William Telano Evans committed suicide in Florida this week just minutes before a jury reaching a verdict acquitting him of sexually abusing a girl three decades ago.
The case turned on a technical defense rather than an innocence claim. Evans was charged with sexual battery between the summer of 1980 and Jan. 14, 1983. The dates were important because the girl turned 12 on Jan. 15, 1983. Before age twelve, there is no statute of limitations on the charge. After the child turns 12, the charge would be lewd and lascivious behavior. The statute of limitations had already expired on lewd and lascivious behavior.
The victim is now married, 38, and living in Virginia. She insists that she was first abused in second grade when she was between 9 and 10. However, she referenced a memory of the abuse occurring around the time when her mother had breast-cancer surgery — which was after she turned 13.
It was a difficult case for the jury, which had to focus on the technical question over the terrible crime and emotions in the case. This included an “apology letter” that Evans had apparently written to the victim as part of counseling — the result of counseling. The letter, dated April 10, 1996, described how he was “overcome with selfish desires.”
When the jury came in, Evans’ wife frantically called him and left the message “They found you not guilty. Please, please don’t do anything.”
When deputies arrived, they found Evans’ body near the back of the house with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot.
For the article, click here.
6 thoughts on “Accused Pedophile Commits Suicide Minutes Before Jury Delivers Not Guilty Verdict”
not a loss. Sad to say but ………..no one who was raped, especially a child, should ever have to see a prepetrator get off on a technicality, apparently in this case the perpetrator agreed.
Good for him. Too bad for his wife. Statutes of limitations on all these sex crimes need to be overturned; DNA and offender databases and enhanced forensics of all kinds has made it possible to punish those who formerly got away with their crimes.
It’s time we stopped sticking our heads in the sand about the longterm damage of sexual abuse.
After reading the article, I’m with AY. Ugly case all around.
An act of desperation or contrition?
For whatever it is worth, this lawyer said that he did not want to spend the rest of his life in prison and stated that he did not want put his wife through such a future. It may have well been a mix of motivations and trying to unravel such a mind is a precarious business.
“It was a difficult case for the jury, which had to focus on the technical question over the terrible crime and emotions in the case. This included an “apology letter” that Evans had apparently written to the victim as part of counseling — the result of counseling. The letter, dated April 10, 1996, described how he was “overcome with selfish desires.””
Any case such as this the jury should deliberate as long as possible. The man apparently was facing life in prison for rape of a child. If found guilty this would have been a life of hell for the inmate. If the Judge has not sentenced him to term as stated in the Statue, the Judge would have been seen as soft on crime.
This as the Prof stated and the Article state was a technical question to be decided by a Judge or Jury. This was a hard case because even if the Jury had decided guilt the Judge could have decided as a matter of law based upon the facts that the man was not guilty. A JNOV in most jurisdictions. This would have been a hard decision for the Judge in most cases.
The guilt, shame, pain and remorse that the defendant felt was more compelling by his act of writing the letter. I can say that I am glad that I was not the Judge, Prosecutor, Defendant, Defense Attorney and most certainly a member of the the Jury.
However, I think that based upon the information here, it was a proper decision. I am glad that I have escaped being called as a juror before.
;;This wouldchildshould be guilty of
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