Denver man sues Catholic church, paroled ex-priest over alleged sexual abuse – The Denver Put up
Scott Verti hopes a lawsuit will start to treatment a long-held remorse.
The 37-year-old Denver man on Thursday sued former Catholic priest Timothy Evans, the Archdiocese of Denver and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Parish over allegations that Evans sexually assaulted Verti on the Fort Collins church twenty years in the past.
Evans was convicted of abusing different boys in 2007, however Verti didn’t come ahead as a sufferer at the moment, staying behind the scenes at the same time as Evans was sentenced to 14 years to life in jail. However when Verti noticed that Evans had been launched from jail in 2020, Verti was able to take motion.
“It didn’t really feel proper that he was out and about,” Verti stated. “I all the time regretted not coming ahead on the time of his first conviction. This was a possibility to resolve that remorse.”
Thursday’s lawsuit was introduced underneath Colorado’s Little one Sexual Abuse Accountability Act, which took impact in 2022. The regulation creates a three-year window through which victims of childhood sexual assault can carry civil claims for assaults that allegedly occurred between 1960 and 2022.
Verti claims that Evans sexually assaulted him greater than 100 occasions between 1998 and 2003, when Verti was between the ages of 13 and 18 and serving as a sacristan within the parish, which meant he was accountable for supervising altar boys, organising Mass and helping monks and deacons all through providers.
Due to the assaults, Verti started having bother sleeping and was recognized with continual insomnia when he was in seventh grade, he stated. He finally turned to heroin and opioids, which “numbed” his emotions and allowed him to sleep, he stated. He slid into dependancy for years, however is now in restoration and two years sober.
“For a very long time I didn’t understand how unhealthy the abuse was and the way unsuitable it was, and I additionally was actually uncomfortable being related to it in any method,” he stated. “So now, a lot later, being an grownup and dealing by means of quite a lot of it in remedy. … Hopefully, different folks can hear this and different folks can come ahead.”
Catholic leaders had been warned about Evans’ inappropriate conduct whereas he was nonetheless in coaching to change into a priest, however ignored these warnings, a 2019 investigation by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office found.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Parish referred questions in regards to the lawsuit to the Archdiocese of Denver, the place spokeswoman Kelly Clark stated she couldn’t touch upon pending litigation and that the Archdiocese had not but acquired a replica of the lawsuit. Evans couldn’t be reached.
Evans was despatched house from seminary in Rome in 1990 as a result of he inappropriately touched and sexually harassed different college students. One classmate warned the Archdiocese of Denver in 1991 that Evans “shouldn’t be ordained as a result of he would misuse the priesthood,” the lawyer basic’s report discovered.
“They knew he had a historical past of sexual harassment, inappropriate relationships with minors all the best way again when he was in seminary,” Verti stated. He is searching for greater than $100,000 in damages, in keeping with the criticism.
After Evans was despatched house from seminary, the Denver Archdiocese despatched him to a “fastidiously supervised pastoral internship” in Northglenn, the place he twice “demonstrated inappropriate boundaries and judgment in relationships with teenage male parishioners,” the AG’s workplace discovered. The archdiocese then required Evans to do one other 12 months of internship at one other parish earlier than declaring he had been “fastened,” and ordained him.
Evans went on to abuse boys in a number of Colorado parishes.
In 2007, Evans was convicted of three counts of sexual assault of a kid by an individual able of belief for groping a 17-year-old boy in 1999 whereas he was pastor at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, and that very same 12 months was additionally convicted of groping a 16-year-old boy in 1995 or 1996 at Spirit of Christ Catholic Neighborhood in Arvada. Evans additionally sexually abused a teenage boy at Our Woman Fatima Parish, the Lawyer Normal’s Workplace discovered.
Evans was sentenced to 14 years to life in jail in 2007. He was launched on parole in 2020 after serving 13 years in jail.
Verti stated he hopes the lawsuit is not going to solely encourage different victims to come back ahead through the window of civil legal responsibility, but in addition put stress on Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila to do a greater job of listening to and supporting survivors of abuse, and to higher shield kids sooner or later.
“I hope he takes this significantly and utilizing this as a possibility to actually change,” Verti stated.
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