The criminal defense attorney for an officer accused of sexually abusing a young woman at a downtown bar last summer will try to convince a jury this week that the victim is mistaken about what she felt.
Robb Gary Evans, 43, is accused of walking up behind a woman he didn’t know in a bar, placing his hand up her skirt and running his fingers across her genitals. In contrast, the Arizona Department of Public Safety officer claims he merely bumped her from behind with his knee to say hello. None of the surveillance cameras at the Green Room, where the incident occurred, gives a clear view of the pair and no witnesses actually saw Evans put his hand up her skirt.
Evans’ lawyer implied to the jury that because the woman had taken two hits of marijuana that night, her perception was impaired. He questioned her extensively about her drinking habits and had her explain what “getting high” meant to the jury.
In her testimony on Tuesday afternoon, the victim said she was shocked after being groped and immediately turned around to yell at the tall man in the cowboy hat standing behind her. After the man touched her, she told the court that she immediately went to the bouncers to help find the man. She said she didn’t know Evans worked in law enforcement until she was told so by Flagstaff police officers.
The prosecution showed surveillance footage that corroborated her statements about the chronology of events. Jurors were also instructed that they shouldn’t give the defendant’s word any special consideration just because he’s a police officer. Witnesses told Flagstaff police investigators that the defendant repeatedly flashed his badge around at the bar that night, including to the cops arresting him. One witness said she told Evans he was going to jail for his actions and he replied, “No, I’m a cop. You’re going to jail.” According to a police report, Evans blew a 0.134 BAC on an Intoxilyzer machine that night at the police station, which is above the percentage considered to be binge drinking.
Evans, who faces sexual abuse charges, has been a DPS officer for 11 years, eight in the Flagstaff region. According to DPS officials, he was originally placed on administrative leave and ordered to check in from home every work day. However, Evans was recently returned to light duty and assigned tasks like washing and repairing vehicles, running mail and evidence, and other non-investigative work.
Arizona state law defines sexual abuse as engaging in sexual contact with a person over the age of 15 without consent. The offense is a Class 5 felony. Posted by criminal defense attorney Nick Alcock
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