Countywide : ‘Rainbow Man’ Gets Another 5-Year Term


Rollen Frederick Stewart, who amused sports fans nationwide with his rainbow-hued wig and religious placards at televised sports events, was sentenced Friday to five years in state prison for setting off four stink bombs around the county.

Orange County Superior Court Judge John J. Ryan gave Stewart the maximum sentence possible.

Stewart already is serving a life sentence for taking hostages at a Los Angeles hotel in September, 1992.


He will not be eligible for parole until at least 2002, Deputy Dist. Atty. M. Marc Kelly said.

“The facts indicate that this man would not let any crime get in the way of getting his message out,” Kelly said. “The reason we brought this to trial is that we felt he deserved to be punished and the public of Orange County deserved to have him put away for as long as possible.”

Stewart, 46, was found guilty on Jan. 26 of setting off homemade acid bombs on Easter weekend, 1991, at the Crystal Cathedral, the Orange County Register, the Trinity Broadcasting Network and a religious bookstore in Garden Grove.

He testified that his actions were intended to focus attention on the second coming of Christ.

During a jail interview, Stewart told a county probation officer that he believed Orange County had “backslidden” on religious issues.

He also said the Lord had spoken to him in 1991 through the Bible, telling him he would have a negative experience and that the world was at the “end of an age,” according to a pre-sentencing report.


Since the late 1970s, the rainbow-wigged Washington native had popped up on television time and again at sporting events.

He said he created the “Rainbow Man” character as a way of getting into the Screen Actors Guild.

When that dream fizzled, he was baptized a born-again Christian in Israel in 1980 and continued to make sports events appearances, this time carrying signs with religious messages.

Stewart, who has been married four times, put together stink bombs using a timing device, a knife and an acid-filled balloon.

Stewart left one of the acid bombs inside the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove during a packed Good Friday service on March 29, 1991.

He also placed one in the Santa Ana lobby of the Orange County Register newspaper on April 2, 1991, and another in a studio audience at the Trinity Broadcasting Network in Tustin.


Fifteen audience members had to be taken to the hospital for nausea and difficult breathing.

Stewart told a probation officer he has begun a religious ministry for his fellow prisoners.