Former Fort Collins Priest Granted Parole after Imprisonment for Sexually Abusing Teens
By Sady Swanson
July 15, 2020
The former Fort Collins priest imprisoned in 2007 for sexually assaulting child parishioners in two counties has been granted parole.
Timothy Evans, 57, was sentenced to 14 years to life in prison in 2007 for sexually assaulting a teen boy who worked at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, where Evans was a pastor.
Evans' last request for parole was denied after a Dec. 2 hearing at the Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City, where Evans is being held. Evans acknowledged the hearing was his third since he became eligible for parole in January 2018.
The parole board announced last week that Evans had been approved for parole after his June parole hearing. Evans will be eligible for release on July 30, according to a Department of Corrections spokesperson.
Evans will be released into Mesa County, the spokesperson said. At the parole hearing in December, Evans asked to be released to Grand Junction, where he could live with his stepmother and near his father, who is in a memory care facility. He said he has contacts in Grand Junction who can help him find a job.
Evans said his long-term goal is to find a way to support other sex offenders who are out on parole and hold each other accountable, he said during the December hearing.
“I know how difficult it is to be granted parole,” Evans said. “I want to be in a position to be able to support at least a few other people.”
In a victim impact statement, one of Evans' victims shared concerns with the parole board about his being released to Fort Collins, where some of the abuse occurred.
"Although we talk about how long Tim Evans was sentenced, the truth will always be that his four known victims were given life sentences," the victim's statement, which was shared with the Coloradoan, said.
The victim told the parole board that, because of Evans, they have trouble trusting others, feel shame and embarrassment in telling loved ones what happened, and have spent their life "fighting the inner voices that cast a doubt on whether the abuse continues to control our lives and the decisions we make."
Evans was one of four priests from different parishes in Fort Collins and Loveland named in a special report from the Colorado Attorney General's Office released in November detailing credible claims of abuse by Catholic priests and the Archdiocese of Denver's handling of the acts.
Evans' was the only one of the four cases that led to criminal charges.
The first accusations against Evans stemmed from Jefferson County in 2003, according to the special report, while a Fort Collins victim came forward in 2004. Evans was charged in three cases in 2005, and a jury found him guilty in 2007.
Evans was removed from the parish in 2003, when the first accusations against him were raised, according to the special report.
In the case of the Fort Collins teen, Evans said during the December parole hearing that the teen did not find comfort in his family so he turned to Evans. But Evans also said he abused his position of trust with the teen. He admitted he was guilty of the abuse but has learned how to identify triggers and created a risk management plan through sex offender treatment while incarcerated.
Evans said undergoing sex offender treatment has been “very, very helpful for identifying my abusive behaviors."
Evans said he has spent “many hours” reflecting on how his poor decisions have impacted his victims and others. He said it has made him realize “how weak a man I was and how bad a priest I was.”
In the statement sent to the parole board, one of Evans' victims said Evans "grossly violated that trust" the young parishioners initially had for him.
"The betrayal brought about by Tim Evans was ultimately one against the spiritual authority and the trust his victims placed in him," the statement said. "He groomed his victims and took advantage of them when they looked to him for advice, for counsel, for friendship."
After Evans is released from prison, he will be monitored for the rest of his life, according to the parole board.
Sady Swanson covers crime, courts, public safety and more throughout Northern Colorado. You can send your story ideas to her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan. Support our work and local journalism with a digital subscription at Coloradoan.com/subscribe.