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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Statements Connect CEO Ted Rollins to Child Sexual Abuse as Sandusky Sentencing Approaches

Sarah Rollins (right) with her father, Ted,
and sister, Emma

Sarah Rollins confirmed in a conversation with Legal Schnauzer that her father, Campus Crest Communities CEO Ted Rollins, was investigated for the possible sexual abuse of his stepson.

The news comes as sentencing is set today in a Pennsylvania case that has become perhaps the most high profile child sexual abuse story in the nation's history.

Ms. Rollins made it clear that she was aware her father had "somewhat of an unusual relationship" with his stepson (her half brother), and she found it troubling, adding, "I certainly think that is something that is no good." She went on to express concern for her half brother and the impact reports about the investigation might have on him. (See video at the end of this post.)

Sarah Rollins, a 2012 graduate of Mountain Brook High School, currently is enrolled as a freshman at the University of the South at Sewanee. She joins her mother, Birmingham resident Sherry Carroll Rollins, in acknowledging that a citizen complaint led North Carolina social-services officials to investigate Ted Rollins for possible child sexual abuse.

The revelations about Ted Rollins come as former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky is to be sentenced today after being convicted in June on 45 counts of sexual abuse involving young boys. In a statement he read yesterday on a Penn State campus radio station, Sandusky denied committing "disgusting acts" and said he did not have "a fair opportunity to prepare for trial."

As for Ted Rollins, he has refused to answer questions about the child sexual abuse investigation that centered on his stepson. Court records show that Rollins was convicted for a 1995 physical assault on the stepson in Franklin County, North Carolina. Those documents make it clear that Ted Rollins had an abusive relationship with his stepson, but Rollins has not responded to questions about how far the abuse went, referring to my reporting on the subject as "rubbish."

How did I come to speak with Sarah Rollins? She unexpectedly called me at home one evening earlier this year after I had written several posts about the unlawful treatment Sherry Rollins received in her divorce from Ted Rollins.

You can hear a segment of our conversation in the video below:


Anonymous said...

Don't believe Sandusky will be seeing daylight anytime soon. Sounds like Ted Rollins should be sharing a cell with him.

Spasmoda said...

It must make Ted Rollins' day to see his name and "Jerry Sandusky" in the same headline.

Sharon said...

"Somewhat unusual relationship" is a delicate way to put it. Sarah R obviously was struggling to find the words to describe this. I feel for her.

Anonymous said...

Being one of Ted Rollins' kids must be a real cakewalk. The money is good, I guess, but he seems to have no problem putting them in all sorts of awkward positions. Being one of his wives sounds like a treat, too.

Anonymous said...

She confirmed sherry Rollins made that statement to you and referenced what may or MAY NOT have taken place

Anonymous said...

If I understand Sarah correctly the purpose of her calling you was to ask you to please not publish the portion of your and her mother's discussion that she felt would harm many important relationships in her family. She asked that you not do that. Do you address her request in part two of the audio?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:00--

Ms. Rollins said she was talking about an investigation that took place, and that is exactly what my reporting has been about--that Ted Rollins was investigated on a citizen complaint about child sexual abuse.

This makes two family members who have confirmed that an investigation took place, and that is right on point with my reporting.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:06--

Yes, I do. I told her that I appreciated her concerns, but I was still researching the story and was not sure how I would proceed.

I pointed out that criminal issues clearly were involved in the relationship between Ted Rollins and his stepson because court documents proved the physical assault.

Since my conversation with Sarah, I've been able to extensively review information I have pointing to possible child sexual abuse--including the discovery by a maid of more than 100 towels that were soiled with the apparent products of anal sex, plus the fact that Ted Rollins kept curious items (spatula, bungee cord, neck ties) in the vehicle he used to take his stepson to school.

This comes down to a balancing act about family concerns vs. evidence of a possible crime.

I have an ethical obligation, as a citizen and a journalist, to come down on the side of reporting information I have that points to the possibility of a heinous crime.

legalschnauzer said...

BTW, Jerry Sandusky was sentenced this morning to 30 to 60 years in prison for his convictions on child sexual abuse:


Anonymous said...

LS: It seems to me that Sarah Rollins would not be asking you to refrain from writing about the subject if she didn't believe something had gone on between her dad and his stepson.

I guess you have more to come from the conversation. But in Part I, I see no hint of doubt in her voice that something very wrong went on with her father and a young boy.

jeffrey spruill said...

Did I hear Sarah Rollins correctly?

"That her brother would be upset if this was publicized."

I think it's important to know why he went on a tirade during your attempted conversation with him Mr. Schnauzer- protecting the man who almost killed him.

There not many investigative reporters anymore but A LOT of company employees.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, those were her words.

I agree with the anonymous commenter above that Sarah's words indicate she believes something very wrong went on with her dad and half brother.

Her beliefs, of course, do not prove child sexual abuse. But her words do prove that at least two members of the family are aware that an investigation took place, and that has been the crux of my reporting.

Sarah's words also reflect the struggle that goes on within a family over an issue like this. She wants to protect her brother, but this conversation leaves no doubt in my mind that she believes something very wrong took place in the home.

I feel for anyone who is put in this sort of position.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what is ethically expected of journalists but I wonder if the "Harm limitation principle" might apply regarding Sarah's request of you.
"This principle of limitation means that some weight needs to be given to the negative consequences of full disclosure, creating a practical and ethical dilemma. The Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics offers the following advice, which is representative of the practical ideals of most professional journalists. Quoting directly:[17]

Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy.
Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes."

Anonymous said...

Are you familiar with the "age of majority" in Alabama? Did you have parental consent to post photos and recordings of minors in the state of Alabama?

Anonymous said...

Well put.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 2:19--

I have a journalism degree, with 30 years of experience in the field, so I am well aware of the ethical issues you mention--and I have followed them.

I also am aware of 18 U.S. Code 4, Misprision of a Felony, which reads:

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 8:52--

Can you cite any law, Alabama or otherwise, that says someone has to have parental consent to run a photo of a minor?

Does the Birmingham News have to get a parent's permission to run a photo of a high-school football player?

Did the person who ran Sarah Rollins' photo on Tumblr have to get a parent's permission?

I think you are grasping at straws that aren't there.

Anonymous said...

That response makes no sense!
Please expand.

Anonymous said...

Who am I to question a master as yourself? I am just looking with a common sense point of view. You are using minors, by definition of law, to support your posting's.

Anonymous said...

I think there is an obvious line between a random story photo vs a subject photo with intent to defame

legalschnauzer said...

I don't know what response you are referring to. Both of my recent responses are clear on their own and make perfect sense. The law I cited, in so many words, says a citizen who has knowledge of a possible felony is bound by law to report it. It's not real complicated. You can check out the applicable law here:


If you want me to "expand," identify yourself, and we can have a serious discussion. I'm not interested in expanding on my thoughts unless you expand on your identity. Fair enough?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:10 and 10:07--

Sounds like you have nothing in the law to support your contention. Also sounds like you are throwing around terms like "intent to defame" without knowing what they mean.

You don't seem to have any arrows in your quiver.

Anonymous said...

Is it a felony if you fail to report it to law enforcement or to the legal schnauzer?

Anonymous said...

I'm just on the side lines here....other quivers might be full....
I'm just someone with an opinion

legalschnauzer said...

Do you have a grasp of English? If so, try reading the law. It's called "misprision of a felony." You can tell what it means.

I take the law seriously. You seem to run it through the prism of what makes "common sense" to you.

Are you a patriotic American? If so, you should understand that our justice system depends, to a great extent, on citizens reporting wrongdoing of which they have knowledge. It's required, by law.

This is about as serious as a subject can get, but you can do no more than make lame jokes about it. And you seem to prefer that wrongdoing be covered up, papered over. You apparently don't believe in the American system. Too bad.

If you can only make lame jokes about an important topic, and you are afraid to identify yourself, I see no reason to continue a discussion with you.

Anonymous said...

I like to see both sides of a story. My experience in life tells me not to trust just one side. Sorry for you. You usually accept the anonymous comments without the aggressive attitude you are displaying tonight. I guess since I don't agree you are becoming hostile. Par for the course maybe?

Anonymous said...


legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:36--

I accept all sorts of comments here, and it's not a matter of being "aggressive" or "hostile" because you don't agree with me. It's a matter of not letting a blog be taken over by anonymous people who might be more interested in their personal agenda than they are the truth.

I not only don't know who you are, I don't know if there are 3-4 people who go by "Anonymous" here, so there is no way for me to respond or carry on a reasonable discussion.

One anonymous person(s) made statements regarding use of photos that aren't at all in line with the law. One hinted that he/she supports covering up information about felonies, and I responded with applicable law that shows we are required as citizens to report it. Someone then responded with a lame joke.

You might have been one or more of those posters; I have no idea. But what you take as "hostile" is me simply saying that this is a serious subject, and I can't respond on such matters to someone who won't identify themselves. It's like trying to have a discussion with a ghost.

Some anonymous commenters on other posts either agree with my general take, or they state an opinion that might be contrary to me but doesn't spread false information--it's simply a difference of opinion.

But here, on an extremely important subject, some commenters (intentionally or unintentionally) seem to be working on a disinformation campaign. And I'm not in the business of spreading that kind of material. I'm in the business of trying to help people understand the actual law.

I welcome anonymous commenters in general, but when they are trying to contribute to confusion and not the truth, they either need to identify themselves so we can hash it out or find another forum.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Didn't realize the importance of age of majority

Better watch out everyone