ShareThis Page

Victims' families encourage others to report abuse by Brownsville man

| Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011

Family members of three men who were sexually molested in their teens by a Fayette Country man are urging other possible victims to seek help.

"They're not going to get rid of that emptiness and pain they are feeling, until they come forward," said the mother of one of the victims after a sentencing and Megan's Law hearing on Wednesday for James R. Roll.

Roll, 42, of Brownsville, pleaded guilty in July to 18 criminal counts involving two of the victims, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, sexual assault, corruption of minors and selling or furnishing liquor to minors.

Under terms of a plea bargain, Senior Judge Conrad B. Capuzzi yesterday sentenced Roll to concurrent terms of four to eight years in state prison.

In criminal complaints, state police at Belle Vernon said Roll molested two boys between the ages of 13 and 15 between 1994 and 1998 in Fayette and Washington counties. Roll was charged in 2010, after a third victim, who is now deceased, came forward.

The uncle of the deceased man said his nephew went to police because he wanted to ensure no other boys were hurt.

"He just got to the point where he knew there were other kids that (Roll) had in his sights," the uncle said. "He was a smart kid, very intelligent, but his life was ruined by this jerk."

The Tribune-Review does not identify victims of sexual assault. The man died of an accidental overdose of Oxycontin shortly after coming forward, according to his mother. The woman said she believes her son's guilt and depression over having been sexually molested contributed to his death.

"I will take that to my grave," said the woman. "He battled depression. That was not my son."

Roll was sentenced in connection with assaults involving only two of the victims. Herbert Hays, a member of the state's Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, testified yesterday Roll told him there are six other victims, for a total of nine.

Hays testified Roll plied the teens with alcohol and gifts, taking them on boating trips in which they were allowed to use his jet skis.

"He said to me, this was experimentation," Hays testified. "He said to me, he should have chosen adult victims, if he was going to do this, instead of juvenile victims."

Hays testified that although Roll said he stopped molesting teenage boys after his marriage in 1998, he suffers from a mental abnormality, paraphilia, and will likely molest again.

"It's a lifetime condition," Hays testified. "It's likely that he will re-offend."

After he was sentenced, Roll told Capuzzi he has no plans to appeal.

"I'm taking full responsibility for what I've done," Roll said.

Relatives of the victims said afterward they wanted a longer sentence.

"The sentence wasn't just, but if others come forward, they can prosecute on those," said the uncle of the deceased man.

Based on Hays' recommendation, Capuzzi deemed Roll a sexually violent predator under Megan's Law. Upon his release from prison, Roll must register his address quarterly with police for life and participate in mandatory counseling, among other conditions.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.