Joseph Henry Evans, Jr., 55, of Cleveland was found guilty of indecency with a child by contact and sentenced to 75 years in prison today. Trial began with jury selection on Monday before Mark Morefield, 75th District Court Judge. Testimony and evidence presentation concluded Tuesday evening and the jurors returned Wednesday morning for the reading of the charge and closing arguments. The trial focused on the allegation of indecency by Evans towards his granddaughter but also included unreported abuse against 3 other children decades ago. The jury of 7 men and 5 women found the defendant guilty in under 2 hours. Ragis Fontenot, Assistant District Attorney and the lead prosecutor on the case, presented evidence of the effects of the abuse during the punishment phase and introduced proof of a prior prison sentence of the defendant for burglary and robbery. The jury considered all the evidence in the case for about an hour and a half before deciding on the appropriate prison sentence.
“The defendant’s abuse of young family members was kept out of the scrutiny of the light of day for many years. However, when a courageous young girl stepped forward with the strength and determination to see it to the end, the allegations could no more be relegated to the protection of darkness. The 12 Liberty County residents gave the manipulating perpetrator exactly what he deserved. District Attorney Logan Pickett”

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