Wayne Rogers

Silhouette image via Wikimedia Commons

Wayne Rogers, a male transvestite, was charged with assault by penetration, sexual assault and possession of a class A drug in May 2020.

Rogers, 44, was initially bailed to appear at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on 22 July, 2020. He then later appeared at St Albans Crown Court on 2 September for a plea and trial preparation hearing. The trial was set for the week commencing 11 January, 2021.

Following the complainant making the allegations to Hertfordshire Constabulary in December 2019, the police issued a renewed appeal in Jan 2020 for witnesses and dashcam footage at the time/location of the attack without mentioning the key identifying feature that the suspect was a male person dressed in women’s clothes. The appeal does not even mention the suspect’s sex or a physical description.

Herts police said ‘We do not want to be in a situation where members of the gay or trans communities in particular are being targeted by hurtful comments or actions as a result of this information being released.”

Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins then issued further instructions to journalists to “ensure you are regularly monitoring or removing any offensive comments posted on social media.”

Later on in their investigations the police’s own words to describe the defendant in June 2020 were that Wayne Rogers was “a man posing as a woman”.

When briefing media to seek their help in encouraging any other possible victims to come forward, Hertfordshire Police justified witholding the description warning that “it is absolutely vital that any coverage of the case in the media is handled supportively and sensitively, both in terms of the male victim and of the LGBT+ community. But the very fact that the police could not ascertain whether the suspect was a trans-identified male or “a man posing as a woman” reveals the problem – if they can’t tell, how would women, confronted with a similar male person in the changing room of a local pool, for example, somehow be able to magically make the distinction?

In another case in 2018, after publishing a press release entitled “Woman sentenced for historical sexual offences against a child”, Hertfordshire Police received hundreds of replies from other Twitter users asking them to name the offender, Gary/Carrie Cooper as a male sex offender, rather than ascribe a violent male’s crimes to a woman. Herts Police subsequently deleted the tweet.

Police appeal https://www.herts.police.uk/news-and-appeals/renewed-appeal-for-witnesses-following-sexual-assault-in-bishops-stortford-1248a archive

Media reports

Daily Mail https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8443647/Police-issue-appeal-sex-attacker-without-mentioning-suspect-man-wearing-womans-clothes.html

Women Are Human https://www.womenarehuman.com/to-avoid-being-hurtful-to-trans-community-police-fail-to-provide-description-of-wanted-sexual-assailant/

Hertfordshire Mercury https://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/news/police-believe-man-sexually-assaulted-4204249

Essex Live https://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/man-sexually-assaulted-attacker-posing-4204277

Bishop Stortford Independent https://www.bishopsstortfordindependent.co.uk/news/stortford-male-rape-case-suspect-wayne-rogers-back-in-court-9122282/