sheriff’s Office.

“When he moved to our area, he was pretty high on (Illinois’) list,” Bryant said.

Bryant said Rogers was complying with the terms of a registered sex offender while living in Benton County.

An incident in 2007 was recently reported to authorities which they believe spurred Rogers to leave Arkansas. He is wanted in connection with luring an underage girl to his home in Rogers and exposing himself.

“When these accusations came out recently, we believe that’s when he left,” Bryant said. “He unregistered with us, and we thought he’d gone back to Illinois. Obviously, that wasn’t the case.”

Under Arkansas law, a Level 4 sex offender poses the highest level of risk to the public. Level 4 sex offenders exhibit sexually violent predator behavior, according to the State Sex Offender Registry.

Following a conviction of an offense requiring registration as a sex offender, the Arkansas Department of Correction initiates analysis, interview, psychological testing and evaluation, a review of relevant records and a polygraph to determine the individual’s probability of repeat offending, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office Web site.

As a result of the assessment the offender is given a risk level. Level 4 offenders live with impaired judgment or control of sexual or violent compulsions. This may be due to pedophilia or other disorders of sexual attraction, mental illness or personality disorder that distorts thinking, interferes with behavioral control and predisposes the person to acts of predatory sexual violence, according to the Level 4 assessment criteria.