Roland Gaines

Roland Gaines

A Tyler man, who was a Compassion International sponsor, is accused of secretly videoing the woman he previously sponsored and her husband while they stayed in his home.

Roland Gaines, 59, was arrested on May 5 for invasive visual recording by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer. He was booked into Smith County Jail and released on a $100,000 bond the next day.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Gaines met the woman through Compassion International about 20 years ago when Gaines and his wife sponsored her as a child in Colombia.

Compassion International is a child sponsorship and Christian humanitarian aid organization with the purpose of helping children in poverty across the globe. The affidavit states that the organization has severed ties with Gaines.

When the child reached 20 years old, Gaines traveled to Columbia and visited for five consecutive years. Gaines would often ask her to visit him in the United States, according to the affidavit.

In 2016, woman, now an adult, and her husband visited Gaines and his wife in their Tyler home. She told the officer that Gaines followed her around the house constantly and at one point he touched her inappropriately, the affidavit stated.

According to the document, Gaines’ wife later found that he had explicit images of the woman on his computer.

Gaines’ wife said she went to the police about the images and later erased the photos and videos. When his wife returned to the home, she saw that Gaines destroyed several computers by shooting them in the backyard to erase the evidence, the affidavit read.

In 2019, law officers determined through forensic analysis that Gaines’ computer held several thousand inappropriate videos and photos of the woman and her husband taken in the bedroom the couple used while at his home in 2016, the affidavit said.

There were also photos and videos showing Gaines in front of the screen, the affidavit stated.

The affidavit notes that the couple seemed unaware of the video camera recording them. In a police interview, the woman and her husband said they did not give anyone permission to record them and they did not record the videos themselves.

A warrant for Gaines’ arrest was signed on March 5.


I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.

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