The Harford County State's Attorney's Office has declined to prosecute a case brought earlier this year against a former chaplain at the Harford County Detention Center who was accused of allegedly improperly touching two female inmates.
All charges brought in a June 1, 2016 indictment against the Rev. Kennis A. Rolle Sr. were placed on the stet, or inactive, docket on Monday, according to online court records.
"The expected testimony against Rolle was not as specific as the earlier statements," State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly explained via email Tuesday.
Rolle faced multiple charges of misconduct in office, second-degree assault, fourth-degree sex offense and sex offense against a correctional inmate, stemming from an investigation by the Harford County Sheriff's Office, which operates the detention center and held a press conference to announce the indictment in June.
After the indictment was handed up, Rolle was terminated from his employment with the Sheriff's Office, which said at the time that allegations of inappropriate conduct were made by two female inmates, ages 31 and 26, who claimed that during scheduled and unscheduled counseling sessions in the chaplain's office, Rolle would touch them.
Detectives said one woman reported the alleged unwanted touching and the second alleged victim was identified during their subsequent investigation. The alleged inappropriate contact occurred during the fall of 2014 and again between December 2015 and February 2016, the Sheriff's Office said. Rolle was suspended in March.
"For the past six months I have been living under the stress of false accusations," Rolle, 60, a Middle River resident, said in a statement issued Tuesday through his attorney, Marc L. Zayon, of Baltimore.
"I never touched any inmate inappropriately," the statement continued. "I am innocent of all charges filed against me. Since 1995, I have dedicated my life to helping others in ministering and sharing the word of the Lord. During my tenure in Harford County, I helped so many in their time of need."
"I thank everyone who supported me during this trying time and pray that no other person has to live through the tragedy of being accused of a crime that did not occur," the statement concluded.
"I commend [Deputy State's Attorney] Diane Adkins-Tobin and the Harford County State's Attorney's Office for their decision not to pursue this case to trial," Zayon said. "The case was based on the uncorroborated accusations of two inmates with questionable motives and ethics. There is no question Chaplain Rolle is innocent of these charges and I am happy for him, his family and his numerous supporters."
"The decision to stet the charges against Mr. Rolle, was a decision made by the State's Attorney Office after careful review and consideration of all the facts," Sheriff's Office spokesperson Cristie Kahler said via email. "Sheriff [Jeffrey] Gahler takes no exception to the difficult decision they made in this case. Furthermore, the Sheriff's priority was to ensure that future contact between the staff and population of the Harford County Detention Center and Mr. Rolle was ended and the stet in this matter accomplishes that objective."