Bad business

For the past month, callers trying to reach Roland Edison at the headquarters of A&M Records in Los Angeles have been told he is out of the office or on vacation. But he has not just been taking a little time off: The A&M Records vice president of urban promotion has been at home, ducking questions about a rape allegation made against him last month during a trip to Texas.

On June 8, Edison was arrested in Dallas for aggravated sexual assault, a second-degree felony rape charge. According to a Dallas Police Department arrest report, a 29-year-old woman filed the charge. The report states that the woman went to meet Edison at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel at about 7:30 p.m. on June 8. She told police the two were supposed to get together for a "business meeting," but that upon her arrival at Edison's room, her boss began making aggressive sexual advances.

The report states that Edison--a 5-foot-9-inch, 298-pound man, according to Dallas police--placed his hand upon her leg and that she insisted, "Don't do that." Then, according to the report, Edison "unzipped the complainant's pants and placed his hand on her vagina," again prompting a protest. He then allegedly ripped off her pants and removed his own clothes and "requested oral sex," an offer she refused. The report says he then pushed her down, pinned her to the bed, and raped her. The woman left the hotel room, found hotel security, phoned the police, and was taken to Parkland Hospital for treatment.

The 44-year-old Edison was arrested at the hotel at about 11 p.m. and taken to the Dallas County jail. He was released the following day on a $5,000 bond. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office is waiting for police to complete their investigation before deciding whether to present the case to a grand jury.

Sgt. Patrick Walsh of the police department's sexual assault unit says investigators have interviewed the woman twice. "We're still conducting interviews, and our investigation is far from being completed," Walsh says. "We have not made a determination if we're going to file a case or not."

Reached at his home, where he lives with his wife, Edison referred calls to his Dallas-based attorney, Carl Gaines. Gaines insists that "Roland is absolutely, unequivocally, without a doubt not guilty."

According to Gaines, Edison was in Dallas to meet with the woman--who lives in Dallas and works for the label's local branch office--and other A&M representatives. "They were working on promotion ideas," Gaines says.

Gaines says that Edison and the woman have had consensual sex "for over five years." "He has been having an affair," Gaines says of his client. "I don't know what her motive is for trying to bilk the company or trying to bilk Roland or what it is, but it's something more than just a pure rape allegation. He did not rape this girl."

The woman, who was not identified in police reports, could not be reached for comment.

--Robert Wilonsky


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