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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

After a teenager ran away from her Tennessee home, the Madison man who convinced her to leave has been charged with knowingly persuading a minor to engage in sexual conduct.  

Madison man charged with sexual exploitation, teen found safe, adoptive father arrested

A Madison man was charged in federal court Monday for knowingly persuading a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct with the intent to visually depict the acts. 

The minor involved had been missing from her Tennessee home since Jan. 13 and was found safely in Madison Thursday. 

The man accused, Bryan D. Rogers, allegedly came into contact with the 14-year-old girl through an online game according to an affidavit. Through the game, the girl told Rogers that she was being sexually assaulted by her adoptive father.

According to the affidavit, Rogers traveled to Tennessee to pick up the minor and returned with her to Wisconsin. Authorities also said she left willingly because of the “family situation.”

If convicted, Rogers will face a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison. 

The same day that the minor was found safely, the teen’s adoptive father was charged with rape. According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s department, Randall Pruitt was arrested with probable cause coming from videos and pictures retrieved from his cellphone.

In a Jan. 25 interview, Pruitt told local news station WVLT having his daughter missing was like “having your soul ripped out of your body. You can't think. You can't eat. You can't sleep. Life has just ceased for us since the day she left."

During the same interview, the minor’s mother shared a message she hoped would reach her daughter: "You are my sunshine, and will always be my sunshine. No matter what, I love you. Please come home."

Rogers made an initial appearance in court on Monday afternoon, while Pruitt will face a bond hearing on Tuesday.

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