Ruling Keeps Court Hearing for Accused Priest Open

By Mike McPhee
Denver Post
January 28, 2006

A Larimer County district judge ruled Friday that the public will not be shut out of court hearings for a Fort Collins Catholic priest charged with sexual abuse of a male parishioner.

Timothy Evans, 43, who served as a priest and then pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Fort Collins from 1998 to 2002, is charged with four felonies: two counts of sexual abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust, one count of a pattern of sexual abuse, and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

His attorneys, Erik Fischer and David Mestas, had filed a motion to close a preliminary hearing Friday, to which The Denver Post and the Fort Collins Coloradoan objected. Judge Jolene Blair denied the motion, citing the newspapers' objections.

Because of new information that surfaced recently, Blair agreed to a request by Fischer to continue the preliminary hearing until March 7. Evans, who was ordained in 1993 but stripped of his priestly functions in 2003, remains free on bond.

The judge also agreed to keep sealed all documents detailing the investigation that led to his arrest and a search of his premises. Fischer said the allegations date to 1998 and were lodged by a man now in his 20s.

Staff writer Mike McPhee can be reached at 303-820-1409 or


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