John Rogaris was released on personal recognizance today at his arraignment on charges of witness tampering and interfering with a police investigation into how a man wound up lying behind his Roggie's Bar and Grille on Chestnut Hill Avenue early on May 23.
Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney David Bradley said Rogaris's four-count indictment stems from an incident at closing that day, when a worker going downstairs to use the restroom found an underage man unconscious on the stairs - and from Rogaris's alleged efforts that night and in the two weeks following to keep police from finding out what happened:
On or about June 12, 2014, the defendant visited a witness and promised him that he would take care of him financially if he "took the fall for him."
Bradley said that after the man's slumped body was found on the stairs, Rogaris told workers to carry him out back and call 911. They took him outside but didn't call 911, and police only learned the man was lying on the ground, suffering life-threatening head injuries, from a passerby a half hour later.
Once homicide detectives - called because of the severity of the man's injuries - arrived, Bradley said, Rogaris told them his video surveillance system was either not working or had been removed altogether.
In fact, Bradley said, detectives discovered on June 3, after obtaining a search warrant, that a DVR video showed two workers carrying the unconscious man outside. However, it showed no other video of the events that night - although it did show Rogaris "at the back of the DVR machines manipulating wires."
In court, Rogaris said nothing except to plead not guilty. Outside court, one of his lawyers, Alan Rose, said Rogaris has "a spotless record" and that the indictments "are proof of nothing."
According to the DA's office, the victim in the case was 20 at the time and an Irish national in Boston for a work program as part of his studies at University College Cork.