A former Kentucky National Guardsman accused of child molestation argued that he should get a lower bond because of his lengthy military service and lack of a criminal past.
Craig S. Evans, 56, appeared Friday in Franklin County Circuit Court for a bond hearing after his recent arrest in connection with allegations that he sexually abused a child on multiple occasions.
Evans sought a reduction of his $100,000 cash bond on two counts of first-degree sodomy of a victim less than 12 years of age, a Class A felony, and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a victim under 12, a Class C felony.
Evans’ defense attorney, Thomas Lyons, told the judge that his client is a lifelong resident of Frankfort, is married and owns a house in Frankfort. He also said Evans reached the rank of chief warrant officer with the Kentucky National Guard, ending his career after 36 years when the recent allegations of sexual misconduct arose. Lyons asked that his bond be reduced to $10,000 due to his military background and lack of criminal history.
“I believe that is a substantial incentive to be here and not to flee,” Lyons said. “He has no passport. He had a military passport, but it has expired.”
However, prosecutors argued similar points in making the case that Evans' bond should not be reduced.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland told the court that because of Evans’ age, military background and the severity of the charges, he may possess firearms and be capable of fleeing.
“This is a case in which the charges are extremely serious,” Cleveland said. “Self-harm should not be disregarded; neither should leaving the jurisdiction be disregarded.”
Cleveland also had the parents of the alleged victim present. He said they were opposed to a lowered bond out of concern that another child could become a victim of sexual abuse.
Evans said he would be willing to surrender any firearms in his possession and wear a monitoring device while remaining on house arrest in order to satisfy prosecutors' concerns.
Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd did not immediately rule on a bond reduction. He said he will be weighing Evans’ history against the severity of the charges.
“These are the most severe crimes we have in our penal code,” Shepherd said. “As far as crimes go, it doesn't get much more serious.”
Few details have been released due to the nature of the case.
Cleveland only revealed that the child initially disclosed the alleged abuse from May 26 and May 27 to a family member, who then contacted Kentucky State Police. Troopers investigated the case and found the “disclosure was consistent” before forwarding the case to the prosecutor’s office, Cleveland said.
Evans was indicted by a grand jury July 9 on the charges. He was taken into custody at the Franklin County Regional Jail, where he remains.
Evans could face up to life in prison if convicted.