Former Priest Gets 14 to Life in Fort Collins Sex Abuse Case
Timothy Evans Gets 14 to Life in Fort Collins Sex Abuse Case
May 30, 2007
Fort Collins, Colo. -- A defrocked Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting a young parishioner said he was sorry in court Wednesday, adding that, "I may love recklessly and foolishly, but I do so unconditionally."
Timothy Joseph Evans, 44, was found guilty earlier on two counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and engaging in a pattern of abuse.
He was accused of molesting a boy in Fort Collins and was sentenced to 14 years to life Wednesday in Larimer County.
The sentence of an indeterminate period of at least 14 years to the rest of his natural life, plus an indeterminate term of parole was handed down by District Court Judge Jolene Blair.
"Using his position as a Catholic priest at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Fort Collins, Evans befriended a 17-year-old parishioner. He inappropriately touched the child on two occasions on church property. Three other witnesses testified at trial about similar sexual touching by Evans," said a statement from the district attorney's office.
Evans offered no apology to any of his victims. However, in court Evans said, "I am truly sorry," but he did not elaborate on what he was sorry for.
Three other witnesses testified at trial of similar accusations.
During the sentencing hearing Wednesday, Blair referred to the victims as credible, honorable young men who had the courage to testify.
Blair added that this was a case of power and control.
Dana Rotkovich is one of at least four young men and teenage boys that allege they were abused by Evans. He said it took him two years to come forward to report the abuse.
"He used the power of his position as my boss. He used the power of the spirituality of the church," Rotkovich said. "It intertwines into all of your life, so it takes years for you to start picking apart the things that happened, and you start to realize that the things you thought were amiss really were amiss, and that there were giant things done to you along the way."
"The hardest part about getting the courage up is that he uses his power and prestige to make it your fault," he added.
Victims' advocates said the sentence was just because Evans and others like him prey on the vulnerable.
Evans' attorney, Joseph "Andy" Gavaldon, said the sentence was severe.
"I've had many, many clients that have received probation under the same circumstances," Gavaldon said.
Evans was a priest at St. Elizabeth, from 1998 to 2002. He was removed from the parish ministry in 2002 and removed from the priesthood in 2003.
He had been transferred to Fort Collins from the Spirit Of Christ Catholic Community Church in Arvada. There, he was accused of fondling a 16-year-old boy who attended the church between 1995 and 1997 and will be sentenced Thursday in Jefferson County court in that case.
The 16-year-old Arvada boy had been referred to Evans for counseling by his parents in 1996. The teen was questioning his religious beliefs and, as part of his research, checked out a book from a local library on the Satanic bible. The teen's father, who was active in the church, found the book in his backpack and suggested that he meet with Evans.
The teen met with Evans for guidance and counseling and during the meeting, Evans suggested that he lie on the floor, according to court records.
The teen, who said he was wearing a T-shirt and shorts at the time, told investigators that Evans began touching him and rubbing his chest. Evans commented that the teen had a "barrel chest" and rubbed his chest, arms, thighs and calves, the victim said.
The victim alleges that Evans rubbed up his leg and ultimately touched his scrotum, which made him feel "flush" and made him jump because he was "scared," according to the original indictment.
He could get up to eight years in prison when he is sentenced in the Arvada case.
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput released the following statement after the sentencing:
Our prayers and support go out to Timothy Evans' victims and their families. I deeply regret the pain that these damaging events have caused.
It is the strict policy of the Archdiocese of Denver not to permit any priest who has a credible claim of abuse against a minor to serve in ministry in the archdiocese. In line with this policy, the archdiocese removed Timothy Evans from ministry immediately after receiving the first allegation of abuse of a minor against him. We will continue our efforts to protect children and families from sexual abuse now and in the future.
Archbishop of Denver
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