The former youth pastor of a suburban Chicago church has been accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl from his own congregation, starting when he was the girl's counselor, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office.
Authorities say Evans had sexual contact with the girl "in his vehicle, in parks, cemeteries and men's restrooms, and during a religious retreat in Wisconsin," according to the Daily Herald.
The victim was just 16 when the alleged sexual relationship started in 2004, when the girl was seeing Evans as a counselor, ABC Chicago reports. The girl ended the relationship in 2011 and recently went to police.
There are no other reports Evans abused other children.
DuPage State’s Attorney Robert Berlin described Evans’ alleged predatory acts as “just despicable,” according to the Tribune, while the pastor of the church describes the congregation as "heartbroken and devastated" by the news.
"Unfortunately, he had this secret side none of us knew about," Rev. Jim Lennon of West Suburban Community Church told the Herald.
Prosecutors said the married father of three from Ohio "groomed" the girl to trust him, and allegedly said he would kill himself if their relationship became public.
According to the DuPage County Sheriff's office, Evans is charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and faces up to 47 years in prison if convicted.
Evans is due back in court April 2.
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