Former Anchorage police officer Anthony Rollins testified in his own defense for several hours Wednesday and said the multiple sexual assaults he is charged with committing were either consensual encounters or did not happen at all.
In a courtroom packed with onlookers, Rollins, 43, refuted the earlier testimony by six of his alleged victims. Among the crowd was his wife, a police sergeant, who was attending the trial for the first time since opening statements.
Rollins is charged with 20 criminal counts, including sexual assault, official misconduct as a police officer, and criminal use of a computer.
Early in the day's proceedings at Nesbitt Courthouse, Rollins said that he had sex with two of the women at a downtown police substation while on duty in April 2009 and that it was consensual both times. A sexual encounter he had with a woman in December 2008 at a station in Mountain View was also consensual, Rollins said.
The first woman to report Rollins said he forced her to give him oral sex; the second to come forward said she was raped. Both testified they did not want to have sex with Rollins during their processing for drunken driving.
In each of those cases, Rollins said Wednesday, the women told him they thought he was cute and had clearly agreed to have sex with him.
Rollins' stories about each of the women matched their earlier testimony when he talked about instances that had been captured on his audio recorder or witnessed by other officers. But his testimony diverged from that given by the women at the exact points where his recorder was turned off or his time was unaccounted for in police records.
Who is telling the truth about whether they gave consent will be a question for the jurors to decide.
Rollins also said that the sexual contacts reported by two other women did not happen at all, contradicting their testimony earlier in the trial.
One of those was a 22-year-old whose family reported her as missing Sept. 5, 2008. Her aunt had last seen her when the woman left for a bar the night before to get a job.
Rollins said he drove by an alcohol sleep-off center to look for her and found her standing at the front counter. He took her to his car to give her a ride home, he said. She couldn't remember how much she'd had to drink, who she'd been with the night before, and was embarrassed to have ended up with Community Service Patrol, Rollins said.
"She said, 'I think I may have been raped,' " Rollins testified.
He said he took her to the Mountain View substation to ask her about it.
The woman declined to proceed with an investigation, Rollins said, so he took her home.
The alleged victim, the fifth to testify, said earlier in the trial that Rollins pressured her for sex and rubbed himself on her. She said she had to hold up her pants to avoid what she feared was an oncoming rape.
But when Rollins' attorney, Susan Carney, asked him whether that encounter involved sexual contact, he replied, "No."
Deputy District Attorney Sharon Marshall began cross- examining Rollins after about two hours of defense questions.
Marshall, with fast-paced questions, asked Rollins about the vows of marriage and duty he'd admitted to violating.
Rollins, answering Marshall's questions, said he'd had other sexual relationships outside of his marriage and his job, but admitted that at least one had been with a woman he met while on duty.
Rollins married his wife, an Anchorage police sergeant, in 1987.
"Since 1987, how many times have you had sexual contact outside of your marriage?" Marshall asked.
Rollins asked if she wanted to know how many people he'd been with, or how many sexual encounters.
Encounters, Marshall said.
"More than once," Rollins said. "I don't know."
Marshall continued to press him about violating police codes of conduct, including an instance in which Rollins removed handcuffs from an alleged victim.
She asked if the first woman to accuse Rollins, who was disheveled the night she was arrested and wearing pajamas and a Salty Dawg Saloon sweatshirt, was the type of woman Rollins thought would be interested in having oral sex with a uniformed officer.
"She let me know that she was attracted to me, and that's what happened," he said.
Rollins said he removed the handcuffs from another woman before having sex with her. That woman had testified earlier that he had not uncuffed her.
Marshall asked Rollins why he put a condom in the pocket of his police vest when he walked into the police substation to process one of the women, something he admitted to using during one of the encounters.
"It might have been in my vest pocket already," he said.
At one point, the prosecutor focused on Rollins' 13-year career with the Anchorage Police Department.
"Do you think a police officer carries a lot of authority in this community?" Marshall asked.
"Yes ma'am, there's authority with the job," Rollins said.
Do people respect cops? she asked.
"Some do, some don't," Rollins said.
Marshall asked if Rollins had spoken in the past at schools, if he told the kids to respect police officers and listen to what they said.
Rollins said yes, and he told kids to respect and listen to their parents and teachers, too.
"Did you ever tell the kids that you're there to protect them, to look out for them?" Marshall asked.
"Yes, I did," Rollins said.
Marshall asked if Rollins remembered speaking at his son's elementary school once to a group of children that included one of the alleged victims. The prosecutor also asked if Rollins remembered seeing the girl, who said earlier in the trial that she'd recognized Rollins from school.
Rollins said he did not remember the girl, with whom, grown into a woman, he said he had consensual sex in a downtown police substation just after she gave a breath-alcohol sample well within the legal limit to drive.
Find Casey Grove online at adn.com/contact/casey.grove or call him at 257-4589.
By CASEY GROVE