Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Truth About Ted Rollins: The CEO of Campus Crest Communities Got Away With Child Abuse

Ted Rollins

The brutal beating that Ted Rollins inflicted upon his stepson in 1995 should have been treated, under the law, for what it was--a case of child abuse.

Our research shows the case was not handled properly, and numerous individuals failed in their obligation to report the abuse to the North Carolina Division of Social Services. That raises this troubling question: Is our "justice system" willing to look the other way on child abuse when the perpetrator is from a family with substantial money and power?

Ted Rollins now is the CEO of Campus Crest Communities, a company that builds student housing near universities around the country and completed a $380-million Wall Street IPO in late 2010. Campus Crest did not exist in 1995, but Rollins was head of American Textile Services, which was one of the largest employers in Franklin County, North Carolina, where the beating took place.

That made Rollins a prominent figure in and around Louisburg, North Carolina, where he lived with his second wife, Sherry Carroll Rollins; their infant daughter, Sarah Rollins; and Eric and Zac Parrish, who were Sherry Rollins' sons by her first marriage--and Ted Rollins' stepsons. Zac Parrish was about 15 years old in September 1995 when Ted Rollins beat him so severely that the youngster was rushed to an emergency room via ambulance, his face a bloody mask.

Was there any doubt that Zac Parrish had been abused? Consider Sherry Rollins description of the trip to the hospital with her son. (The full interview can be viewed in a video at the end of this post.)

In the ambulance, my daughter and I were with him. I believe he was given oxygen. He was badly beaten. He had lacerations around his mouth. Ted had repeatedly beaten him around the mouth area. You could see the inside of his lip hanging down.

Anyone who sees a child in such condition is required by North Carolina law to report it as a case of possible abuse. So why was that not done? Why did the child-protection system in the state fail Zac Parrish?

The failure is particularly egregious when you consider that in 1993, North Carolina Social Services had received substantial evidence of a dysfunctional relationship between Ted Rollins and Zac Parrish. (More on that in upcoming posts.) The same child was beaten senseless by the same stepfather two years later, and it doesn't raise an eyebrow with authorities?

Did the fact Ted Rollins belongs to one of the nation's wealthiest families help him escape serious scrutiny? Does Atlanta-based Rollins Inc., the parent company of Orkin Pest Control, have the kind of power and legal resources that can help provide cover for a family member who abuses a child? Randall and Gary Rollins, the chairman and president of Rollins Inc., are both billionaires--and they are Ted Rollins' cousins, with Randall and Ted joining in a business venture called St. James Capital.

Rollins Inc. frequently enlists the services of one of the nation's most powerful law firms, a Chicago-based outfit called Sidley Austin. What kind of status does Sidley Austin wield in the legal realm? It is billed as one of the oldest law firms in the world and the sixth largest corporate firm with a U.S. base. Could that kind of legal clout help get Ted Rollins out of a jam? We will be addressing that question in a future post, but for now, let's consider the law that should have been applied when Zac Parrish was beaten.

Since the passage of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 (CAPTA), states have received federal funding to provide child protection and welfare services. CAPTA also sets a minimum definition of child abuse and neglect.

North Carolina has a two-tiered set of laws to deal with possible cases of child abuse. One involves a juvenile system, which is designed to protect children; the other is the criminal system, which is designed to punish abusers. Our research indicates that Ted Rollins should have been subjected to both sets of child-abuse laws. But the record shows he was subjected to neither.

The juvenile process is governed by Chapter 7B of the North Carolina General Statutes, which defines an "abused juvenile" as follows:

7B‑101.  Definitions 
As used in this Subchapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following words have the listed meanings: 
(1) Abused juvenile – Any juvenile less than 18 years of age whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker: 
a. Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the juvenile a serious physical injury by other than accidental means; 
b. Creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of serious physical injury to the juvenile by other than accidental means; 
c. Uses or allows to be used upon the juvenile cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures or cruel or grossly inappropriate devices to modify behavior;

That is not the full definition, but Zac Parrish met all three of those criteria for an "abused juvenile" under North Carolina law. Based on Sherry Rollins' description of the beating, let's consider the individuals who had overwhelming reason to believe that Zac Parrish was the victim of child abuse:

* At least one sheriff's deputy;

* At least two ambulance personnel;

* Multiple medical professionals in a hospital emergency room.

What were all of those people required by law to do? Section 7B-301 spells it out:

7B‑301. Duty to report abuse, neglect, dependency, or death due to maltreatment. Any person or institution who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent, as defined by G.S. 7B‑101, or has died as the result of maltreatment, shall report the case of that juvenile to the director of the department of social services in the county where the juvenile resides or is found. The report may be made orally, by telephone, or in writing. . . . 

We've seen no evidence that anyone reported the abuse, as required by law. It appears the system that was designed to protect Zac Parrish from Ted Rollins was bypassed completely. Based on Sherry Rollins' statements about the beating, it appears her husband also should have been subject to North Carolina's criminal child-abuse statute. That is not certain because the law is based on the victim's age, and strangely, the age standard is different from the juvenile-code definition of a child (less than 18 years of age). The applicable law appears to be Section 14-318.4 of the North Carolina General Statutes. It states:

14‑318.4. Child abuse a felony
(a) A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age who intentionally inflicts any serious physical injury upon or to the child or who intentionally commits an assault upon the child which results in any serious physical injury to the child is guilty of a Class E felony, except as otherwise provided in subsection (a3) of this section.

Why is a child defined as "less than 18" under the juvenile code and "less than 16" under the criminal code? We have no idea. But our research clearly shows that Ted Rollins intentionally inflicted serious physical injury upon Zac Parrish, which would be a felony. The only question has to do with Zac Parrish's age at the time of the beating--and Sherry Rollins has been uncertain on that point. In our videotaped interview, she states that her son was 14 at the time of the beating. On other occasions she has said he was 15. In either case, Ted Rollins would have been subject to a felony child-abuse charge.

If Zac Parrish had reached his 16th birthday at the time of the beating--and it appears that is the oldest he could have been--the criminal child-abuse statute would not have been in play. Instead, the case would have been covered by a general assault statute.

This much is certain: Zac Parrish was not protected the way he should have been--and Ted Rollins was not scrutinized the way he should have been. And the 1995 beating was not the first time North Carolina officials failed to intervene effectively in the troubled Rollins household.



Anonymous said...

I must admit, you educated me quite a bit on child-abuse laws. I assume other states have setups similar to the one in North Carolina? I didn't know that's how it works, but it sort of makes sense to have one system to protect the child and one to punish the abuser in cases where crimes have been committed. Sure looks like Mr. Rollins got off easy. Money talks!

Anonymous said...

Some 15 year olds look like adults, but I think you wrote previously that Zac Parrish weighed about 100 pounds at the time. Not sure how the law-enforcement and ambulance personnel could have mistaken him for an adult.

I wonder if Ted Rollins would have picked on a stepson who was 6-7, 220 and being recruited by the North Carolina Tar Heels? I doubt it.

Bullies know how to pick their victims.

Anonymous said...

It's probably too late to do it now, but I wish Zac Parrish had sued Rollins' bully ass for assault and battery.

If you went up to a stranger on the street and did what Rollins did, you'd probably get 2 to 5 in the big house.

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Robby Scott Hill said...

If you think the courts are unfair now, just wait until your case gets assigned to a private judge who is unelected & unaccountable. He may be retired & senile too. The law is headed to Governor Bentley for signature.

legalschnauzer said...


Do you think such a law would be constitutional? Is this done in any other state?

Anonymous said...

It just goes to show that people like Ted Rollins, with money & power, can buy their way out of legal trouble and escape proper punishment in the corrupt "legal justice" system in this country. Ted Rollins should have served hard time in prison & been some cellmate's bitch for the brutal beating he inflicted upon his minor stepson. Sounds like he needs a taste of his own medicine. And in a perfect world, Ted Rollins should have probably been charged with attempted murder.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is an anonymous comment that mistakenly got deleted in moderation:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Truth About Ted Rollins: The CEO of Campus Cre...":

It just goes to show that people like Ted Rollins, with money & power, can buy their way out of legal trouble and escape proper punishment in the corrupt "legal justice" system in this country. Ted Rollins should have served hard time in prison & been some cellmate's bitch for the brutal beating he inflicted upon his minor stepson. Sounds like he needs a taste of his own medicine. And in a perfect world, Ted Rollins should have probably been charged with attempted murder.

Anonymous said...

In response to Robby - This private judge scenario terrifies me. But everything the legislature does these days terrifies me. Sure, there was plenty of corruption at the statehouse before the Riley Machine took over in 2010, but it is nothing compared to what Riley did in his tenure as governor. And now Speaker Hubbard has taken thievery and corruption to a whole new level. A local talk radio host, Mark Montiel, exposed a $40k shakedown of a nursing home operator in Cullman this morning. Riley is shaking down special interest groups to put money in his 2014 PAC or Mike Hubbard won't let their legislation on the floor. Where in the hell is Big Looser? His public corruption unit is a sham. But then again, so is his experience as a practicing attorney.

Anonymous said...

On the surface this law sounds horrible but in thinking of my judge I'd jump at the chance of getting a judge I could research and approve. I know it couldn't be any worse. This will also be rigged so don't see any real difference.

Anonymous said...

Well this explains why no one is running Campus Crest and why no one woeking there cares.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is an Anonymous comment that, for some reason, would not go through moderation:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Truth About Ted Rollins: The CEO of Campus Cre...":

Well this explains how Campus Crest was funded even though it's glaringly obvious no one is running that organization. I wonder if college students or their parents would want to further enrich this sadist.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a story!! I met Ted in 2005 and had the distinct pleasure (not really) of watching him bully, harass, and threaten those traveling with him. He was abusive to me, and my co-workers, but we were under contract to provide certain services and so our boss looked away. I wish I could be more specific but there is always the fear or reprisals.

Fortunately my relationship was rather short lived.

He's a terrible person, and his attitude and behaviors make much more sense to me now. Someone who treats others like he does publicly would certain be capable of physical abuse privately.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 12:30--

Thanks for sharing your experiences with Mr. Rollins. If you are able to share more on background, feel free to contact me via private e-mail at

If you are interested in my overall reporting on Mr. Rollins, you can go to the search function at the top of my blog and key in "Ted Rollins" to call up all posts on that subject. It's quite a story, and I've got much more coming.

He seems to think that the simple laws, rules, and courtesies that apply to the rest of us do not apply to him.

What he did to his ex wife and two daughters in a divorce case is mind boggling. And it happened here in Alabama (I'm based in Birmingham), which is how I got wind of the story.

Anonymous said...

Classic "drive by" hit piece disguised as "journalism."

Lists exactly zero details about the situation other than the ones that help further the author's point. You legitimately think a 50 year old man can bash a 15-year old's brains in, seemingly without reason, and have no reprise? Seriously? The entire medical staff and local authorities were completely devoid of a single normal human being capable of compassion and empathy?

Welcome to the internet. Where anyone can say anything about anyone without penalty.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 4:29--

You might want to brush up on the definition of "journalism." You also might want to read this blog a little closer. Finally, you might want to acquaint yourself with these things called facts.

Ted Rollins was convicted of assault on his stepson, so he didn't get away with "no reprise" (whatever that is), and the post at the Web address below includes the relevant court documents. It's a matter of public record that Ted Rollins assaulted a child, and the child himself brought the charges.

By the way, Ted Rollins is about 50 years old now. He would have been around 32-33 at the time of the beating.

Rollins did get away with child abuse, under North Carolina law, and was not held accountable for that. The post doesn't say the medical staff and other authorities were "devoid of compassion." Best I can tell, the victim received proper medical care, and Ted Rollins was convicted of assault.

The authorities did fail to report the case to social services as possible child abuse, as required by law.

Welcome to the Internet, where a real journalist can use public documents to report the truth--even though some readers can't get it.

Robby Scott Hill said...

It's like I foreshadowed what would happen to you in the future in the comment above.