Priest from Louisiana was Sentenced to One Year in Jail

United Press International
November 6, 1985

The Rev. Norman Joseph Rogge, a Roman Catholic priest from Louisiana, was sentenced to one year in jail Wednesday for performing a lewd and lascivious act in the presence of a child under 16.

Rogge, 60, was pastor of a church in Montgomery, La., when he surrendered to authorities at Inverness last June after learning of the charge against him.

He was accused in a sheriff's department affidavit of trying to get a boy to perform oral sex on him when he and another man were with the 11-year-old at a cabin in the woods near Inverness.

Rogge pleaded no contest to the charge.

Citrus County Circuit Judge William F. Edwards withheld adjudication of guilt and ordered Rogge be taken to a New Mexico treatment center. Once he is declared cured, he will be returned to Citrus County and Edwards will decide how much, if any, of the jail time he will have to serve.

The second man, Michael Betancourt, 43, of Tampa, is in Citrus County jail awaiting trial on charges of sexual battery and aggravated battery in connection with the incident.

Rogge once was assistant pastor at Tampa's Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Betancourt is former president of Child Search Inc., a defunct missing children's group headquartered in Tampa.

This was the second sexual case against Rogge involving young boys.

He pleaded guilty in Tampa in 1966 to one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The judge withheld adjudication of guilty and sentenced Rogge to three years probation and psychiatric counseling.


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