Bond denied for former assistant coach accused of possessing child pornography

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Robert Manning Rollins, 55. (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Robert Manning Rollins, 55 (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

A judge denied a bond request for a 55-year-old Poquoson man accused of possession of child pornography in the York County Circuit Court Thursday morning.

Robert Manning Rollins, a former assistant coach and volunteer for Poquoson High School sports teams, will remain in police custody at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail until his scheduled trial date in February.

Rollins is charged with five counts of possessing child pornography and five counts of possession with the intent to distribute child pornography after police say they found evidence of child pornography on Rollins’ laptop.

During the hearing, Judge Richard Rizk said although he did not believe Rollins was a flight risk, he did consider him a danger to the community.

“During bond hearings, we look at the strength of the commonwealth’s evidence,” Rizk said. “The court finds that this individual is a threat to the community, and there will be no bond for these circumstances.”

Rollins was denied bond once before in December 2016, according to court records.

Rollins was arrested Sept. 15 after a task force found several images of child pornography in late May that had been uploaded by an IP address connected to Rollin’s home in Poquoson, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Donna Maw said while outlining police evidence in court Thursday.

York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office investigators seized his cell phone and laptop, Maw said. Rollins cooperated with the search and told police he had about 50 images in a file named “pics to share,” Maw said.

Police were able to uncover a file named “pics to share,” which had several categorized files containing about 500 child pornography images and two child pornography videos. Some material depicted female children displaying their private parts, while other material showed adult men having sex with children, Maw said.

Police also found about 1,500 Yahoo chat logs between Rollins and other internet users discussing getting child pornography. In some chats, Rollins told the other users he was also a child, Maw added.

While investigators were going through evidence, Rollins told one officer that he had an addiction to child porn, Maw said.

Rollins confirmed in court that he had previously served as an assistant baseball coach, a statistician for the football team, and the clock and scoreboard keeper for volleyball and basketball for Poquoson High School.

While Rollins’ attorney, Richard Collins, suggested the court could place many restrictions on Rollins if he was released on bond, Maw told the judge that “with all due respect your honor, there is nothing you or any court can do to keep the community safe from this individual.”

During the hearing, the judge also heard a motion from Collins requesting a computer science and computer forensics expert be appointed to testify on whether there was malware on Rollins’ computer.

Collins told the court Rollins said malware, malicious software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems, played a role in what was found on his computer.

Having an expert analyze Rollins’ computer and see if there was any malware on the device would be an important factor in the case, Collins said.

While Maw said she did not object to appointing an expert, she raised concerns about the high cost – the expert quoted his rate to be about $250 per hour – and the logistics of getting the material or device to the expert. The expert told Collins he would need to analyze the device from his office in Fairfax, but Maw said sending copies of the evidence is not common practice.

A local investigator, Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Little, told the court that computer experts typically come to his office to analyze the evidence. Little is also a part of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Rizk approved the motion to appoint and expert, but reserved the ruling on the expert from Fairfax County that Collins requested.

“My hesitation or pause is whether it’s this expert, or someone more local who has more reasonable fees,” Rizk said.

The court will meet again on Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. to decide which expert will be appointed to the case.

Rollins’ trial is set for Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. in the York County Circuit Court.

Fearing can be reached at 207-975-5459.