Cecil County State’s Attorney Rollins Clings to Job, Files for New Trial on Sex Case Convictions; Court Record Raises Questions

January 3, 2017


Cecil County State’s Attorney Edward D.E. “Ellis” Rollins III has filed a motion for a new trial after his jury conviction on two sexual misconduct-related charges– thus prolonging the taxpayer-funded agony and embarrassment of having to continue to pay a salary and benefits to a disgraced prosecutor who hasn’t appeared in Cecil County courts to do his job in over six months. And the electronic court record of the case in the Worcester County Circuit Court raises questions about whether Rollins has received some kid-glove treatment.

Rollins’ attorney filed a motion seeking a new trial on 12/19/16, but the case file listed no date for a hearing on the motion. Rollins had previously requested a delay in sentencing after his conviction last month and he was expected to face sentencing sometime this month, but no date was listed in the court record online.

In most cases in the Maryland electronic court case files, the verdicts from a jury trial are clearly listed and usually filed within hours after a verdict is rendered. But not in Rollins’ case.

Although Rollins was convicted by a jury after a two day trial, the electronic docket only lists his “not guilty” plea on two counts of disorderly conduct and two counts of indecent exposure. The docket does list the jury verdicts of “not guilty” on two counts—one each of disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. But the docket fails to disclose that the jury convicted Rollins on 12/9/16 on one count of disorderly conduct and one count of indecent exposure. All the charges are misdemeanors.

The charges stem from multiple alleged incidents in Ocean City last year, while Rollins was attending a taxpayer-funded convention of the Maryland States’ Attorney’s Association.

He was accused of masturbating, performing sex acts and nudity in clear view of other vacationers in the oceanside resort while standing in front of a glass balcony door of his hotel room. Several women, who were staying at an adjacent hotel, testified at the trial that they witnessed Rollins’ sexual performances on multiple occasions over a two-day period. The jury only convicted Rollins of acts that were also witnessed by a hotel security officer who had been summoned by the women.

Instead of the usual notation of all verdicts in a jury trial, the Rollins electronic case listing is silent (as of 1/3/17) on the “disposition” of two other charges, on which he was found guilty. And the electronic record includes an italic footnote, declaring:

“This is an electronic case record. Full case information cannot be made available either because of legal restrictions on access to case records found in Maryland Rules, or because of the practical difficulties inherent in reducing a case record into an electronic format.”

What are “the practical difficulties” in including the fact that Rollins was convicted of two criminal charges, if the case file report had no such “difficulties” in recounting the “not guilty” findings on the other two counts? The electronic record is silent on the fact of his convictions but is only too willing to list his other “not guilty” outcomes.

So far, the Maryland Attorney General’s office has been silent on the next steps and procedures for removing Rollins from office, or declaring a vacancy so that local judges can name a replacement, under provisions of the state Constitution. (See previous CECIL TIMES report on Rollins conviction and constitutional provisions for replacement of a State’s Attorney upon “conviction” of an offense here: http://ceciltimes.com/2016/12/cecil-county-states-attorney-rollins-convicted-on-2-counts-in-sex-case-next-legal-steps-removal-from-office-unclear/ )

Meanwhile, Cecil County departmental budget proposals are due to be presented to the County Executive in the next few weeks for review and revision before a Fiscal 2018 budget is sent to the County Council on 4/1/17. Although an independently-elected state official, the State’s Attorney’s budget is heavily funded by Cecil County taxpayers. With Rollins still holding on to his job, despite his legal infirmities, will taxpayers be asked to continue to pay him a full salary, even as he has not set foot in a courtroom as a prosecutor since he was charged with criminal offenses last summer? (He is said to be doing “administrative” tasks only, in his office.)

Or are taxpayers supposed to pay him a salary to appear in a courtroom as a defendant in his own criminal cases?

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2 Responses to Cecil County State’s Attorney Rollins Clings to Job, Files for New Trial on Sex Case Convictions; Court Record Raises Questions

  1. Michelle on January 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Ellis Rollins should be subject to the same punishments that he subjects defendants to every day without giving one care or thought to if this person is innocent! This is and has been a growing problem for some time. Attorneys only care about the money and forgetting about that it is a person’s and husband, father, brother and loved one. Why should Rollins get a second thought or special treatment. Let him face what he subjects innocent people to everyday.

    I am so tired of people in law enforcement and the judicial system literally getting away with crimes everyday and everyone covers for them. It’s called a “Brotherhood?” BULL! Their jobs go to their heads. They are hired to serve and protect the people, not commit the same crimes they arrest people for everyday, and it always gets overlooked!…

  2. Brian on February 27, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Aren’t his accusers actually guilty of voyeurism? Why couldn’t they just look away? When news of public servants usually centers on infidelity and corruption, Rollins was actually with his wife in his own room. I don’t see the problem here. These women should pay him damages for ruining his career!

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