Rollins sorry for 'bad choices' but maintains his innocence

SEXUAL ASSAULT TRIAL: He sticks to denials under cross-examination

February 10, 2011 

A state prosecutor continued Thursday to grill former Anchorage police officer Anthony Rollins, on trial on charges he committed multiple sexual assaults.

Rollins, 43, was an officer for 13 years until the allegations of forced sex acts in April 2009. He's on trial for first- and second-degree sexual assault, misconduct as a police officer, and criminal use of a computer.

Under questioning Wednesday by his attorney, Susan Carney, Rollins admitted to some of the sexual encounters described earlier by alleged victims, but said they were willing participants in the acts, which occurred while Rollins was in uniform and on duty.

Some of the alleged assaults did not happen at all, Rollins testified, directly contradicting testimony from two of the six alleged victims.

Carney expressed concerns Thursday about the spectators in court before the jury arrived to hear more from Rollins.

She said someone had laughed the day before during his testimony and asked Superior Court Judge Philip Volland to remind court onlookers to be quiet.

Volland said he was concerned early on about public attention to the trial, but he said that emotional tension was to be expected.

"If you made an observation, Ms. Carney, I made a different observation, which is that I have an emotionally charged courtroom."

Carney also had a problem with the large group of on-duty police officers present for Rollins' testimony, who she said were armed with handguns.

"I think it's an attempt to influence the jury," Carney said.

Volland disagreed with her reasoning, and after a short discussion, called the 14 jurors to their seats.

Deputy District Attorney Sharon Marshall picked up the questioning by asking Rollins about calls he made to one of the alleged victims.

Marshall wanted to know why cell phone records showed Rollins called her repeatedly in the days after they had sex -- she described it as rape; he said it was consensual -- and why he didn't stop calling her when she refused to answer or return his calls.

Rollins disagreed with that statement, saying that some of the calls resulted in conversations between him and the woman. Rollins testified he didn't get the feeling she was avoiding him, as the woman had earlier testified.

Throughout the morning, Marshall asked why Rollins often gave hugs to women while on duty, why at least once he violated department policy and failed to notify dispatchers he had a female in his car, and why Rollins flirted with women he contacted while on duty.

"What is it that turns you on?" Marshall asked at one point.

"Is that a specific question?" Rollins said, to which the prosecutor answered, "Yes."

"It just depends on the time," he said.

"Any time after midnight?" Marshall asked.

"No."

"Every girl walking home who says you're nice to her, you think wants to have sex with you?" she asked.

"No."

"What is this thing about giving hugs?" Marshall asked. "Why do you like to hug women?"

"I give hugs to men and women, to people I'm friendly with," Rollins said.

In one of the cases, the alleged victim said Rollins picked her up as a missing person at an alcohol sleep-off center, and she told him she thought she'd been raped.

The alleged victim testified that Rollins mostly ignored her statement about the possible rape. Instead of taking her home, she said Rollins drove her to a substation in Mountain View, where she had to hold up her pants to avoid having sex with Rollins, she testified.

Did Rollins rub on her and try to pull her pants down, as the woman testified under oath? Marshall asked.

"It never happened, not with me," Rollins said, also under oath.

Rollins testified he took her to the station to get more information, to see if police should continue to investigate what happened to the woman the night before. Rollins said the woman didn't want to go through with the report, so he didn't follow up on it and promptly took her home, he said.

Why didn't he file some kind of paperwork as the first person to hear her report, and why did the woman then go to a hospital and file a detailed report with a different officer, Marshall wanted to know.

Rollins said he didn't have enough information to pursue the investigation.

Marshall later asked Rollins to read the Anchorage Police Department's code of ethics.

Rollins read the code of ethics, which he signed when he became an officer. It included a passage about how an officer should never let personal feelings interfere with their sworn duty.

"Have you let your personal feelings influence your job?" Marshall asked.

"Yes, my personal feelings did influence my job," Rollins said. "I made some bad choices, I'm sorry I sinned against my god and against my family, and I'm, I'm sorry. I let a lot of people down."


Find Casey Grove online at adn.com/contact/casey.grove or call him at 257-4589.