Jeffco Jury Convicts Priest of Sexual Assault on Teenager

By Sue Lindsay
Rocky Mountain News [Colorado]
April 10, 2007,1299,DRMN_15_5474462,00.html

For the second time in three weeks, a Catholic priest was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy who came to him for counseling.

Timothy Evans, 44, was found guilty Monday of fondling a 17- year-old boy who entered counseling in 1996 after his Catholic parents found witchcraft books in his backpack.

At the time, Evans was a priest at Spirit of Christ Community Church in Arvada.

Evans was convicted March 26 in a similar case in Fort Collins while serving at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish.

He is the first Catholic priest in Colorado to face trial since allegations of clergy abuse surfaced nationwide in 2002.

The young man, who is now in his 20s, and his parents were not in court when the verdict was read Monday morning in Jefferson County District Court.

But an alleged victim who testified during the trial said he was pleased.

"This case was very important because it involved the first victim in the whole chain of victims," said Dana, who asked to be identified only by his first name.

Dana said he was a 25-year-old youth pastor when he was fondled by Evans during a counseling session for marital problems and dealing with a prior incident of sexual abuse.

Two other witnesses testified that Evans fondled them as teens during counseling.

Dana testified that Evans asked him to lie on the floor and then fondled him during a trust- building exercise.

Evans faces two to six years in prison when he is sentenced May 31 for sexual assault by a person in a position of trust in the Jefferson County case.

He faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years to life in prison in Larimer County. He will be sentenced May 30 in that case.

Evans testified that he used touching exercises to build trust.

"I am a believer in the power of touch," he testified. "I believe it is very scriptural. Jesus often touched people he was not supposed to touch."

The Rocky Mountain News has called Evans an ex-priest in earlier stories, but on Monday district attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell said he is still a priest, but has been removed from performing priestly duties.

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