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Taking full advantage of a recent law that permits victims to sue even if the statute of limitations has passed, a man claiming he was regularly sexually assaulted as a teenager by his priest over twenty years ago began a legal action against the former priest and Denver Archdiocese.
Evans Timothy, a clergyman found guilty in 2007 of assaulting other teens in two counties in Colorado at roughly the same time, is the focus of the complaint. While Evans was incarcerated, he was laicized by the Vatican and expelled from being a priest. He was released in 2020 to stay with relatives and earn a living working in Colorado.
Scott Verti brought the case to the state court and claimed over 100 episodes of abuse were committed against him as an altar-serving boy in Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Fort Collins, between 1998 and 2003. Verti, then 38, ranged in age from 13 to 18.
A Colorado statute permits the filing from 2021 that gave people three years to file a lawsuit for childhood sexual abuse that occurred as early as 1960. It's an aspect of a national initiative to make the process simpler for sufferers to get justice years down the road when they've had long enough time to process what transpired.
The Denver archdiocese's Clark Kelly, a spokeswoman, claimed the organization had yet to receive or see the complaint but noted that it doesn't comment on proposed legislation. For a remark, Evans was unable to be reached.
A Philadelphia-based advocacy group called CHILD USA claims that over the last 20 years, roughly two twenty states have increased or completely repealed their condition of limitations.
States like New Jersey, California, and New York, permit sex abuse accusations to be pursued irrespective of how long time has passed, allowing claims to go back several decades.
In Colorado, survivors of child sexual abuse had to wait until they were 24 years old to bring a case against the guilty parties, and they were required to do the same for the employers of those perpetrators by the moment they turned 21.
Verti claimed that at 24, he could not discuss what had transpired to him, much less bring legal action. He claimed that as a result of the abuse, he had become severely addicted. Evans allegedly warned Verti that if he disclosed the priest's behavior, nobody would believe him.
Verti claimed that as a result of the abuse, he was given a diagnosis of chronic insomnia at the age of 14 and was unable to maintain any serious relationships. He claimed that even after therapy, he could still not comprehend what had occurred until he was in his mid-30s. Then, after finding out that Evans had been let out of jail early, Verti declared that he needed to speak out for other victims after remaining silent for so long.
The now-engaged Verti said of his court case, "It permits me to correct this remorse about not coming forward."
The Associated Press typically does not classify sexual abuse victims, but Verti brought the case in his name and consented to have his name made public.
After three victims came forward beginning in 2003 to file complaints that had occurred years earlier, Evans was looked into by law enforcement. This was a year after the Boston Catholic Church Sexual Assault Scandal broke.
In his legal case, Verti cites findings from a 2019 examination of the archdiocese's documentation that Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser had inaugurated. Verti claims that the archdiocese was negligent because it was aware of Evans' risk even before consecrating a priest in 1993. Evans was expelled early from the North American College in Rome, per Weiser's statement, after fellow seminarians complained that he caused them discomfort. One of them later disclosed to the archdiocese's reverend that Evans had sexually assaulted him.
If you're a victim of sexual assault, personal injury attorney, Matt Dolman, tells us, "we will meet with you one-on-one to discuss your case regardless of your type of experience."
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