A longtime Indiana pastor arrested last month on charges of sexually molesting several underage girls after luring them to his office with candy tried to commit suicide on Friday.
Pastor Garry Evans, 72, led Rushville Baptist Temple in Rushville, Indiana, for some 30 years before he was arrested and charged with three counts of child molestation, four counts of sexual battery and five counts of child solicitation last month after he was accused by a 3-year-old girl of sexual abuse.
A WBIW report said Evans attempted to kill himself last Friday, a day after he was slapped with additional counts of child molesting and child solicitation.
Police say that at around 5:30 p.m. Friday, they were called to the pastor’s residence about the attempted suicide and found him unresponsive. He was resuscitated and transported to Rush Memorial Hospital. His condition is currently unknown.
Police began investigating Evans on Sept. 4, according to Fox 59, after a 3-year-old girl told police that Evans took her to his office for candy but pulled down his pants instead and made her touch his penis. He warned her not to tell anyone.
Once word got out about Evans’ behavior, other mothers began questioning their daughters about their encounters with the pastor and four more girls under the age of 10 came forward with molestation charges.
One girl said in court documents that Evans touched her “nearly every time she went to church.” She said he just laughed when she told him “no.”
Another girl who said she was regularly touched by the pastor said she told him to stop and left his office because his touching made her uncomfortable.
Another girl said Evans regularly touched her; one time she told him to stop and left the room because it made her uncomfortable.
Camishe Nunley of Healing with Hidden Hurts told Fox 59 that pedophiles, especially those in positions of power, have an “unquenchable” desire for intimacy with children.
“If they can find a way to develop some relationship where they’re in power, where they’re in control they will utilize that, with pedophiles, they have this unquenchable desire and thirst for that level of intimacy with children,” she explained.
Police also believe more victims could be suffering in silence and urged parents to look out for potential signs of abuse.
“If you have a child who has exhibited unusual behavior after being in the vicinity of the church or this pastor and you believe there has been something that has happened to this child that might indicate something inappropriate happened, we definitely want them to give us a call,” Rushville Police Chief Craig Tucker said earlier.
When residents who live near the church heard of the allegations last month, some expressed pity for the pastor because the church attracts a large following.
“I don’t condone that but I feel sorry for him,” Martha Scheyer, who lives across the street from the church with her family, told WTHR. “I don’t know nothing about that church but I was saddened, that’s sad to hear at any place.”
Chief Tucker noted that an adult woman also came forward and claimed that Evans also molested her prior to him becoming pastor of the church.
“Some 30 year ago she was also victimized by the pastor at Rushville Baptist Church, although at that time he was not the pastor there, he was pastor in a different community,” Tucker said.