MURRIETA – A former Marine sergeant who beat his girlfriend with such ferocity that she suffered memory loss was sentenced today to 14 years to life in prison.
Anthony Eugene Rollins, 34, was convicted Jan. 16 of two counts of domestic violence and one count each of torture and witness intimidation, along with sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegations, for the December 2012 attack on his then-30-year-old girlfriend, identified in court documents only as Jane Doe.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michael Rushton imposed a sentence of seven years to life in prison for the torture count and seven years total for the remaining counts.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Rollins had a history of violence against women, with at least five reported cases in other states where the former Marine gunnery sergeant was stationed.
The victim in the case for which he was convicted had met him in the Midwest and moved to Murrieta with him after he was transferred to Camp Pendleton.
Rollins, described as intensely jealous and suspicious, had accused the victim of seeing other men while he was away from home, culminating in a confrontation on the night of Dec. 1, 2012, at his Avery Place residence, according to the prosecution.
Deputy District Attorney Tim Cross said the victim could recall little about what happened because of the nature of the injuries Rollins inflicted, though she had ”flash memories” — and a one-minute audio recording made when the defendant apparently inadvertently dialed her mobile phone, ringing through to her voicemail.
”You can hear him telling her she’s never going to leave or call the police and that he’s going to make it worse,” Cross said. ”You could hear her screaming and crying. Then you hear impact sounds.”
Cross said investigators believe the sounds were of Rollins striking the victim in the head, though it was never confirmed whether he used a weapon or his fist.
”She suffered a skull fracture, and there were contusions on the left and right side of her brain,” Cross said. ”That was the result of a very strong impact, so much so that the brain hit the skull. Her brain was bruised, according to the neurosurgeon.”
Rollins deposited the unconscious woman in her bed and left her there for more than two days, according to Cross.
”She was very ill, laying there and vomiting,” Cross said.
Rollins finally drove her to Inland Valley Medical Center, but she was ultimately transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center for acute care.
The victim had virtually no memory of the attack, Cross said.
”She remembered him cutting the heads off her teddy bears,” Cross said. ”When she asked him to bring a bear for her to cuddle at the hospital, he told her the bear was deceased.”
She did not report the assault until weeks later, when she heard herself and Rollins on the voicemail recording.
Rollins was charged in the case, as well as for striking her in the mouth with a television remote control a year earlier, breaking one of her front teeth.
Though the defendant was accused of multiple prior acts of domestic violence against other women, only one pursued criminal charges, and in that case the defendant was found not guilty after the alleged victim agreed to marry him, though she ultimately didn’t, according to Cross.