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Former Lodi Unified School District bus driver sentenced for child molestation

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Richard Evans

Posted: Monday, July 25, 2011 12:17 pm | Updated: 7:42 am, Tue Jul 26, 2011.

Throughout the sentencing Monday morning of admitted child molester Richard Dale Evans, 59, muffled sobs filled a Stockton courtroom as parents of the victim described how their lives have been forever altered.

The former Lodi Unified School District bus driver was sentenced by San Joaquin Superior Court Judge Franklin Stephenson to 25 years and four months for multiple counts, including kidnapping and lewd acts on a minor. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Evans pleaded guilty last month to molesting an 8-year-old girl with special needs on board a district school bus last November.

“I don’t understand how people can act like animals,” said Angel, the father of the victim, who was not required to give his last name for the record in order to protect his daughter’s identity. “Your stupidity has turned her life around.”

Standing barely more than 5 feet tall, Angel spoke sternly and deliberately to Evans, who never turned and made eye contact. Angel struggled to maintain his composure throughout his brief address.

Evans was arrested by the Stockton Police Department on Nov. 4, 2010, after the victim told her parents of the abuse. He pleaded guilty in late June to multiple charges of committing lewd acts on a minor by use of force or fear, one count of kidnapping a victim younger than 14 and two special allegations of sex crimes.

The incidents took place in October and November while he was serving as an on-call bus driver and one was caught on surveillance tape, said San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kristine Reed.

Evans molested the victim at the start of his route when he and the victim were the only people on the bus, the district attorney’s office said. The longtime Lodi resident was a full-time employee of the district from 2004 to 2007 and operated a driving school in town that closed early in 2010.

Monday’s sentencing featured the grief-stricken parents of the victim making statements about the punishment and their future.

Angel read from a pre-written letter about the trauma his daughter has experienced and how the sex crime’s aftermath left him feeling helpless.

“I will never forget when my princess hugged me and said she wished I had been there so I could have protected her,” he said.

Angel broke down after the last line and quietly sat down before the victim’s mother, Maria, addressed the court.

“This person,” she said through an interpreter. “He knew they were special kids who were helpless.”

Maria said she couldn’t believe something so horrible could happen mere miles from her home and vividly recalls seeing Evans pull up to pick her daughter up on Nov. 3.

“Every day I remember his face,” she said. “I see him in his khaki shorts and white shirt and hear him ask my daughter if she is ready. Then she looked at him, lowered her head and got on the bus.”

Evans also spoke before the court.

With a trembling voice, he apologized for the pain and suffering he inflicted on the victim, her family and those who love him. He cited the book of Matthew while asking for mercy from those he harmed.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins,” he said.

Emotions spilled into the hallway after Evans was led away by bailiffs and court was adjourned.

Evans’ wife, Cheri Evans, exchanged hugs with the roughly 12 people who showed up to support her and her husband. She spoke briefly to the News-Sentinel before leaving the courthouse, saying she and Evans have been together 37 years and will remain married. She has no intention of divorcing her husband and will support him as he serves his sentence, she said.

Cheri Evans empathized with the victim and her family and said she hopes God will bring them peace.

Her husband had confessed his actions to her after he accepted a plea deal last month, she said, and he said that he never set out with the intent to victimize someone.

Although he pleaded guilty to molesting the victim on multiple occasions, Evans’ wife said her husband’s crime was a solitary and isolated incident. She declined to comment on if he told her what drove him to do it.

“It caught me completely out of the blue,” she said about Evans’ arrest and eventual confession. “This is not my husband. The man who did this is not the man I know.”

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com.

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20 comments:

  • Nicole Becker posted at 10:33 pm on Sun, Jul 31, 2011.

    nbecker93 Posts: 1

    I had this guy as a driving instructor from Evans Driving School. I have had to drive in a car with him alone. So scary thinking this could have happened to me. I am glad it did not and I feel terrible for that little girl. I hope he never gets on parole, he does not deserve it.

     
  • Betty Dean posted at 5:02 pm on Sun, Jul 31, 2011.

    Betty Dean Posts: 144

    My point is this, She is a Teacher and with "our" children every day. In the above artical it says his Wife cheri is supporting her husband through all of this.
    I think that is a little twisted theat she could be working for LUSD as a Teacher while she is in Support of him Molesting one of the Students.
    Don't you think that makes her a little weird? Granted she is NOT the one who committed the crime but, she has know he is weird for a long time and to suppot this kind of brhavior I think is unethical of any teacher or anyone for that matter.I would bet a million dollars that he has done this kind of thing before and she has swept it under the rug ( Like most people do who are married to pediphiles)

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 4:48 pm on Sun, Jul 31, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Darrell wrote, "he [the child molester] was a simple bus driver who probably has thinking skills at your level... no threat there..."

    Is this child molester a member of your family, Darrell?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:06 am on Sun, Jul 31, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    posted at 9:39 pm on Sat, Jul 30, 2011...Darrell: This child molester can be out at 80 years old. Yes, an 80 year old child molester is dangerous to children. Yes, you are completely ignorant if you think otherwise...

    SO IN OTHER WORDS, you have no clue... no thinking skills... no ability to contemplate and ponder possibilities and alternatives that could protect society, save tax payers money and at the same time make more money available to victims of this crime.... One size fits all for you. That makes sense considering how often you misunderstand the intent and meaning of my posts.

    I know it mightbe difficult Ms Lee, but please think a little... just a few seconds....well in your case, a few hours... and I know you can “think” of a better way...
    By the way, age 80 is the earliest he can apply for parole... the parole board then would evaluate and determine if he is a threat. If he is let out, he will be under supervision until 85. This was not a Ted Bundy( in intelligence)... he was a simple bus driver who probably has thinking skills at your level... no threat there...
    My guess is this man will never see the light of day and will die long before he has an opportunity to get out. You on the other hand are stuck living with you... that I have compassion for.

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 9:39 pm on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Darrell: This child molester can be out at 80 years old. Yes, an 80 year old child molester is dangerous to children. Yes, you are completely ignorant if you think otherwise.

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 9:36 pm on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Betty Dean: Maybe Norm Lee is bothered by that fact...I don't know. I'm not sure why any man would have an issue with his wife working. That's always seemed odd to me. I do know that Norm is sure quick to scold and belittle us here on this thread. That tells me a lot about the man right there. I wonder... Where is Norm's discipline?

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 9:32 pm on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Obviously people like Darrell cannot have a "normal" conversation or debate with someone of a differing opinion. Norm here seems to take issue with anyone questioning his views as well. It's interesting as this thread is about discipline. Go figure.

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 9:29 pm on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Darrell: I see that you are having trouble again. You're all twisted up inside. Try taking a brisk walk and return to join us when you have a clear head. Oh wait...

     
  • Betty Dean posted at 10:32 am on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Betty Dean Posts: 144

    His Wife is a Teacher for Lusd. They forgot to mention the fact that she is with Students every day. While she supports her loving Husband..... Makes me ill

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:40 am on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ms Lee stated...Darrell wrote, "you make so much sense..."
    Thank you. That's the smartest thing you've ever posted on these boards. Bravo!

    Your welcome Ms Lee. I am happy to feed your fantasy... it seems to make you happy which is a benefit to all.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:37 am on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ms Lee... If anyone has a different position than you... has a different solution to solve the problem of child molesters, then they must be taking a position to support child molesters... it would be a waste of time to consider it. Right?
    How can anyone argue with your logic and position... If you say it it must be true... there couldn't possibly be an alternate solution that would work. Right?
    This man will be 85 before he is independent. 85 Ms Lee.... no possible solution to keeping society safe other than imprisonment, pay for all his food, shelter and medical care which cost tax payers over 100,000 a year in his older years... 100K ms lee... and you see no other possibilities to protect society and conclude I support child molestors.... hummmm.... Well.. you said it so it must be true.. obviously, no other possibilities. Right?

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 3:38 am on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Darrell: Why would you support a child molesterter getting out of jail so as to enjoy the comforts of home in his old age? The rest of us want to protect children from such monsters. Anyone that cares about children would think the same way, so why do you disagree?

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 3:35 am on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Darrell wrote, "you make so much sense..."

    Thank you. That's the smartest thing you've ever posted on these boards. Bravo!

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:49 pm on Fri, Jul 29, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    of course ... you make so much sense...

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 2:50 pm on Fri, Jul 29, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Darrell: Don't be so ignorant! This child molester, Richard Dale Evans, can still molest many children when he is out at 80 years old. I know you "think" you are being "compassionate" in allowing a child molester to enjoy the comforts of home in his old age, but the rest of us want to protect the children from such monsters. Anyone that cares about children would think the same way. Oh wait...

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:32 am on Fri, Jul 29, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    at 2:52 am on Fri, Jul 29, 2011...Richard Dale Evans should spend the rest of his life in prison.

    Since the average man lives until age 78, and since this man will be in control of law enforcement until he is 85... your wish most likely has been granted... I think society has been protected. If you look at it from an economic perspective... I think it is better to release prisoners who are no longer a threat for the type of crime they were involved with. Otherwise, a person that age will cost tax payers over 100,000 per year considering all the free food, housing and medical care prisoners get at taxpayers expense. I would rather have private home confinement to save money after they are 85. That savings in taxes could then be used to help children who suffered at the hands of these guys.

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 2:52 am on Fri, Jul 29, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    "Evans pleaded guilty last month to molesting an 8-year-old girl with special needs on board a district school bus last November." - LNS

    Richard Dale Evans should spend the rest of his life in prison.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:49 pm on Wed, Jul 27, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    This man will in 80 before he is eligible for parol... Yes.. thats way too early... I would feel so much safer if ...

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 11:14 pm on Tue, Jul 26, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Richard Evans has gotten off way too easy.

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 2:13 pm on Mon, Jul 25, 2011.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1795

    As I sit here on the front deck of my house, my feet on the rail, watching the ocean waves, I am seeing something Mr. Evans won't see until he is at least 79 years old. And rightfully so. I just hope the trauma he caused to the young girl heals eventually.

     

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