Ex-Prosecutor’s Indecent Exposure Conviction Appeal Denied

Ex-Prosecutor’s Indecent Exposure Conviction Appeal Denied
Edward Rollins III

OCEAN CITY — A former Cecil County prosecutor, convicted in 2016 of indecent exposure and disorderly conduct stemming from an incident at an uptown Ocean City hotel, had his appeal denied last week by the state’s Court of Special Appeals.

In 2016, Cecil County State’s Attorney Edward “Ellis” Rollins III, 61, of Northeast, was found guilty of one count each of indecent exposure and disorderly conduct following an incident in June of that year during which he exposed himself and conducted other lewd acts while standing naked at the sliding glass door of his 10th floor room at an uptown Ocean City hotel in full view of several women in an adjacent hotel.

Rollins ultimately was sentenced to 90 days for the indecent exposure conviction and 60 days for the disorderly conduct conviction, all of which was then suspended. He was then sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation and a $1,000 fine. He was also required to undergo a mental health evaluation as directed by the Department of Parole and Probation and was ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with the victims in the case along with 100 hours of community service.

After sentencing, Rollins appealed the convictions to the state’s Court of Special Appeals on multiple grounds. For one, Rollins asserted the trial court erred in providing instructions to the jury concerning the public element of the indecent exposure statute. Rollins also asserted the trial court failed to instruct the jury properly on the disorderly conduct statute. However, the Court of Special Appeals last week denied Rollins’ appeal on both counts.

“Rollins contends that the circuit court failed to instruct the jury as to one of the elements of indecent exposure,” the opinion reads. “Second, Rollins asserts that the circuit court’s instruction about the public element of indecent exposure constitutes an abuse of discretion because it did not include certain limiting language requested by the defense. The circuit court’s instruction was neither improper nor an abuse of discretion.”

The Court of Special Appeals found no reversible errors in the trial court’s instructions to the jury.

“Rollins had asked the court to instruct the jury that the conduct must have been shocking or offensive,” the opinion reads. “On appeal, Rollins asserts that the circuit court’s failure to deliver his requested instruction constitutes a reversible error. We disagree.”

On June 22, 2016, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), officers responded to the Clarion Resort Fountainbleau in north Ocean City around 4 p.m. for a report of a nude male on a balcony. OCPD officers located the room in question and took Rollins into custody for indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.

The Court of Special Appeals’ opinion released last week goes into great detail about Rollins’ activities at the hotel prior to his arrest too lurid to go into. The evidence against Rollins was strong as was the testimony of the female victims in the case during trial.

According to court documents, Rollins “did indecently expose his person in a public place in the area between the Atlantic condominiums and the Clarion Resort Fountainebleau Hotel” on June 21 and again on June 22. About five days later, Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby filed a criminal information charging Rollins with two counts each of indecent exposure and disorderly conduct after consulting with the OCPD and witnesses.

While he did not get any jail time for the two convictions, the incidents cost Rollins his job as Cecil County’s top prosecutor. One day before he was scheduled to appear for sentencing, Rollins submitted his resignation as State’s Attorney for Cecil County.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.