Circuit Court for Worcester County Case No. 23-K-16-000241
Berger, Beachley, Thieme, Raymond G., Jr. (Senior Judge,
Specially Assigned), JJ.
a jury trial, Edward Dorsey Ellis Rollins, III
("Rollins"), appellant, was convicted in the
Circuit Court for Worcester County of one count of indecent
exposure and one count of disorderly conduct based upon
events that occurred on June 22, 2016. Rollins received a
sentence of ninety days' incarceration, all of which was
suspended. The court ordered that Rollins serve eighteen
months of supervised probation.
raises three issues on appeal, which we have rephrased and
consolidated as two issues as follows:
1. Whether the circuit court committed reversible error with
respect to its jury instruction on the elements of the crime
of indecent exposure.
2. Whether the circuit court committed reversible error with
respect to its instruction that, in order to convict Rollins
of disorderly conduct, the State was required to prove that
Rollins "acted in a public place or public
reasons explained herein, we shall affirm.
the underlying facts relating to Rollins's criminal
conviction are unrelated to the limited issues before us in
this appeal. We set forth the facts relevant to this appeal,
as well as limited additional facts in order to provide the
appropriate context for our consideration of the issues.
events giving rise to this appeal occurred in Ocean City,
Maryland on June 21-22, 2016. Karen Lynn, Lisa Smith,
Glorilyn Rowe, and Nancy Schrey were visiting Ocean City and
staying at the Atlantis condominium complex. During the same
time period, Rollins was a guest at the Clarion Hotel, which
is adjacent to the Atlantis.
around 12:00 p.m. on June 21, Lynn and Smith were on the
enclosed balcony of their condominium unit. Rowe and Schrey
did not arrive until later that evening. From their balcony,
Lynn and Smith observed a naked man, later determined to be
Rollins, in front of an open sliding glass door in a hotel
room at the adjacent Clarion Hotel. The women initially
believed that Rollins had mistakenly walked in front of the
sliding glass door without realizing that the door was open
and that he could be seen from outside. Subsequently,
however, Rollins opened the screen door and "looked
right over at" the women. The women then observed
Rollins "holding" and "stroking" his
penis while making eye contact with the women. The women
estimated that Rollins continued to masturbate for
approximately fifteen minutes. Smith contacted the Clarion Hotel
to inform them that there was a gentleman standing naked at
his balcony window. The women photographed Rollins, intending
to show the photographs to the Clarion manager so that hotel
management would "make him stop."
evening, Rowe and Schrey arrived at the Atlantis condominium.
All four women testified as to what they observed the
following afternoon, on June 22, 2016. At approximately 2:30
p.m., the women again observed Rollins naked in front of his
open sliding glass door. Rollins "looked like [he was]
posing, " "rubb[ed] his butt, " and
"ben[t] over." At some point, Rollins sat down on a
piece of furniture in front of the open sliding glass door
and masturbated. The women could see that Rollins had an
erection at this time. Rollins had "his legs really far
apart" and was "looking right at" the women.
women testified that Rollins masturbated in front of the open
sliding door on multiple occasions throughout the afternoon.
Lynn testified that she observed Rollins masturbating twice
that afternoon. Smith testified that she observed Rollins
masturbating on "three separate occasions, " while
Rowe and Schrey each testified that they observed Rollins
masturbating four separate times during the afternoon. Rowe
testified that Rollins was looking "directly at [her],
directly in [her] eyes" while he was masturbating
"with a fully erect penis." Lynn and Schrey
similarly testified that Rollins looked directly at the women
women contacted Atlantis security to report Rollins's
conduct. Atlantis security representative Michelle Jones
arrived at the women's unit to confirm the report. The
women pointed out the balcony where they had observed
Rollins. Within approximately two minutes after Jones began
looking in Rollins's direction, she observed Rollins
appear with a towel wrapped around his waist. Within
"seconds, " Rollins "turned around and dropped
the towel, " exposing his penis. Jones observed as
Rollins sat down on a dark piece of furniture and
"started to masturbate." Jones testified that
Rollins was positioned in such a manner that she was
concerned that Atlantis hotel guests, including children,
might be able to see Rollins from the pool area below.
Thereafter, Jones contacted the Ocean City Police Department.
Kevin Flower responded to Jones's call and met with the
women at their condominium unit. While Flower was there, he
observed Rollins walk to the sliding door of his hotel room
and expose his buttocks. The next day, Officer Flower and
Sergeant Gregory DiGiovanni continued to investigate.
Sergeant DiGiovanni stood in the position in Rollins's
hotel room where Rollins had been observed standing the day
prior, while Officer Flower stood in the women's
condominium unit at the Atlantis. Officer Flower testified
that he could easily see Sergeant DiGiovanni standing at his
balcony door in the hotel room at the Clarion. Officer Flower
and Sergeant DiGiovanni then switched places with identical
was charged with two counts each of disorderly conduct and
indecent exposure. One count of each was based upon
Rollins's alleged conduct on each of the two days.
Following a jury trial, the jury returned a not guilty
verdict as to the charges based upon Rollins's conduct on
June 21, 2016. The jury found Rollins guilty of disorderly
conduct and indecent exposure for his conduct on June 22,
facts shall be discussed as necessitated by our discussion of
the issues on appeal.