KY CRYSTAL ROGERS: Missing from Bardstown, KY - 3 July 2015 - Age 35 *ARREST*


The parents of a Kentucky woman last seen 10 days ago suspect foul play in her disappearance.

Crystal Rogers, 35, a mother of five, was last seen by her live-in boyfriend, Brooks Houck, on July 3, according to the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office.

Houck has said he had nothing to with Rogers’ disappearance. He has been extremely cooperative with investigators, police said, and he took a polygraph test.

A Kentucky police officer has been fired for allegedly tampering with an investigation regarding the missing girlfriend of his brother, who has just been named the only suspect in her disappearance.

Crystal Rogers, 35, has been missing since July 3. Her boyfriend, Brooks Houck, has claimed the last time he saw the mother of five was the night before, playing games on her phone.

The only clue in Rogers disappearance was her maroon Chevy Impala, which was found unlocked and with a flat tire on Bluegrass Parkway on Saturday.

Inside were her keys, purse and uncharged phone.

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Updated: 6:21 PM EST Nov 15, 2023
Curadhan Powell

The prosecutors in the trial for Brooks Houck have filed an objection to his request to have a different judge preside over his case.

Houck is charged with murdering Crystal Rogers in July 2015. Her body has never been found, but that's when she was last seen alive in Bardstown.

Houck's attorneys requested Judge Simms to recuse himself from the case, accusing him of being biased against him.

As for why, Houck's attorneys cited comments Simms made about him during an unrelated case in 2017 and the high $10 million bond the judge gave him.

Prosecutors on the case say that neither of these arguments demonstrate a personal bias or prejudice that should disqualify him from presiding in the trial.

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last month Simms could hold a hearing on whether to recuse himself or not.

This objection is part of that hearing.

If he decides to remain on the case, Houck's attorneys will have the option to appeal that decision to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Judge in Brooks Houck case will not recuse himself despite defense's request​

The Nelson County judge presiding over the case of Brooks Houck, charged with murder in the disappearance of Crystal Rogers, will not recuse himself from the case.

Attorneys for Houck filed a motion last month asking Judge Charles Simms to recuse himself due to perceived bias stemming from a family court case six years ago. On Wednesday, Judge Simms filed his response to motion, saying he will indeed remain on the bench.

"There is absolutely no language in the entire nine-page Order, including the one sentence that Brooks relies upon, where this judge rendered any opinion whatsoever about Brooks' guilt or innocence as to Rogers' disappearance and presumed death," Judge Simms wrote.

Defense attorney Brian Butler claimed “Judge Simms’ behavior with regard to Mr. Houck is such that his impartiality might reasonably be questioned from the perspective of a reasonable observer who is informed on all of the surrounding facts and circumstances.”

The attorney included multiple exhibits -- what he suggested show bias toward Houck.

Defense attorneys allege the bias extends beyond this case, to a previous custody dispute that Houck was not a party to. It was a case between his significant other Crystal Maupin and her ex-husband. At the time, the judge wrote "The court is simply astonished that Crystal would want a relationship with this man [Brooks Houck] who is the prime suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of of his previous girlfriend."

In Judge Simms' response Wednesday, he pointed out every decision he made in that previous case was to the benefit of Houck.

"Had this judge been prejudiced and biased against Brooks, it is simply unimaginable that Brooks would have prevailed on every issue related to him," he wrote.

The judge also defended the $10 million bond issued for Houck. Judge Simms said the special prosecutor and grand jury determined the amount.

He also said Houck is about 17 times wealthier than the average defendant.

Houck was arrested and charged with murder in September. He is the former boyfriend of Rogers, who went missing from Bardstown in 2015.

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