An Anchorage Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced disgraced police officer and convicted serial rapist Anthony Rollins to serve 87 years in prison.
Judge Philip Volland handed down the sentence around 6:20 p.m. at the end of an all-day hearing. Known for being outwardly thoughtful in his decisions, Volland said the trial left an impression on him. He called Rollins "a rapist in blue with a badge."
"I was shocked. I remain shocked," Volland said. Quoting one of the victims, he later added, "When someone in a position like his preys on women, it erodes our faith in the entire legal system."
Rollins, 44, was accused in 2009 of forcing six women to perform sex acts or sexually touching them while he was on duty in 2008 and 2009.
Last year, a jury convicted him of sexually assaulting five of the six victims. He was also found guilty of official misconduct and illegal use of a computer. Rollins' sentencing was rescheduled several times, due in large part to Judge Volland's own medical issues, Volland said.
The sentencing stretched through Friday afternoon. At one point, a psychiatrist, Dr. Aron Wolf, testified on Rollins' behalf and said the former officer was a sex addict who gave in to his compulsions.
Statements from the victims were also read in court. Their words included mentions of lasting psychological damage and a distrust of police.
"We have to, as a society, be able to trust the police," one wrote. "We shouldn't have to be protected from them."
"I have such a huge uneasiness that I fear for my life even though this person is in jail," wrote another.
One of the victims wore dark sunglasses in court. Another leaned on her sister's shoulder. A third cried when her name was mentioned. As a policy, the Daily News does not identify victims of sexual assault.
A father of one of the victims -- the first woman to level sexual assault allegations against the then-veteran officer -- also spoke to the court.
"These were calculated patterns of actions he carried out with multiple women. Anthony Rollins finally picked the wrong girl," the man said. "He's a serial rapist, plain and simple ... The police department dropped the ball on numerous occasions and could've prevented this from happening to my daughter."
He was referring to internal police reports, included in lawsuits against the city, the police department and Rollins, that showed the department investigated Rollins for having sex on the job but did not fire him.
After the hearing, the victim's father said he was happy with the lengthy sentence Rollins received.
"He's going to die in prison, which is dandy," he said.
Earlier, Police Chief Mark Mew also addressed the court and Rollins.
"You damaged the essential relationship of trust between our department and the public," Mew said to Rollins.
"I fear the damage here will never go away," Mew said. "Let's remember Rollins exercised free will and was in full control of his actions."
"Some people will try to shift as much blame as possible from Rollins to the police department, because that's where the money is," Mew said.
"No one can tolerate a liar. And that is the worst part of this mess, for us, as we strive every day to do a great job for our community, our neighbors and each other, Mew said. "Anthony Rollins, you may be going away. But the rest of us are stuck in the wreckage you have left in your wake."
Mew's comment about shifting blame was self-serving, the victim's father said later. It was also an act of intimidation directed toward the women, said an attorney for most of the victims, Christine Schleuss.
The police department could've prevented the rapes, and the lawsuits are seeking answers and solutions, Schleuss said.
"That's not a shift of blame. That's where the blame belongs," she said.
Rollins read a statement to the judge and asked for the minimum sentence. In it, he briefly apologized to his victims and to his wife, who is also a police officer.
"I've sinned against God and my wife, both of whom I've asked for forgiveness," Rollins said. Most of Rollins' statement was about his accomplishments as a police officer.
At one point, Rollins mentioned a past award he'd received from a sexual assault prevention organization, Standing Together Against Rape.
"My care and compassion for victims of sexual assault has not changed as a result of the trial," he said.
Later, Judge Volland said he shook his head in disbelief when he heard that part of the statement.
"What I heard did not advance his prospects of rehabilitation, in my mind," Volland said. "This is not about infidelity or poor judgment. This is about sexual assault using his authority as a police officer."
Even with the possibility of parole, Rollins will be well into his 90s before he's released from prison, Volland said. That is, if Rollins lives that long, the judge noted.
By CASEY GROVE
Anchorage Daily News