Last summer, then-DPS Officer Robb Gary Evans got lit, drove himself to a bar, flashed his badge to get in for free, walked up behind a woman who was a friend of a friend but whom he had never met, put his hand up her skirt, and ran his fingers across her genitals. July 2, he was convicted of felony sexual abuse. September 6, he was released with two years of probation and 100 hours of community service and won’t be required to register as a sex offender. His victim was released with a good talking-to.
The judge sentencing Evans, Coconino County [Arizona] Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Hatch, said she hoped both the defendant and the victim would take lessons away from the case.
Bad things can happen in bars, Hatch told the victim, adding that other people might be more intoxicated than she was.
“If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said.
Hatch told the victim and the defendant that no one would be happy with the sentence she gave, but that finding an appropriate sentence was her duty.
“I hope you look at what you’ve been through and try to take something positive out of it,” Hatch said to the victim in court. “You learned a lesson about friendship and you learned a lesson about vulnerability.”
Hatch said that the victim was not to blame in the case, but that all women must be vigilant against becoming victims.
“When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.
I think we have a new one for the bingo card. “It wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t in a bar,” “make lemonade out of lemons,” and “of course the victim isn’t to blame BUT” are classics, and “other people might be drunker than you” is a nice end-around to the fact that the victim wasn’t, herself, drunk. “Now you’ve learned a Very Important Lesson About Friendship,” however, is a new one.
Friends and former coworkers have been coming to Evans’s defense, decrying his conviction because people in law enforcement give so much; he’s lost his job; and now, as a convicted felon, he won’t be allowed to go hunting.
Commenting note: Any comments that yes, what the judge did was wrong, but women really do need to be more careful will be deleted. Don’t do that.