Courts & Crime

Judge: Alaska cop who makes $100K still too poor to hire lawyer

An Anchorage police officer accused of multiple counts of sexual assault will get a public defender despite his $100,000-a-year salary, at least for now, a Superior Court judge ruled Friday.

"The charges in this case are equivalent to homicide charges," Judge Phillip Volland said after being asked by the prosecution to revisit his initial granting of public defender services. "This would be a very expensive case."

Anthony Rollins, 41, is accused of sexually assaulting six women over a span of three years. Some of the 20 charges against him say he abused his official position to commit the crimes. Eligibility for a public defender generally requires the defendant to be "an indigent person." While Rollins, a decorated, 13-year-veteran of the department, may not fit the normal profile, he does not have the money to hire a lawyer to defend him in this kind of case, Volland said.

Prosecutors had objected to Rollins being granted a state paid-for defense attorney because of his police income and properties he and his wife own around Anchorage.

Public records show Rollins was paid $142,892 by the Anchorage police department in 2008; and up until his mid-July arrest, the department paid Rollins $78,688. His wife, police Sgt. Denise Rollins, also made good money.

Their combined income for the past five and a half years was $1,168,602, according to municipal records.

Although Rollins has above-average income, he does not appear to have sufficient assets or cash to pay for a long, complicated case, the judge said.

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