Wit­nesses de­scribe lewd scene in Rollins case

De­fense ar­gues women are ‘ex­ag­ger­at­ing’

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney El­lis Rollins III sug­ges­tively danced naked and mas­tur­bated di­rectly in front of the slid­ing glass door of his high­rise Ocean City ho­tel on sev­eral oc­ca­sions dur­ing a two- day pe­riod in June, ac­cord­ing to the tes­ti­mony of four women who main­tain they saw him from

SNOW HILL

their ad­ja­cent ho­tel.

Those four wit­nesses con­tend that Rollins in­ten­tion­ally ex­hib­ited him­self to them, ap­pear­ing at his slid­ing glass door within min­utes af­ter they would en­ter the bal­cony of their ho­tel some 175 feet away, and they al­lege he made eye con­tact with them nu­mer­ous times.

More­over, two of those women tes­ti­fied that they saw Rollins and his wife, Holly, en­gage in sex­ual in­ter­course in front of that slid­ing glass door of their 10th-floor room at the Clar­ion Re­sort Foun­tainebleau Ho­tel at 10100 Coastal High­way in Ocean City.

The four Pennsylvania women tes­ti­fied as state wit­nesses on Thurs­day — the first day of a Worcester County Cir­cuit Court jury trial for Rollins, who is charged with two counts each of in­de­cent ex­po­sure and dis­or­derly con­duct stem­ming from the in­ci­dents on June 21 and June 22.

Prose­cu­tors rested their case against Rollins early Thurs­day night, af­ter call­ing the four women, a ho­tel se­cu­rity man­ager and the two Ocean City Po­lice De­part­ment of­fi­cers who in­ves­ti­gated the com­plaint that led to Worcester County State’s At­tor­ney Beau H. Oglesby fil­ing crim­i­nal charges against Rollins five days later.

The de­fense is sched­uled to start pre­sent­ing its case on Fri­day morn­ing. Rollins is rep­re­sented by Ocean City-based lawyer Cullen Burke.

Karen Lynn, of Har­ris­burg, Pa., tes­ti­fied Thurs­day that her sis­ter, Lisa Smith, also of Har­ris­burg, and two of their friends wit­nessed Rollins dance naked — us­ing a cell­phone as a prop and pan­tomim­ing “hump­ing” the couch at one point — and mas­tur­bate while they were try­ing to en­joy the beach view from their 12th-floor room at their ad­ja­cent At­lantis Con­do­minium.

The women were in Ocean City that week for their an­nual “girls week­end” while Rollins was there for a Maryland State’s At­tor­neys As­so­ci­a­tion

con­ven­tion, which ran from June 20 through noon June 22, some four hours be­fore po­lice ar­rested Rollins at the ho­tel and later re­leased him.

From their bal­cony, Lynn and Smith saw Rollins nude in­side his room in the early af­ter­noon of June 21, but they found it amus­ing be­cause they con­cluded Rollins had just come out of the shower naked and was un­aware he could be seen, ac­cord­ing to their tes­ti­mony.

“We thought it was a pure, hon­est mis­take,” Smith tes­ti­fied.

How­ever, mo­ments later, Rollins “started com­ing closer to the win­dow and per­formed some kind of dance,” one in which he bent over to show his bare rear end, squat­ted and per­formed other moves, the women tes­ti­fied.

Then Rollins “opened up the screen door, so there was only glass be­tween us and him,” and, as a re­sult, they could see his pe­nis, ac­cord­ing to the sis­ters, who had come to the ho­tel a day ear­lier than their two friends, who wit­nessed only the June 22 in­ci­dents.

“I was like, ‘What the hell is go­ing on? He was look­ing right up at us. He made eye con­tact sev­eral times,’” Lynn tes­ti­fied.

Lynn tes­ti­fied that Rol-

lins moved “right up to the edge of the slider door and was mas­tur­bat­ing,” prompt­ing them to call the Clar­ion ho­tel to com­plain. The episode they wit­nessed lasted ap­prox­i­mately 15 min­utes, ac­cord­ing to Lynn.

About 30 min­utes later, the sec­ond episode oc­curred and played out in sim­i­lar fash­ion, ac­cord­ing to the sis­ters, who es­ti­mated that Rollins ap­peared at his slid­ing glass door “within five min­utes” af­ter they had re­turned to their bal­cony area.

Rollins later had sex with his wife in front of the slid­ing glass door that af­ter­noon, and more in­ci­dents of Rollins danc­ing naked and mas­tur­bat­ing oc­curred dur­ing the day­light hours

of June 22, ac­cord­ing to the women.

In ad­di­tion to call­ing at least one com­plaint to ho­tel man­age­ment on the phone, Lynn, us­ing a cam­era with a zoom lens, took pho­tos of Rollins dur­ing his episodes for proof, ac­cord­ing to the women’s tes­ti­mony.

A ho­tel se­cu­rity man­ager called po­lice on the af­ter­noon of June 22 af­ter go­ing to the women’s room and ob­serv­ing Rollins returning to the slid­ing glass door and mas­tur­bat­ing within mo­ments af­ter she ar­rived to in­ves­ti­gate, that em­ployee tes­ti­fied.

The de­fense isn’t dis­put­ing that Rollins en­gaged in the ac­tiv­i­ties al­leged by the women.

But dur­ing his open­ing state­ments and through his cross-ex­am­i­na­tion of state wit­nesses, Rollins’ at­tor­ney, Cullen M. Burke, con­tended that they hap­pened in the pri­vacy of Rollins’ ho­tel room — not in pub­lic, specif­i­cally on his bal­cony, as was er­ro­neously re­ported at the out­set, ac­cord­ing to Burke.

Burke also is main­tain­ing that the women would not have been able to look Rollins in the eyes, or vice versa, from their re­spec­tive van-

tage points some 175 feet away. He also is ques­tion­ing how much de­tail that women could have seen, with­out the aid of a zoom-lens cam­era.

“He wasn’t watch­ing them; they were watch­ing him,” Burke in­sisted at one point Thurs­day, af­ter ex­press­ing his disbelief that the women were able to zero in on Rollins’ amid the all the oth­ers on that side of the sprawl­ing Clar­ion ho­tel.

Burke also is main­tain­ing that Rollins was far­ther away from the slid­ing glass door and that the women are “ex­ag­ger­at­ing.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IAN­NETTA

Kurt Vaughn re­acts as his de­vice hov­ers in be­tween the two blue lines on the wind tun­nel dur­ing a re­cent ses­sion at the Per­ryville Mid­dle School Mak­erspace.

ROLLINS

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