DENVER — After seeing the former Catholic priest he accuses of sexually abusing him be released from prison, a Denver man has filed a civil lawsuit against the priest, the Archdiocese of Denver and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Parish in Fort Collins.
Scott Verti, a former altar boy, alleges he was sexually abused more than 100 times over the course of three years by former Rev. Timothy Evans at St. Elizabeth’s and Evans’ apartment between 1999 and 2003, according to a release and a complaint.
In 2007, Rev. Evans was sentenced to 14 years to life in prison on three counts of sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust in a separate case.
At that time, an additional four years was added in relation to another sex abuse case. Then, in July 2020, Evans was paroled after serving 13 years of the 18-year sentence, according to a release.
On Thursday, Verti, who is now 38, stood before cameras to go public with the abuse allegations.
“My hope is that by coming forward and speaking here today, it will encourage parents to talk to their kids about this very sad, but very real danger that people are in a position of power present to their children,” Verti said. “I want to make it clear that this kind of abuse is never the fault of the victim.”
At that press conference, Verti’s attorney Kurt Zaner said allegations of abuse first surfaced in Evans’ first year in seminary.
“There were two allegations of sexual and physical harassment, with one seminarian going so far as to write a letter saying that this priest should not be ordained because he will use the priesthood to manipulate others and inflict damage,” Zaner said.
Despite those allegations at the time, Evans was still ordained as a priest. Verti’s attorney alleges the sexual and physical abuse was reported in Evans’ first parish.
“There were two reports of sexual and physical harassment, including one from a mother who said that this Father Evans, this priest, was too intense with her child when he visited her child in the hospital too many times,” the attorney said.
Evans was moved to a second parish before being transferred to the Fort Collins church where Verti says the abuse allegedly began and continued over four years.
Denver7 investigative reporter Tony Kovaleski left a message with a number associated with Evans.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Denver said, in full:
The Archdiocese of Denver cares about all survivors of sexual abuse and is fully committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our community - children, youth, and at-risk adults.
The Archdiocese confirms that it participated in an Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program from 2019-2020. Through that program, the Archdiocese resolved more than 55 claims and paid more than $6,000,000 in reparations. That program is now closed. After that program ended in 2020, the Archdiocese developed a Reparations and Healing Protocol that partners with independent administrators in resolving certain claims. Both the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program and the Reconciliation and Healing Protocol are confidential, and thus the Archdiocese cannot comment as to Mr. Verti’s participation in either program.
The Archdiocese of Denver can confirm it has not been served a lawsuit by Scott Verti nor has it seen the complaint. The Archdiocese does not comment on pending litigation.
During the initial investigation into Evans, Verti said he was called in as a witness on other cases.“And at the time, that was my first realization of the abuse that happened, and I just wasn't prepared, at all,” Verti said. “At that time in my life, I was still really young. And I just had no idea of really how profound of an impact that trauma had on me.”
In the past 20 years, Verti said he turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.
“The abuse I endured has had a profound and lasting impact on my life,” he said. “And it has taken me a long time to come to terms with what happened.”
Verti says he decided to come forward after the Colorado legislature passed the Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Actwhich allowed a person who was the victim of sexual misconduct occurring between 1960 and 2022 to take legal action before Jan. 1 2025.
“Luckily, with this new look back window that was passed in the Colorado legislature, it allows me to kind of write this regret that I've always had of not coming forward,” he said.
Verti is seeking $100,000 in damages.