More than a year after being convicted for raping four women while on duty during 2008 and 2009, former Anchorage police officer Anthony Rollins was sentenced to 87 years in prison Friday.
District Court Judge Philip Volland sentenced Rollins to a total of 151 years and six months in prison on numerous counts of sexual assault and misconduct, with 87 remaining to serve. Volland said that the sentence means Rollins won't be eligible for parole until his early nineties -- 57 years into his 87-year sentence.
Speaking for his daughter, the father of Rollins’ final victim addressed the court earlier Friday during Rollins' sentencing hearing.
“She can’t sleep alone after being raped by an officer on duty,” he said.
Pleading for a maximum sentence -- described by prosecutors Friday afternoon as 224 years -- he recalled Rollins’ emotional state when he was found guilty by a jury in February 2011 on 18 counts of sexual assault and misconduct, including second-degree sexual assault of a fifth victim and criminal use of a computer.
“What I saw was a man who wasn’t sorry for what he did, but the realization he had finally been caught,” the father said. “He’s a serial rapist, plain and simple.”
Six women testified that Rollins sexually assaulted them between 2006 and 2009, mainly at the now-closed Mountain View police substation. Rollins was found not guilty on charges related to the sixth alleged victim.
Prosecutors said Rollins not only assaulted the women while in uniform, but also looked up their personal information and repeatedly called them.
Assistant District Attorney Sharon Marshall spoke for the rest of the victims, reading their impact statements.
“I cannot help but be scared when I hear a police siren,” one victim wrote.
Another victim wrote, “I feel a pain so deep it’s unexplainable.”
“What he did was wrong, and shows what kind of predator he is -- one who thinks he’s above the law,” a different victim wrote. “I can only surmise he blames his victims for his current state.”
A common theme among the letters to District Court Judge Phillip Volland was victims’ fear of police officers.
On Monday, Mayor Dan Sullivan said APD’s supervisory and disciplinary policies would undergo an independent inspection by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in the wake of the Rollins trial. While Sullivan noted that APD quickly initiated the criminal probe that led to Rollins’ convictions, he deemed an external review necessary to bolster public confidence in the police force.
“Nothing we do will ever erase the emotional scars,” APD Chief Mark Mew said to the victims, as he read his impact statement. “We’ve lost the public trust. We know it will be a long uphill battle.”
APD Deputy Chief Steve Smith echoed that sentiment, telling Rollins that officers “must continue to do their jobs under the cloud of your crime.”
The APD representatives, along with all victims, asked Volland to give Rollins a maximum sentence.
“Anthony Rollins, you may be going away -- but many of us are stuck in the wreckage of your crime,” Mew said.
Rollins pleaded not guilty, testifying during the trial that the incidents were consensual and not sexual assaults.
The emotional moments followed the fired APD officer’s attorney objecting to quotations included in the pre-sentencing report, which states facts surrounding his conviction.
“This report will follow Mr. Rollins,” Susan Carney said, “so it must be accurate.”
The state argued the pre-sentencing report was a summary, not a transcript. Since the jury rejected Rollins’ version of the truth, Assistant District Attorney Brittany Dunlop said it did not matter if he disagreed with its accuracy.
While Volland agreed he did not find Rollins’ trial testimony reliable, he ruled that certain quotes inconsistent with trial testimony could be deleted or revised.
The day began with Carney requesting Volland merge Rollins’ conviction for criminal use of a computer conviction with the official misconduct conviction.
The state says Rollins should be sentenced separately because he was a public servant who had special access to a computer to stalk victims. That’s different, Dunlop argued, from a private citizen like a banker who would have the same access.
Five of the women have filed civil lawsuits against Rollins, who also came into play during this year’s mayoral race. Challenger Paul Honeman, a former APD spokesperson, drew fire from conservatives for his actions during an August 2005 encounter at the department’s public-affairs office in which Honeman may have walked in on Rollins having sex with a woman.
Speaking in his own defense, Rollins apologized to both his victims and APD.
"Let me say how sorry I am. I am truly sorry for my actions against you...my actions that led to this trial," he said.
Rollins admitted that he committed adultery but asked APD to remember who he was, not the monster he was portrayed to be. He mentioned his work with Standing Together Against Rape and an award he claimed to have received from the organization, and said his care and compassion for sexual assault victims had not changed as a result of the trial.
Asking for a minimum sentence and treatment, Rollins broke down when he talked about his students.
"My life is like theirs," he said. "I grew up very poor."
While Rollins said he may have seemed cocky on the witness stand, he described himself as very humble.
"So much has been said to paint me as a monster, as a wolf in APD clothing," he said.
Volland began to speak on Rollins’ sentencing shortly before 5 p.m., saying it was a moment that weighed heavily on him.
He went on, however, to say that it was almost as if there were two Anthony Rollins, one of which had a dark side, and that he was unimpressed by Rollins’ view of himself as on the way to rehabilitation.