A 74-year-old Indiana pastor, who attempted suicide nearly two years ago after being accused of luring several underage girls to his office with candy and sexually molesting them, has been acquitted of all charges.
After hearing two weeks of testimony against Pastor Garry Evans, who led Rushville Baptist Temple in Rushville, Indiana, for some 30 years before he was arrested in 2017, a jury acquitted him Friday of 14 counts of child molestation, sexual battery and child solicitation, News 8 reported.
“The verdict was in. God’s will been done,” Evans told the news outlet in reaction to his “not guilty” verdict from the jury, which deliberated for less than an hour.
“I’ve been trapped for two years, not able to get out of my house,” he said. “I was gone at prison for seven months … innocent, knowing that I did not do it. It hurt real bad and it’s still hurting.”
Police began investigating Evans on Sept. 4, 2017, after a 3-year-old girl alleged that Evans took her to his office for candy but pulled down his pants instead and made her touch his penis. He then allegedly warned her not to tell anyone.
Once word got out, other mothers began questioning their daughters about their encounters with the pastor and four more girls under the age of 10 came forward with molestation charges.
One girl said in court documents that Evans touched her “nearly every time she went to church.” She said he just laughed when she told him “no.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair