Tenino – A police sergeant is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation of allegations that he engaged in unprofessional conduct, according to Tenino Police Chief Sean Gallagher.
Gallagher declined to discuss exactly why the Police Department placed Sgt. Ron Evans on administrative leave April 30, saying he wants “to ensure he gets a fair investigation.” On Monday, a Thurston County Family Court commissioner signed a temporary protection order that prohibits Evans from going within 1,000 feet of a 15-year-old girl’s Rainier home.
The girl is an alleged victim in a felony second-degree rape and child molestation case pending in Thurston County Superior Court.
The petition for an anti-harassment order signed by the girl’s current guardian alleges that Evans “became very ‘close’ to (the juvenile) while investigating the charges described above, far beyond the investigating law enforcement officer vs. victim boundaries.”
Evans was in charge of the investigation into the girl’s alleged rape. He also was a resource officer at Rainier High School.
The petition describes various encounters between Evans and the girl, none of which makes allegations of any criminal activity.
One event occurred April 10, when Evans allegedly picked up the girl at 1:45 p.m., took her to a carnival in Lacey, and did not bring her home until 11:20 p.m.
The guardian wrote in her petition that during the April 10 encounter, Evans took the girl to his home so she could meet his fiancée and his stepson.
Other events described in the petition include frequent phone calls to the girl by Evans, and an allegation that Evans took the girl to a counseling center after she had threatened suicide at school and then purchased her Easter gifts, including a soccer ball, a basketball, a stuffed animal and chocolate.
The guardian states that Gallagher ordered Evans to cease contact with the girl and removed him from her case. She wrote that on April 16 or 17, Evans called the girl to cancel a “date,” but this conversation lasted about an hour and “only ended after I went to her room to see if she was still on the phone with him.”
The guardian also alleges in the petition that on April 28, “Sgt. Evans and (the juvenile) were in the law enforcement office at Rainier High School during lunchtime, door open. There is no information that Sgt. Evans discouraged this meeting, and it only ended after he was called back to his office by his chief.”
The guardian also wrote that “Sgt. Evans specifically told me and my husband that his intent was to ‘adopt’ (the juvenile) but we were not to tell anyone. He also suggested that Chief Gallagher and his wife become foster parents so (the juvenile) could live with them until he could adopt her.”
The guardian states that Evans was placed on administrative leave because of his continued contact with the girl. She wrote that Evans once expressed that he was “emotionally invested,” in the juvenile.
The guardian wrote that the prosecutor in the 15-year-old’s case and Gallagher are both in support of her requested anti-harassment order and will testify if necessary.
“His actions were inappropriate and unprofessional and continued to escalate in the short period of time that he was allowed to have contact,” the guardian concluded. “Because of his actions and lack of judgment, I am afraid for (the juvenile) not knowing what more he is capable of.”
A full hearing based on the petition is scheduled for May 21 at Thurston County Family Court. A phone number for Evans could not be located Monday.
Evans is a former Grays Harbor County sheriff’s deputy, but he was fired in 2003 “following an investigation that centered on allegations of sexual misconduct,” according to a June 12, 2003, article in the Aberdeen Daily World. Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott confirmed that Evans was fired in 2003, but he would not elaborate.
When asked about Evans being hired as a Tenino police officer, Gallagher said that Evans was hired by former Tenino Police Chief Lee White. “All the information about him might not have been known by anybody but Lee White,” Gallagher said.
White resigned as Tenino police chief in 2007. Documents obtained by The Olympian in a public records request revealed that White faced allegations that he made sexually inappropriate comments to other officers. White said in an interview that the allegations against him were lies.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org