A disgraced former Pennsylvania state trooper whose predatory sexual behavior set off one of the biggest scandals in department history is heading back to prison after recently committing similar crimes.
Michael K. Evans, 52, was sentenced Tuesday to 2½ to 5 years in state prison for violating his parole from a 19-year-old conviction in Montgomery County. Evans, formerly stationed at the state police barracks in Skippack, pleaded guilty in 2000 to using his position to sexually assault six women and teenagers.
He was released in 2008 after serving most of a 5-to-10-year sentence.
“It was very clear that in ’97, ’98, ’99, the first time around, he was using his badge as a disguise,” said Assistant District Attorney Roderick Fancher. “Because what he really is is a sexual predator. He’s interested in minors, vulnerable women. Easy targets for him.”
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In August, Evans pleaded guilty to corruption of minors and indecent exposure after fondling a 15-year-old girl at his home in Berks County. He admitted luring her there to take photos of her in her underwear and forcing her to watch as a woman performed a sexual act on him.
Evans’ attorney, Richard Simon, said Wednesday that his client is not the same person he was two decades ago and that he was sorry the new case had “reopened old wounds.”
“He’s been working consistently on this since his release from prison,” Simon said. “This was a relapse, and he acknowledges that.”
Prosecutors in Berks County are expected to sentence Evans in that case on Thursday. He’s likely to receive another 5-to-10-year sentence based on the charges, according to Fancher.
“His conduct now shows that he is a risk to everybody for the rest of his life,” Fancher said. “He just needs to be incapacitated. I wish we had more time to give him.”
After Evans pleaded guilty in 2000, investigators learned that his attacks had grown worse while supervisors shrugged off warnings amid his increasingly predatory behavior, according to documents in a civil lawsuit against him.
Four of Evans’ victims in the 2000 case were later awarded $5 million in a civil judgment, the largest involving state police. In 2006, Evans told The Inquirer he began by making suggestive remarks and got bolder. Evans was confident that his targets wouldn’t talk.
“If it’s a former stripper or a prostitute, they might think no one will believe them,” he said in an interview in prison. “Most of these people don’t have the highest self-esteem. That’s why they become preyed upon.”