SNAP APPLAUDS THE BRAVE VICTIM IN NEW LAWSUIT AGAINST THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DENVER
(For Immediate Release January 19, 2023)
On behalf of a former altar boy, attorneys on Thursday filed a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Denver and a nearby church. We applaud the brave survivor in this case for coming forward, sharing his story, and assuredly letting other victims know they are not alone and that there is a pathway forward to healing and justice.
The lawsuit filed today accuses a longtime priest, Rev. Timothy Evans – one of Colorado's most notorious sex abusers – of sexually assaulting Scott Verti more than 100 times inside church buildings and at the priest's apartment. Scott says he was repeatedly abused between the ages of 14 and 18, from 1999 to 2003, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Parish in Fort Collins by Fr. Evans. Scott spent a lot of time at the parish during the abuse years, serving as an altar boy and staying late into the night and coming in early on Sundays. According to court documents, Fr. Evans exploited his position of authority to dominate his victim and keep him silent about the violence he was experiencing. The priest was convicted of sex crimes against children in 2007 and was serving time in prison for those assaults when he was finally laicized in 2013.
Like the majority of childhood sexual abuse survivors, Scott suffered permanent injuries as a result of this abuse. We stand with Scott and applaud his bravery and courage as he seeks to hold the Church accountable for the injuries he suffered and for the cover-up. We hope that Scott's example will provide hope and encouragement to other victims throughout Colorado, and we are confident that his speaking out today will inspire others to break their silence.
We are also grateful to attorneys Kurt Zaner and Mara Essick of Zaner Harden for aggressively pursuing this case and helping Scott find justice. Especially given the fact that Catholic officials never pursued an investigation of their own in the late 1990s, when the first accusations were made, there is no doubt in our minds that the Church breached its duty of care to Scott. Thanks to these attorneys and this brave survivor, the institution is now finally being held accountable.
CONTACT: Contact: Jeb Barrett, SNAP Leader Colorado,( 720-608-8532 [email protected]) Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386 [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)