ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — New court filings show that Anchorage police had for years investigated reports of on-duty sexual activity by an officer who was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting several women while on duty.
The reports from police records were filed Friday in the lawsuits of women suing Anthony Rollins and the city, the Anchorage Daily News (http://bit.ly/y8cGKC) reported.
The lawsuits say Rollins' employers should have known he posed a threat to women after catching him having sex while on duty.
Rollins was convicted last year. He was suspended and then fired after a woman reported in 2009 that he forced her to perform oral sex during a drunken driving arrest.
The reports describe investigations beginning in 2001 with a report that a woman performed oral sex on him in an apartment hallway where he'd driven a police cruiser. After denials from the woman and Rollins, the report was deemed unfounded.
Two years later, a prostitute reported she'd been threatened with arrest unless she provided sexual favors — although no sex occurred — and the police Internal Affairs Unit and the FBI launched a sting operation with an undercover agent posing as a prostitute.
The agent reported two "flirtatious" encounters with Rollins, but in the course of tracking him for the sting operation, police found he'd been spending "an inordinate amount of time" at the home of a woman who was a member of his church.
Rollins admitted to about 20 sexual encounters, saying he listened to the police radio at the woman's home and responded to calls from there, according to the documents. He got a negative review and was transferred to patrol duty.
Eventually he wound up in the public affairs office, becoming a spokesman at times for the department. He was disciplined for having sex in that office, and the documents say a supervisor recommended sending him back to patrol duty. Chief Mark Mew said later that he had been "punished severely."
Christine Schleuss, a lawyer for five of the nine women involved in the suits, said she's seeking information beyond the summaries of internal investigation reports provided to her.
"However, incomplete as they are, they describe (the city's) pattern of misconduct as it kept Rollins on the job, allowed him to run free — in uniform and on unsupervised patrol — while he continued to sexually assault innocent women," Schleuss wrote.
The police referred questions about the suits to the city's attorney, Dennis Wheeler.
"There's a difference between discovering somebody had consensual sex on duty, and you discipline them for that, versus somebody who is committing sexual assaults. You have to have the evidence," Wheeler said.
He said the discipline was administered by previous officials. "There's a grievance process, there's progressive discipline, there's union representation," he said. "Whether that discipline at that time was in the realm of what would normally be done, I don't know."
He also said the city has agreed to settle one of the nine lawsuits, paying the victim $52,500.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com