On Michelangelo Signorile’s show on Friday, gumshoe private investigator Bobby Brown (of Dog, The Bounty Hunter fame) said that New Life Church pastor Stephen Evans “was convicted in 1999 of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy and admitted to sexual contact with his own 14-year-old son and his own 15-year-old daughter”, but the church covered it up and made a deal that allowed Evans to exchange his sentence for a “restoration” within the church.
We already know that the New Life Church likes to cover-up its scandals, but this latest revelation begs the question of how complicit the El Paso County D.A.’s office is in letting New Life’s pedophiles and sex abusers off the hook.
The strange and sordid story doesn’t end there, though. Signorile reports:
“In 2001, for reasons that Brown doesn’t yet know, Evans’ probation was revoked. But rather than turn himself in, Evans apparently skipped the country, immediately becoming a wanted man, and apparently he is known to be in London. Brown believes New Life Church may have helped him leave the U.S., fearful that he might talk about the church.
I was able to independently confirm through the State of Colorado Court Database that indeed a Stephen Michael Evans was arrested and convicted in El Paso County (where Colorado Springs is located) in 1999 of sexual assault against a child under 15 and sentenced to five years probation. In the fall of 2001, the court records show, a warrant was issued for his arrest for “failure to comply” and indeed his probation was revoked.
Brown also talked with me about Christopher Beard, a youth counselor who left New Life Church due to sexual misconduct shortly after Ted Haggard’s fall. Beard ran the 24/7 program, which Grant Haas told me was like a bizarre Christian military boot camp for young men which Haggard and Beard appeared to get off on, working out and showering with the 18-23-year-old men every morning. Beard left the church amid sexual allegations, but no details were given about the gender of the person with whom he engaged in sexual misconduct. The church said he’d had sexual contact with a consenting adult, but Brown believes otherwise and explained some discrepancies to me that lead him to believe this.”
Yes, the New Life Church needs to answer for what is now, obviously a repeated pattern of abuse and misconduct by their leadership, but who’s going to do the investigation? El Paso County law-enforcement apparatus has known about the New Life Church’s history for years, but hasn’t raised a finger to protect the church’s own members. How much more evidence do they need to trigger an investigation into the lies and cover-ups done by one of the nation’s largest evangelical churches?