Sherry and Ted Rollins were married for 14 years before their divorce was finalized in 2005, right here in my backyard, Shelby County, Alabama. Ted Rollins grew up in one of the nation's wealthiest families, the folks behind Orkin Pest Control, and he has gone on to become CEO of Campus Crest Communities, a Charlotte-based developer of student housing that has received more than $400 million in Wall Street support.
Public documents reveal that the fears of Monica Bulich, Ted Rollins' first wife, came true. He was convicted in 1995 of assaulting his stepson, Zac Parrish, who was 16 years old at the time. Two years before that, social-services officials in North Carolina investigated Ted Rollins for possible child sexual abuse, based on a citizen complaint.
We do not know what prompted Monica Bulich to warn Sherry Carroll about what might be ahead for her. But we do know about some of what went on during Ted Rollins' second marriage. And in an example of history repeating itself, we know that Sherry Carroll Rollins sent a warning to the woman who would become Mrs. Ted Rollins, No. 3.
What drove Sherry Rollins' concerns? Once her divorce was complete, she knew that Ted Rollins was about to marry a woman named Holly Matheson, from Greenville, South Carolina. And the new woman in Ted Rollins' life had a son, Ethan Matheson, who was about 10 years old. That just happens to have been the age of Zac Parrish when Ted Rollins entered his life.
"Funny how Ted chooses wives with young boys," Sherry Rollins says. "Seems to be a pattern."
Sherry Rollins decided not be silent about her concerns:
I know [Ted] is still doing the same things to someone; just don't know who the victim is. I wrote Holly an anonymous letter when I heard she was marrying Ted. I told her he had abused a young boy, and he would do it again. I sent it to her from Asheville, North Carolina. I don't know what she thought or if she heeded the earning. I fear Ethan was Ted's interest in marrying her. I wonder if Ethan is alright.
Ethan Matheson is the same age as Sarah Rollins, one of two daughters (along with Emma Rollins) that Ted and Sherry Rollins had together. He now is a freshman at Colorado State University, one of the schools that soon will be home to The Grove, the banner under which Campus Crest builds student apartment complexes.
Sherry Rollins says her daughter and Ethan Matheson have become fairly good friends. "Sarah says that Ethan hates Ted and says he is crazy. I wish Zac could talk to Ethan. . . . I wonder if [Ted] has gotten to Ethan."
Did Ethan Matheson become a victim when his mother married Ted Rollins? We do not have a sure answer to that question, but Sherry Rollins provides important history:
Ted got with Holly when Ethan was 8 years old. Ted had met Holly and Ethan, as Ethan was a little boy in Sarah's class at school. He came to our house for Sarah's birthday party, with his mom and dad. We always saw them at school, at events. So when [Sarah, Emma, and I] left Greenville, Ethan was 8 years old. Ted moved in with Holly and Ethan when Ethan was 9 or 10.
I sent her the letter in 2005, after my divorce--so Ethan was by then 10 years old. I told her I was afraid that Ted might harm him, as he had already done to another boy. I never signed my name and signed it as someone concerned about the safety of her child.
(To be continued)