Toothless and Bloody she Denies Assault
By Bryanna Fissori
Just over a week following his loss by submission to Josh Barnett in the Strikeforce tournament Brett Rogers did to his wife what he couldn’t manage to do to Barnett.
This is much more than your average domestic violence screaming match that escalates to a slap in the face or shove in the wrong direction. According to the complaint filed by the State of Minnesota this event was more like round five when the fighter knows he’s are down on points.
Just after midnight on the morning of June 29 officers were called to the Rogers’ home in Apple Valley, Minnesota where Rogers and his wife T.R. and their two young daughters reside. The response was to a call placed by a concerned neighbor who heard yelling and the sound of glass breaking. One neighbor described what sounds exactly like “ground and pound” with Rogers “standing over T.R. and punching her multiple times in the head and face as she lay on the ground.”
While the officers spoke to Rogers in the driveway, listening through his slurred speech due to admitted alcohol consumption, his wife made a break for it. She was located walking not far from the residence. Without a doubt in need of some end-swell, she had a golfball sized lump over her left eyebrow, a bump on her right eyebrow and one in the middle of her forehead. She had cauliflower ear, injuries to her jaw, blood on her face and to top it off, a missing tooth.
T.R. stated to officers on the scene that she had tripped and fallen. An ambulance was called.
In recent years there has been a movement to promote awareness about domestic violence and the strange affect it can have on the victim, including the denial of its existence. Numerous studies have been done to discover why victims often refuse to admit they are being abused. Many times the reasons stem from fear of retaliation, shame, fear of what will happen to the children and dependence on the abuser for financial support. This causes the victim to accept the blame for the violence and often create stories to convince themselves and others that it never happened. T.R. was in Rogers’ corner at all three of his last Strikeforce events.
In the ambulance she admitted to having an argument and that at one point her husband grabbed her with both hands around the neck and squeezed. Surprisingly, he did not go for the arm triangle that Barnett caught him with earlier in the month. According to the complaint, at the hospital “T.R. stated she did not want her husband charged with assault because she did not want to cause him trouble with his job.”
It is too late for that. Following the arrest Rogers was released from the Strikeforce promotion and even if she wasn’t willing to talk there were two other victims who were. The officers on the scene spoke to Rogers’ nine and ten year old daughters about the events of the evening. They confirmed that they heard yelling and saw their mother being pushed against the kitchen cabinets. The younger yelled for her father to stop.They also reported that he had previously struck their mother and had also done so to them within the last two years. The girls remained with a neighbor for the rest of the night and explained that, “they were afraid to go home, and that their father had choked them in the past.”
Most people use grappling dummies for extra ground practice. Rogers used his family.
The State of Minnesota is bringing charges for three different felony counts and one gross misdemeanor:
– Assault in the Third Degree is a felony charge which could hold up to 5 years in prison or $10,000
– Domestic Assault by Strangulation is a felony charge, which could mean 3 years in prison or $5,000.
– Pattern of Stalking Conduct is a felony charge which could mean 10 years in prison or $20,000
– Endangerment of a Child is a Gross Misdemeanor, which could bring up to a year in prison or $3,000.
Totaled all together the charges hold the possibility of 19 years or $38,000. Rogers was released on $10,000 bail and was scheduled for a hearing on July 8.
Now that Rogers will no longer be fighting in the cage for Strikeforce we can only hope he finds an appropriate outlet for his skills.