How we exposed the pornographer headteacher
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By exposing the identity of a website operator we changed the lives of hundreds of men
We receive phone calls from distressed internet users regularly. Sadly, the people who often pay the highest price for the free internet are society’s most vulnerable individuals.
Many individuals who are unable to defend themselves online, tend to be poor or individuals who suffer from mental health issues or those who have had their self-confidence shuttered so badly, through continuance harassment and humiliation. Many have nearly given up, not only to try and remove posts and videos from the internet but also life itself. A few years ago, my trainee solicitor took a phone call from a highly distressed man, “Stephano”, who whilst crying, told her how had resolved to committing suicide that day, until he found an article online about Cohen Davis Solicitors, which prompted him to call the firm for help as his last opportunity.
The article that he read was about a case where solicitor Yair Cohen, had helped his client to remove scores of pornographic movies from the internet. Stephano lost his job to no fault of his own, and ended up, for a period of about three months, living on the streets, where he also started to use drugs. One day, he was approached by a well-dressed man, “Marco”, who offered him to participate in an erotic video for some cash.
Out of desperation, Stephano agreed, without knowing any details of what was going to follow. Shortly after, Stephano was taken to a local hotel in Isleworth where he was told to get undressed and obey Marco’s orders. Stephano was told to lie on a bed and a camera was positioned close to his face. His reactions were filmed while Marco carried out various sexual acts before having sex with him.
The filming included the insertion of various objects to his anus and treating Stephano like a slave. It went was far beyond what Stephano even imagined was going to happen in the filming. The entire experience was highly shocking, intrusive and traumatic for him and it had played in his head constantly ever since. He told my trainee solicitor that he could still feel the physical pain inside his body every time he thought about the incident. Shortly after they 'finished', Marco asked Stephano to sign a contract and then handed him £180 in cash.
A few hours later, Stephano sobered up and immediately contacted Marco to beg him to not publish the video on the internet. He offered to repay him the money plus any expenses. Stephano explained that he did not want him to publish the video as he was a married man, desperately seeking money and doing this film was completely out of character for him.
Marco laughed and eventually hung the phone up on him. Ever since, for nearly 3 years, Stephano had been extremely distressed. His video, which attracted almost 200,000 views on YouPorn was easily found online. He made several attempts to take his own life. The last time was just a few days before he contacted Cohen Davis solicitors.
At the time when Stephano contacted Cohen Davis Solicitors, he had little information to give about the whereabouts of Marco. Marco was running a paid for website, featuring videos of people like Stephano being sexually abused. He managed to hide his tracks well leaving hardly any internet footprints. It is never easy to track down the identity of a website operator who has taken nearly all the possible steps to hide his own identity from the public. Despite this, Cohen Davis solicitors agreed to take on Stephano’s case on a no win no fee basis and we immediately started investigating the whereabouts of Marco.
After nearly 2 weeks of online and offline investigations, we tracked Marco down, to a private residence in Essex, England. His real name was Mario Rodgers. He occupation was a headteacher. Mario Rogers used to work as a headteacher for schools in Berkshire and Essex. He lived in a house which was located opposite a school. He was previously employed as a head teacher in another primary school and as a school governor with the responsibility for safeguarding young children in a third school.
During the day, Mario Rodgers was teaching children how to become better human beings. In the evenings, as “Marco”, he was picking up homeless people, humiliating and sexually abusing them, and then posting their videos on the internet for profit, despite them begging him not to do so. Cohen Davis approached Mario Rodgers, who immediately agreed to take down all the videos of Stephano and to pay him an undisclosed sum of money in compensation.
After we briefed the news outlets Tortoise Media and the Sunday Times, they contacted Mario Rogers who in turn removed, for time being at least, all traces of his pornography business from the web. He also made the following statement to the Sunday Times: “I deeply regret my actions,” he said. "I learnt from this and have deleted the site. I would like to make clear that I was not aware of the person being under the influence of drugs.”
After we exposed, with the support of Tortoise Media and the Sunday Times the true identity of Mario Rogers, Instantly, the lives of hundreds of men who featured in videos on his website were changed for the better. Hundreds of men who used to be featured on Mario Rodgers’ website dominatedmen.net have had their humiliating videos removed overnight from the internet.
I am very pleased that I was able to take on Stephanos’ case. At the time, I only wanted to help one man who was terribly distress. This decision, it appears, has touched the lives of so many people. There are, however, still traces of those videos on other websites, and anyone who approach Cohen Davis directly, receives the help and support they need to have those videos also removed.
This was one of the most important cases of my career. I took on this case, with the pure intention to help a valuable man who needed my support at a particular time in his life. The fact that so many other men had been helped was a real bonus, with which I had been blessed. Some website operators and porn producers are very difficult to track down.
They use a complex web of websites, VPN servers, false names and proxies to ensure that they never get caught. The fact that a school headteacher and a pornographer like Mario Rogers had the confidence to do what he did and to get away with it for so many years, is down to the web of deceit that he created and to the fact that his victims were all vulnerable. When tracking down internet users, whether website operators or producers of pornography, I always keep an open mind who the individual behind the borrowed name is.
My advice to people who seek to expose the identity of those who abuse them on the internet is to never give up. Keep trying, keep seeking legal advice and keep searching for the right lawyer for you.