Editor’s note: This story includes quotes in which racist slurs are used.
A Winona resident has been charged with two felonies after allegedly harassing and shouting racist slurs at a young girl and her family over the last two and a half years, beginning when they moved across the road from him.
Roger D. Rector, 42, faces a count each of first-degree harassment, and harassment motivated by discrimination to frighten or disturb another person.
Harassment is classified as first degree if the person committing it means to cause, or does cause emotional distress to another person. The second of the charges is classified as a hate crime in the Missouri Revised Statutes.
Court records show Rector was arrested Sept. 18 on the harassment charge, and released on $5,000 bail the same day. On Oct. 6, following the Oct. 1 filing of a complaint by Shannon County Prosecutor Jodie Brumble, a no-bond warrant on the hate crime charge was issued.
The records on the first-degree harassment charge show that, on Sept. 22, Rector entered a plea of not guilty and requested an application for a public defender. His next court appearance, a preliminary hearing, is scheduled for Oct. 27 before 37th Circuit Associate Judge Sandra West in Shannon County.
Family members of the child, who is 9 years old, filed reports with the Winona Police Department and Shannon County Sheriff's Department beginning April 22, when one of them spoke to Winona Police Chief Steve Dickerson.
Dickerson was told by the family member that Rector had been shining a light in the family’s home and shouting racist slurs at the girl, who he said is African American, while the family was outside, including, “Get in the house you nasty n-----," “Take your black a-- inside," and "n----- n-----."
The complainant also told Dickerson he has a recording of Rector shouting, “Run n----- n-----,” and video of him shining a light at their house. Rector reportedly continued after the child's father spoke with him about it. The alleged harassment has reached the extent that the child can't go outside to play because of the effect the harassment has had on the family, the complainant told Dickerson.
About five months later, on Sept. 13, the child's mother reported to Shannon County Deputy Keith Rader that Rector had been spotlighting their home at night, including their bedroom windows, and regularly shouting racist slurs directed at her daughter while the girl is outside walking the family’s dog, including a suggestion to the girl that she cut her "black n----- skin off and it will stop."
The spotlighting has reportedly happened between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. on weekends and when Rector leaves for work, and at about 10:30 p.m. Sept. 12, after Rector had been shining his light in their bedrooms he reportedly began shouting racial slurs at them.
Rader added that Rector's neighbor feared the harassment will continue to escalate to the point "something bad will happen."