Farmington man acquitted of sexual contact charges

Noel Lyn Smith

FARMINGTON — A Farmington man charged in 2014 for several sex crimes was acquitted after a three-day trial last week.

Clifford Rogers was charged with three counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the third degree, two counts of aggravated indecent exposure and one count of criminal sexual penetration in the first degree.

His trial took place Dec. 12 to 14 in the Eleventh Judicial District Court in Aztec.

Rogers was arrested in March 2014 for allegedly committing sex crimes against two young female relatives, according to Daily Times archives.

He initially faced 13 charges — including multiple counts of criminal solicitation to commit criminal sexual contact of a minor — that were filed in April 2014, according to court records.

In September 2015, seven charges were dismissed by a prosecutor, according to court records.

Eric Morrow, Rogers’ attorney, said that during the trial two charges were dismissed by the state.

Morrow said the case centered on testimony provided by the victims, which was called into question when details changed throughout the course of the trial.

"He feels relieved that he was acquitted," Morrow said.

Dustin O'Brien, San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney, said the case was tough to prove because there was no physical evidence to support the statements.

"We are, of course, disappointed with the verdict," O'Brien said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.