State’s At­tor­ney Rollins’ trial post­poned

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ ce­cil­whig. com

— The pre­sid­ing judge post­poned a jury trial that had been sched­uled to start Tues­day in the crim­i­nal case against Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney El­lis Rollins III, who is fac­ing in­de­cent ex­po­sure and dis­or­derly con­duct charges in Worces­ter County.

As of Tues­day night, a new trial date for Rollins had not been set.

Michael E. Howard, court ad­min­is­tra­tor for

SNOW HILL

Worces­ter County Cir­cuit Court, re­ported Sun­day that Judge Brian D. Shock­ley post­poned Rollins’ trial on Fri­day and ex­plained that the post­pone­ment was due to “a fam­ily emer­gency with the court.”

Howard de­clined to elab­o­rate, as did Worces­ter County Deputy State’s At­tor­ney Wil­liam McDer­mott, who told the Whig on Mon­day that the post­pone­ment “was ad­min­is­tered by the court” and that he wasn’t at lib­erty to pro­vide the rea­son.

McDer­mott, who also serves as Worces­ter County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice’s pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, said it wasn’t un­usual for a judge to post­pone a trial or a hear­ing and that there could be nu­mer­ous rea­sons for do­ing so.

“It hap­pens all the time,” he said.

Rollins, 60, is charged with two counts each of in­de­cent ex­po­sure and dis­or­derly con­duct re­lat­ing to two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents,

one each on June 21 and 22, while he and his wife, Holly, were stay­ing at the Clar­ion Re­sort Foun­tainebleau Ho­tel at 10100 Coastal High­way in Ocean City.

He was there for a Maryland State’s At­tor­ney’s As­so­ci­a­tion con­fer­ence, which started on June 20 and ended at noon on June 22, some four hours be­fore his ar­rest.

Lind­say Richard, spokes­woman for the Ocean City Po­lice Depart­ment, re­ported at the time that of­fi­cers were called to the Clar­ion Ho­tel at 4 p. m. June 22 after re­ceiv­ing a re­port of a “nude male on a bal­cony.”

Of­fi­cers lo­cated the room in ques­tion and took Rollins into cus­tody on sus­pi­cion of in­de­cent ex­po­sure and dis­or­derly con­duct, Richard said, adding that he was later re­leased on per­sonal re­cog­ni­zance with­out charges.

Po­lice re­ferred the case to the Worces­ter County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice for re­view and five days later — after a Sal­is­bury­based in­ter­net blog­ger dug into a tip on the story and pub­lished a blurry photo of a nude man — Worces­ter County State’s At­tor­ney Beau H. Oglesby an­nounced that he had filed four mis­de­meanor charges against Rollins by way of a “crim­i­nal in­for­ma­tion,” which con­tains scant de­tails.

“After con­sul­ta­tion with the Ocean City Po­lice Depart­ment, two counts of in­de­cent ex­po­sure and two counts of dis­or­derly con­duct have been filed,” Oglesby said in a pre­pared state­ment. “After care­fully con­sid­er­ing which course of ac­tion would be the most ap­pro­pri­ate given the need to han­dle this mat­ter with trans­parency bal­anced against the de­sire to shield the iden­tity of the vic­tims, fil­ing a crim­i­nal in­for­ma­tion achieved both goals.”

Oglesby has de­clined fur­ther com­ment.

Rollins, who is rep­re­sented by Ocean City-based de­fense lawyer Cullen M. Burke, has main­tained his in­no­cence.

After learn­ing that he had been charged, Rollins con­tacted the Whig and com­mented “( Oglesby) de­cided based on one side of the story. He has not heard my side of the story. I am con­fi­dent when that hap­pens, my name will be cleared.

On June 26, four days after Rollins’ ar­rest and a day be­fore the charges against him were an­nounced, Rollins’ wife, Holly, is­sued a writ­ten state­ment to the Ce­cil Whig in which she main­tains that some­one had spied on them.

“While my hus­band and I were va­ca­tion­ing in Ocean City last week ( June 20 through June 22), a stranger watched and pho­tographed us through the win­dow of our 10th floor ho­tel room. The per­son who took these ac­tions was in a sep­a­rate ho­tel some dis­tance from ours. Dur­ing the next 24 hours, while com­pletely within the con­fines of our room, our in­ti­mate move­ments and ac­tiv­i­ties were doc­u­mented and shared pub­licly,” her state­ment reads.

The de­fense con­tends in writ­ten pre­trial mo­tions that the com­plainants were more than half a foot­ball field away and that it would have taken a voyeuris­tic ef­fort to see Rollins. The de­fense also main­tains that Rollins was in­side his rented ho­tel room at all times.

Rollins con­tin­ues to serve as state’s at­tor­ney, but only in an ad­min­is­tra­tive ca­pac­ity. Rollins hasn’t pros­e­cuted cases in the court­room since his ar­rest in June.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

A Worces­ter County judge post­poned Tues­day’s trial for Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney El­lis Rollins III, who is charged with two counts each of in­de­cent ex­po­sure and dis­or­derly con­duct stem­ming from two June in­ci­dents in Ocean City.

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