Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Campus Crest CEO Ted Rollins Once Beat His Stepson to a Bloody Pulp

Ted Rollins

Ted Rollins is the CEO of a company that in late 2010 completed a $380-million IPO on Wall Street--and as head of Campus Crest Communities, Rollins markets student housing to young people. So it is grimly ironic that the same Ted Rollins once beat a young person so severely that the teen-ager's face was a bloody mask.

In a videotaped interview with Legal Schnauzer, Sherry Carroll Rollins describes an act of domestic violence that fits every definition of child abuse that we can find. Ms. Rollins is Ted Rollins' ex wife, and she now lives in Birmingham with the couple's daughters, Sarah and Emma. The full interview can be viewed at the end of this post, but let's first consider the stark, unflinching language that Sherry Rollins uses to describe the condition of Zac Parrish, her son who was about 15 at the time, after he had been beaten by Ted Rollins:

I couldn't tell what his injuries were exactly. He was stumbling as he walked toward the house. His face was all blood . . . as if he had no eyes, completely covered. There was no way of seeing his eyes. How he walked, I don't know. He stumbled into the house as the ambulance was coming. He said he felt he should get the gun . . . and started looking for the gun. I asked him what he was trying to do, and he said, "I'm going to use it on him." He wanted to kill Ted.

This account leaves us with at least two glaring questions: (1) If Ted Rollins committed a grotesque act of child abuse, why has he never been held accountable for it? (2) Why have investors poured hundreds of millions of dollars into a company that is led by a man with a record of child abuse?

Rollins was head of American Textile Services, near Louisburg, North Carolina, when he exploded with anger one fall afternoon in 1995. Rollins' rage was directed at Zac Parrish, his stepson from Sherry Rollins' first marriage. The Zac Parrish beating was one of several events that led to a breakdown of the Rollins marriage, ending with a 2005 divorce judgment in Shelby County, Alabama--even though Sherry Rollins had initiated the proceedings in Greenville, South Carolina, where the family lived by 2001, and the case was litigated there for three years.

Zac Parrish, now 33, is managing member of Parrish Building Company in Birmingham and responded with a profanity-filled tirade when I recently asked him for an interview on subjects related to Rollins v. Rollins.

As we have reported in a series of posts, the Rollins divorce case could not lawfully be shifted to Alabama once jurisdiction was established in South Carolina. But the change in judicial scenery led to an outrageously favorable outcome for Ted Rollins, causing Ms. Rollins and her daughters to wind up on food stamps. How was Ted Rollins able to pull this off? Well, he is a member of one of the nation's wealthiest families, the folks behind Atlanta-based Rollins Inc., the umbrella company of Orkin Pest Control. It also probably helped that Campus Crest Communities' primary corporate law firm is Birmingham-based Bradley Arant. The Rollins v. Rollins divorce case provides ample evidence that money and connections can help buy "justice" in an Alabama courtroom.

Now the story has a new element. Bradley Arant and Shelby County Circuit Judge D. Al Crowson did more than just create a friendly environment for a corporate big dog. They aided a man who has a documented history of committing child abuse. What does that say about the values of the lawyers at a powerful Alabama firm--and of a judge in one of our most conservative, "pro family" jurisdictions?

Parents and teens have been having "go arounds" for centuries, but Sherry Rollins describes something much darker than a standard family spat. She describes an act of frightening brutality, and it started when Ted Rollins was mowing grass, with his stepson nearby, in the rural area where they lived:

I was not aware of what was said between Ted and Zac. I came on the scene of the assault when I heard loud screaming and loud talking and the dog barking. I had my daughter, Sarah, who was about 18 months old, on my hip. I saw Ted on top of Zac, with his knees around his chest, and Zac was flat on his back, and Ted was hitting him in the head. Ted is 6-4, and Zac at the time weighed roughly, I'd say, 100 pounds.

He was defenseless in that Ted is so big and weighed at the time 225 to 230 pounds, at least, and was on top of him--sitting on Zac's abdomen and holding him down with his knees and pummeling him in the face. Zac had no choice but to take the strikes that were coming at him and turn his head from side to side.

It sounds like Ted Rollins might have killed his stepson if Sherry Rollins had not figured out a way to intervene:

I put Sarah down and went inside and got the house phone and called Zac's father in Alabama and put the phone on Ted's ear and said, "You've got to stop beating Zac; Zac's father wants to talk to you." He just ignored me. At that point, I jumped on his back and shook him repeatedly and tried to pull him off Zac. I ripped his shirt, a cotton knit golf shirt, which is pretty hard to tear. . . . When that didn't have any affect on Ted hitting Zac, I dialed 911. Only when Ted heard the 911 sirens . . . did he get off Zac.

As we fast forward to 2010, investors were heaping $380 million on Campus Crest Communities, turning it into a Wall Street darling at a time when mainstream Americans were struggling with the worst economy since the Great Depression.

Does it concern the corporate lawyers and investment gurus who drive IPOs that Ted Rollins has a history of abusing a child under his care? Do they see irony in the fact that Ted Rollins, who once left his own stepson a bloody mess, now markets student housing to college students and their parents?

And here's the biggest question of all: Why was Ted Rollins never held fully accountable for what appears to be a clear act of child abuse, under the law?

We will be addressing those questions, and much more, in upcoming posts. For now, here is the full Sherry Rollins interview:


Anonymous said...

I didn't think I could despise Ted Rollins amy more, but reading this post makes me want to vomit. He sat on the chest of a boy, who weighed 100 pounds, and punched him repeatedly in the face? That's the act of a monster. Ms. Rollins looks nice and speaks well in the video, but you can tell she is struggling for words, as if she was a trauma victim. Bless her heart and may she find justice someday.

Anonymous said...

Were the police called about this? I hope the family didn't decide to "keep it down home, cuz."

James Greek said...

and why does the victim defend that scumbag?! Ted Rollins is a certified scumbag!

legalschnauzer said...

Isn't it interesting that Mr. Rollins couldn't manage a teen-ager, without beating him, but investors entrust him with hundreds of millions of dollars. Makes you go "hmmm."

Anonymous said...

Subtract a few zeroes and several private planes and my and Sherry's stories are eerily similar. My husband was so unrelentingly emotionally abusive to our oldest son someone actually asked me last week if maybe he thought he wasn't his. He apologized for asking such a rude question but explained he discovered in his first marriage he was not the father of the child his wife had given birth to during their marriage. He went on to say from knowing me he felt sure that wasn't the case but struggled to find an explanation for how a father could treat his own son in the manner he had witnessed. Zac went for a gun to use on Ted. My son said he knew of someone who knew of a person he could hire to have his father killed. And like Zac will now lie and do whatever his father asked of him. For my son his behavior was expected. He explained it best himself. He said his father's rejection left a hole so deep inside of him that he had to take the only opportunity he would ever have to fill it.

David said...

I think that someone should call Orkin and have them exterminate Ted Rollins!!!

Anonymous said...

James Greek:
Maybe because the victim knows it never happened as reported my ms. Rollins and doesn't feel the need to set the record straight because their personal life is not any of the schnauzer's concern. People need to respect the privacy of others and make sure their lives are in order and on track before criticizing others.

legalschnauzer said...

For the record, the victim (Zac Parrish) has denied that the beating took place, and I have reported that. So he already has tried to "set the record straight," and he did that because I gave him the opportunity before I published the story. The victim was at the center of key events in a divorce lawsuit, Rollins v. Rollins, that is a public court case so it's not a matter of his "personal life" that is not "any of the schnauzer's concern." These are matters connected to the public record, and as such, are everyone's concern. Why are they part of the public record in Alabama? Because Ted Rollins unlawfully brought a divorce case here against Sherry Rollins. Finally, my reporting is just that--reporting. It's not a matter of "criticizing others." It doesn't criticize the victim or Ted Rollins; it describes a very unfortunate event that happened between them--as reported by the victim's mother (Ted Rollins' ex wife), who says she was an eye witness to the event and was willing to discuss it on camera. I gave both Zac Parrish and Ted Rollins opportunities to discuss what happened, on camera or otherwise, and they declined.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7:18 pm ~

Zac, you really shouldn't be calling your mother a liar like that. If she hadn't managed to pull Ted off you that day, he surely would have beaten you to death. You should thank her for saving your life. What an ungrateful, worthless son you are to her! :(

Anonymous said...

Wow! Anon @ 5:42 must have been there. Perhaps schnauz should interview that person.

You don't criticize! Haha
Rolling in the floor

legalschnauzer said...

Glad you are enjoying yourself, but I didn't say I don't criticize. I said that my pieces on the beating incident are examples of straightforward reporting, based on the account of an eye witness. There is really no critique involved. The events are ugly, and they paint an unflattering portrait of Ted Rollins, but that's not a case of criticism. Adults who beat up children tend to look bad, but that has nothing to do with any "criticism" from me. You think it's OK for adults to beat the holy crap out of children? If so, maybe that's why you see straightforward reporting as critical of Ted Rollins. Are you actually defending child abuse? That's a new one, in my experience.

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong but I believe Sherry is doing her best to give Roger a true picture of what took place. Before jumping down Zac's throat, please remember he WAS the victim. Think about being beaten as he was at his age and his size. Zac has every reason to be afraid to cross Ted. Zac has seen first hand what Ted has been allowed to do. No one is stopping this monster. Zac may be doing what he is TO protect his family. It wouldn't surprise me if Zac is behaving as he is due to a threat that harm will come to him or his loved ones if he doesn't. Zac sees the courts are not protecting his mother or his sisters. Please tell me how you expect Zac to handle this situation. His gut told him to get the gun and use it. I'm glad he didn't do that but it doesn't appear to me he has a whole lot of options. Put yourself in Zac's place if you can for a moment. Doesn't feel so good, does it.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 8:38:

I don't know if you are addressing me, but I will respond. I, for one, have a lot of empathy for Zac because, as you state, he was the victim. In a lot of ways, he's still a victim because I'm sure he does live in fear of Ted Rollins. It seems quite a few people do. If Zac doesn't have faith in our courts, that is understandable given what he has seen with his mother and sisters. I don't have faith in them either; that's why I try to report truthfully about our broken justice system on this blog. Truth and light, it seems, are the best antidotes to bullies like Ted Rollins--and the lawyers and judges who enable them.

Anonymous said...

Definitely was not addressing you Roger. You go out of your way to be fair in your reporting. I consider you one of the few journalists we still have. A true hero. I was addressing comments along the lines of calling Zac a worthless son. Even if Zac is not responding to an overt threat the threat will always be there. When the courts don't do their job things become twisted. Whatever the reason for Zac's behavior it isn't his fault. It's hard for a young guy to go through what that creep did to him. When the courts allow this kind of outrageous behavior it's a helpless feeling for a guy wanting to protect his mother, himself and his sisters. When a young guy feels helpless for an extended period he sometimes copes the best he can. No matter the reason for Zac's behavior my guess is Sherry's overriding feeling for Zac is compassion.