Thursday, May 10, 2012

How Was Campus Crest CEO Ted Rollins Convicted of "Simple Assault" in North Carolina?

Ted Rollins

North Carolina has an unusually complex set of assault laws, covering dozens of varieties of assaults, with four levels of misdemeanors and 10 levels of felonies. By comparison, Alabama assault law is a model of simplicity.

But it doesn't take much research into North Carolina's byzantine criminal system to realize this: Someone cut Ted Rollins major slack when he was convicted in 1995 of "simple assault" [General Statutes 14-33(a)] in the beating of his stepson.

Rollins, the CEO of Campus Crest Communities, could have faced a charge of "assault inflicting serious injury" [G.S. 14-33(b)]. A conviction under that statute, which was justified based on our review of the evidence, could have resulted in jail time. But Ted Rollins belongs to one of the nation's wealthiest families--and he was head of a large employer in Franklin County, North Carolina, at the time--so it seems authorities did not want a member of the business elite to spend time behind bars.

Under North Carolina law, previous convictions and the nature of the victim's injuries are key considerations in an assault charge. Rollins probably was in good shape on the issue of previous convictions. But the injuries he inflicted upon his stepson clearly go beyond the boundaries of "simple assault."

According to a North Carolina criminal-law blog, you do not even have to make contact with another person to be charged with simple assault. Putting someone in the position that he fears an unlawful touch meets the standard. From the law blog:

A simple assault is the most basic assault, and is a class 2 misdemeanor. (Misdemeanors are broken into four classes, from A1, the worst, to Class 3, the least serious.) Someone who commits an unlawful touching of another, or who engages in a “show of violence” (raises a hand, but does not hit), is guilty of a simple assault.

According to the statements of an eye witness, Sherry Carroll Rollins, her husband at the time definitely made contact with his stepson, Zac Parrish, and inflicted serious injury. Ms. Rollins stated that Zac Parrish (her son from her first marriage) had a broken nose, with his face a bloody mask from various lacerations and abrasions ("as if he had no eyes"). She also said her son stumbled around after the beating, a sign that he probably had a concussion.

Was this, in fact, a simple assault? Absolutely not, according to the North Carolina law blog:

An assault inflicting serious injury (also defined under N.C.G.S. 14-33) is a class A1 misdemeanor. The injury that the victim suffers can either be a physical injury (causing “great pain” and “suffering”) or can be a “serious mental injury.” The judge or jury ultimately decides whether the injury is serious, and can look to whether the victim was hospitalized, experienced pain, suffered blood loss, or was out of work for a time. Courts have found that a victim who suffered from shards of glass in in the arm had experienced serious injury.

Zac Parrish was taken via ambulance to a hospital emergency room. He suffered pain and blood loss, and as a minor being beaten by his stepfather, surely endured "serious mental injury." Consider Sherry Rollins' words in our interview about the assault. (You can view a video of the interview at the end of this post.)

"If Ted had walked up to Zac and had a conversation, where Zac might have said something that Ted didn't agree with and hit him once or pushed him--or even punched him once--I guess that might have been a simple assault. But from what I saw from the time Ted was on Zac, there was nothing simple about it. It was a beating. . . . 
"In the world we live in today, he probably would be classified as a child abuser."

In the world as it was then, Ted Rollins should have been classified as a child abuser, as we explained in a recent post. If Rollins had been charged with the crime he actually committed--assault inflicting serious injury--he would have been looking at possible time behind bars. A Class A1 misdemeanor can be serious business in North Carolina. From another criminal-law blog in the state:

A class A1 is the most serious type of misdemeanor in North Carolina. Examples include Assault on a Female, DWI, and Assault on a Law Enforcement Official. Even for a first offender, a class A1 misdemeanor can be punishable by jail time. The maximum sentence on a Class A1 misdemeanor for a Level III offender (five or more prior convictions) is 150 days in jail.

Five months in jail was unlikely for Rollins since he probably was not a Level III offender. But one or two months was a real possibility. So how did he wind up with probation (no jail time) and a total of $415 in fines and restitution? We can think of only one answer: Ted Rollins comes from a family with lots of money, and that makes him an elite--and elites receive special treatment in our two-tiered "justice system."


jeffrey spruill said...

The North Carolina law firm of Poyner Spruill represents some of this psychopaths--Ted Rollins interests.!/poynerspruill

Anonymous said...

Henry Kissinger said about his own species of humans not of the "ELITE" tier, USELESS EATERS. Rockefeller: DISPOSABLE COMMODITIES.

CANNIBALS, THE ELITE? Or simply ANARCHY to the U.S. Constitution?

I have postcards for you LS, need a snail mail address. Roberta

Cannibals have been predatory criminally insane since the beginning of time and change the name of cannibalism to colonialism or globalism?

...The practice of human cannibalism is highly variable and can be defined in a number of ways: (1) Endocannibalism is the consumption of deceased individuals who live within the group, such as kin and friends. (This pattern was common in New Guinea as an act of veneration.) (2) Exocannibalism is the consumption of outsiders as an act to gain strength or demonstrate power over the vanquished, who had usually been murdered. (3) Starvation or survival cannibalism is the consumption during actual or perceived starvation. (This is well documented in numerous historical sources.) (4) Gastronomic cannibalism is nonfunerary, nonstarvation cannibalism, that is, routine cannibalism for food. (This is not well documented.) (5) Medicinal cannibalism is the consumption of human tissues such as blood, powdered bone, or dried tissue for medicinal purposes. (6) Sadistic cannibalism is the killing and eating of individuals out of sadistic or psychopathological motives. (There is considerable evidence for this pattern of cannibalism.) In exocannibalism, gastronomic cannibalism, and sadistic cannibalism, the victims are murdered before being eaten; in endocannibalism, starvation cannibalism, and medicinal cannibalism, they are not.

Read more:

legalschnauzer said...

The simple fact that the stepson was taken to a hospital emergency room via ambulance points to this not being a "simple assault." As the North Carolina criminal-law blog shows, blood loss and hospitalization are two key factors in "assault with serious injury." The stepson had those, along with a broken bone. Alabama is the not the only state where Ted Rollins has received favorable treatment in a court of law. And it has not only been in a civil matter--a divorce case--but also in a criminal matter.

legalschnauzer said...

Is it possible that the right wingers of North Carolina are too concerned with gay marriage to worry about adults who get away with child abuse and serious assault.

Anonymous said...

I have a stepson in the age range of the kid you are writing about here. Wonder what would happen to me if I bloodied his face, broke his nose, left part of his lip dangling. I probably would wind up where I belonged--in the slammer for several months, or more.

I can't imagine what would prompt a stepfather to do this. I can't imagine any amount of sassing that would lead to this.

Robby Scott Hill said...

The debt collectors really started calling after I tweeted this. It's getting on somebody's nerves.

legalschnauzer said...

That's interesting, Rob. A coincidence? Perhaps. But I suspect the financial-services industry, including debt collectors and the law firms that serve them, are closely tied to the investment firms and such that support the various Rollins enterprises. Would be interested to know if you learn any scuttlebutt about Sidley Austin. They are huge players in defending Orkin and Rollins Inc. Massive global law firm based in Chi-town.

Robby Scott Hill said...

I learned Rollins Inc has a PAC that bankrolls a few select candidates for the US House. One of them was Katherine Harris, the Secretary of State in Florida, who threw the 2000 Election to George W. Bush.

Robby Scott Hill said...

And disgraced former GOP Speaker of the House, Tom DeLay made his money in the pest control industry.

legalschnauzer said...

Katherine Harris draws support from the pest-control industry? How appropriate is that?

Robby Scott Hill said...

I find it very interesting that the arbiter of the stolen 2000 Presidential Election was bankrolled by Rollins Inc. You will also find our old friend Jack Abramoff heavily involved with the careers of both Katherine Harris & Tom DeLay.

Before we noticed, the Rollins Family pushed Otto Orkin into poverty & three boys in Georgia were extra-judicially beaten with a baseball bat. It is a cancer on America that needs to be excised from politics. Every candidate backed by Rollins Inc. needs to be defeated at the polls.