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.

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