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Five women file lawsuits against former officer, city

Casey Grove

Two months after a jury convicted former Anchorage police officer Anthony Rollins on multiple counts of sexual assault, Rollins and his city employers now face five separate lawsuits seeking a total of more than $2.5 million, according to documents filed in court.

Earlier court filings indicate Rollins, 43, is broke. But deeper pockets could be ordered to pay up: Four of the lawsuits name the Anchorage Police Department and the Municipality of Anchorage as defendants.

The allegations laid out in civil court papers by four of the alleged victims follow a familiar pattern that emerged in Rollins' criminal trial -- that he sexually assaulted or had inappropriate contact with them during drunken driving arrests.

But one woman says he used his position as a police officer to maintain a sexual relationship with her while she was a patient at a residential substance-abuse treatment facility in Anchorage.

A jury convicted Rollins on Feb. 22 for sexually assaulting five women he contacted while on duty and in full uniform. At Rollins' sentencing hearing set for June 10, he faces decades behind bars.

"They needed to know that somebody heard them when they said no, and that a police officer can't do this," said prosecutor Sharon Marshall just after the conviction and Rollins' departure from the courtroom in handcuffs.

More recently at City Hall, there has been discussion of setting aside money from a budget surplus in 2010 to be used for settlements related to the Rollins case and other lawsuits, said Sarah Erkmann, Mayor Dan Sullivan's spokeswoman.

Erkmann said the city is self-insured and has a $2 million deductible per claim.

"So the taxpayers are on the hook for the first $2 million per case, if you will," Erkmann said. "That's why we're really trying to be frugal and not spend every dime that we're allowed to under the budget because we know we have these pending liabilities out there, and ideally we'll be able to pay them with funds that we already have, and we won't have to go back to the taxpayer."

It is Daily News policy not to name victims of sexual assault unless they specifically authorize it.

The women with pending civil suits against Rollins are:

• C.S.S., who alleges she and Rollins engaged in a sexual relationship for four years until his arrest in July 2009. Rollins visited her while she was a patient at a substance abuse treatment facility, according to the woman's court filing. C.S.S. wants at least $1 million.

• K.J.I.B., who said in court papers Rollins sexually assaulted her at an Eagle River police substation Jan. 29, 2009, after she was arrested for drunken driving. K.J.I.B. asked for a judgement of more than $100,000.

• E.Y.M., a woman Rollins arrested for suspected drunken driving April 4, 2009. The charges were dismissed. She says he made sexual advances toward her at a Spenard police substation and contacted her later, violating her privacy. E.Y.M. is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

• B.O., who testified in Rollins' criminal trial that he raped her at a downtown police substation the same day E.Y.M. says Rollins arrested her. B.O. was 20 years old at the time. She's asking for more than $500,000.

• M.O., who was 23 when Rollins forced her to perform oral sex at the same substation April 16, 2009. Her report to rape counselors following the incident led to Rollins' arrest. M.O. is asking for an unspecified amount "in excess of the Superior Court's jurisdictional limits," according to her civil court filing.

The new allegations by C.S.S. indicate a long-term relationship with Rollins. Her lawyer wrote in court papers that the two met during the winter of 2005 when Rollins investigated a report by C.S.S. that her car had been stolen. It was during that investigation that Rollins gave C.S.S. his personal phone number, according to her court filing.

It's unclear when the alleged sexual relationship started, but the woman was later ordered by a judge to attend in-patient treatment for substance abuse. Rollins had sex with her while she was a resident at Stepping Stones in Midtown Anchorage, her court filing says.

"Officer Rollins would use his position as an APD officer to gain access to C.S.S., despite being told by staff that he was not allowed to see C.S.S."

Rollins continued the relationship when C.S.S. was in long-term treatment at Akeela House, another treatment facility, according to C.S.S. in the court document. Akeela House, also in Midtown, and Stepping Stones are both operated by Akeela Inc.

C.S.S. and the four other women all are seeking punitive damages.

If the cases go to trial, it's uncertain when jurors might begin to hear the evidence, said municipal attorney Dennis Wheeler.

"We just got the complaints, and we have time to answer," Wheeler said. "There's different judges assigned to different cases, so there's some question about whether these will be consolidated or not. There's a lot of preliminary work before there'll be a pre-trial order that sets the trial date."

Wheeler said he expects the municipality to have its responses to the allegations filed in court in May.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.


By CASEY GROVE
casey.grove@adn.com