Rollins trial set for Dec. 8

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney El­lis Rollins III will have to wait un­til Dec. 8 for his jury trial in a crim­i­nal case in which he is charged with two counts each of in­de­cent ex­po­sure and dis­or­derly con­duct — two months later than the orig­i­nal date, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Rollins’ trial had been set to start on Oct. 11 in Worces­ter County Cir­cuit Court but, a few days be­fore that date, pre­sid­ing Judge Brian D. Shock­ley post­poned the pro­ceed­ing due to a “fam­ily emer­gency with the court,” which court of­fi­cials de­clined to spec­ify.

The new date for Rollins’ trial, Dec. 8, was posted on the Mary­land Ju­di­ciary Case Search web­site Wed­nes­day.

Rollins, who, like all crim­i­nal de­fen­dants, is pre­sumed in­no­cent un­til proven guilty, con­tin­ues to serve as state’s at­tor­ney — but only in an ad­min­is­tra­tive ca­pac­ity. By his own de­ci­sion, Rollins hasn’t pros­e­cuted cases in the court­room since his ar­rest in June.

He 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

SNOW HILL

the Clar­ion Re­sort Foun­tainebleau Ho­tel at 10100 Coastal High­way in Ocean City.

Rollins, 60, 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 Sal­is­bury-based 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, typ­i­cal of such a doc­u­ment, 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.

Ac­cord­ing to court records, the list of state wit­nesses sub­poe­naed for trial in­clude four women who re­side at dif­fer­ent ad­dresses in Har­ris­burg, Pa.; a woman who lives in Snow Hill; a sergeant and two of­fi­cers with the Ocean City Po­lice De­part­ment of­fi­cers and a Clar­ion Ho­tel em­ployee.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney El­lis Rollins III must wait un­til Dec. 8 for his resched­uled Worces­ter County Cir­cuit Court trial, in which he is charged with two counts each of in­de­cent ex­po­sure and dis­or­derly con­duct. Rollins was sched­uled to stand trial Oct. 11, but it was post­poned.

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