MEDIA RELEASE: Weak Sentencing for Cat Torturer Prompts Disappointment from Animal Advocates
MARIETTA, Ohio (September 29, 2021) – In Defense of Animals is deeply disappointed by the September 28 sentencing of Eric Rollins, who was arrested for torturing and burning his then-girlfriend’s cat in Ohio last year.
Despite being indicted on both felony and misdemeanor cruelty, the felony charge was dropped. Rollins was only given one-year probation, credit for one day in jail, and a 58 day suspended sentence. He will also be prohibited from having animals in his possession.
“This is a deeply disappointing outcome for Prince and his guardian, and for thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters who urged strong sentencing in this case. It was clear that the prosecutor intended to move through pending cases without using the resources required for a felony conviction,” said Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director. “Those who harm animals are a risk to all of society. We urge the courts to treat cases of animal cruelty seriously and hold animal abusers accountable for their harmful actions by passing meaningful sentences.”
On June 16, 2020, Eric Rollins called his girlfriend, Carina Ealy, at work to tell her that he had bathed their cat Prince, and was blow-drying him. In a second call to Ealy, Rollins said that Prince had defecated and he would have to rewash him. When Ealy returned from work after a late shift, she noticed a small smoldering pile in her yard. She dismissed it as smoldering grass as Rollins had cut the lawn that day.
The following morning Ealy and Rollins argued over his drinking the night before, which broke an agreement allowing him to move back in after a previous breakup over his abusive behavior. Law enforcement was summoned, and Rollins packed and left.
It wasn’t until Rollins departed that Ealy made a sickening discovery. She found evidence that Prince had been brutally chased and beaten from his bath to the basement, and it was Prince’s remains that were smoldering in the yard. Ealy called the police again, and when they questioned Rollins, he admitted to killing Prince.
On August 7, 2020, Washington County Sheriff’s Office served a summons and charged Rollins with cruelty to animals, which is a fifth-degree felony. More than 12,000 people signed an In Defense of Animals’ alert calling for Rollins’ prosecution. Sadly, the charge against him was later amended to a first-degree misdemeanor.
When Rollins’ charges were reduced, Ealy said, “After the hearing today, I find myself disheartened and in awe. The investigating officer gave the prosecutor's office everything but a conviction, and they won't follow through with it. I've lost my faith in justice, as will so many people who fought for our felony law.”
Doll Stanley, email@example.com, (662) 809-4483
Carina Ealy, firstname.lastname@example.org, (304) 531-1434
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 38-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/Justice4Animals
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