|Judge Lengthens Evans' Sentence
By Ann Schrader
June 1, 2007
Golden - Saying a "sacrosanct" relationship was violated, a Jefferson County judge on Thursday ordered Catholic priest Timothy Evans to serve four years in prison on top of the 14-year-to-life sentence handed down Wednesday in Larimer County.
Evans, who could have been sentenced to two to six years in prison, is accused in both cases of sexually assaulting teenage boys sent to him for counseling.
"I can't envision a more egregious breach of trust," said Jefferson County District Judge Margie Enquist.
Evans, 44, of Loveland, is the first priest in Colorado to be convicted of sex assault in the U.S. Catholic Church clergy-abuse crisis first reported in 2002.
In Jefferson County, he was found guilty in April of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust for groping a 16-year-old boy a decade ago while serving at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community in Arvada.
Evans was found guilty in March by a Larimer County jury of two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and one count of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse. He sexually molested a 17-year-old boy twice in 1999 while at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Fort Collins.
The difference between the two sentences, Jefferson County prosecutor Zak Phillips said, is the Jefferson County offense occurred earlier when the sentencing structure was more lenient and the Larimer County case involved two incidents with the same victim.
Evans gave the same statement at both sentencings and said he would appeal.
"Some remorse would be nice, some apology," said Nick Gerber, one of four identified victims. "Did I hear that? No."
Dana Rothkovich, another victim, said there have been suspicious reports about Evans at each parish assignment, and he accused the Denver Archdiocese of protecting Evans.
Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a statement Thursday the Archdiocese's policy is to not permit any priest who has a credible claim of abuse against a minor to continue to be in the ministry. The church removed Evans "immediately" after the first abuse allegation in 2003.
"I deeply regret the pain that these damaging events have caused," Chaput said.
Evans was ordained in 1993. He served from 1993 to 1996 at Spirit of Christ and from 1996 to 1998 at Our Lady of Fatima in Lakewood. He moved to St. Elizabeth in 1998.
Staff writer Ann Schrader can be reached at 303-278-3217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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