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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 4, 2020
It’s Wednesday night, and a woman in St. John’s is debating whether or not to attend provincial court the next afternoon, as the man charged with assaulting her multiple times is called before a judge.
“I don’t know,” she says with a heavy breath. “I’m not sure I want to go, but part of me wants to be there to look him in the eye.”
More than 3,000 kilometres away, in Ontario, at least one more woman is awaiting the same court date, eager to hear an update on the man who is facing charges of violence against her, too.
Kevin Terry Evans, 28, has 17 charges against him, related to three women in two provinces. Six of those — three counts of assault and two counts of choking — are related to the woman in St. John’s. Eleven charges — eight counts of assault and one charge each of assault with a knife, sexual assault and mischief by damaging property — name the Ontario woman as the victim. Evans is also charged with distributing an intimate image of a second woman in Ontario without her consent.
Evans appeared briefly in court in St. John’s in late April, arrested on a federal warrant for the Ontario charges and taken into custody before police officers from that province came to pick him up. When he was released on bail there last week, he returned to St. John’s, where he is living under court-ordered conditions, including that he live with family members and have no contact with the three women, as well as a fourth person.
When his case was called in court Thursday, it was set over until July 10.
The allegations against Evans in both provinces have yet to be tested in court.
The St. John’s woman and the Ontario woman who spoke to The Telegram say they met Evans, who is from St. John’s but was living in Ontario at the time, on different online dating sites. The local woman, who was also living in Ontario, says Evans was still dating the woman in Burlington when she met him.
“He played the exact same card with me as he did with her,” the woman in St. John’s says. “He would say, ‘She’s the one, she’s the issue, she’s crazy.’”
The woman says she and Evans hit it off, and she was attracted to his charm.
“He was such a sweetheart. He even had my parents fooled,” she says. She came to St. John’s with Evans while he attended a family emergency last summer, and moved here with him in the fall.
But his charisma only went so deep, the woman says. Privately, Evans would try to stop her from speaking with her mother, and would go through her phone, searching its contents for specific sexual keywords. Going out to eat always ended up in an argument, she says, with Evans accusing her of looking at other men.
The allegations of violence stem from multiple incidents, the woman told The Telegram.
In the meantime, she says, Evans would tell her that he wanted to marry her and couldn’t live without her.
“People would say, ‘You’re such a cute couple,’ but they knew nothing about what was going on behind closed doors.”
The woman says Evans’ ex-girlfriend in Ontario eventually contacted her on Facebook, and they began comparing experiences. She says they realized Evans had been dating them both until he moved with her to St. John’s last October.
“It was literally a point-to-point, exact situation of what I was going through,” the local woman says. “We were also able to piece together the stories and figure out why he was lying. I was still living with him at the time, so I had to keep this on the down low and hide any message I had from her.”
Around Christmas, Evans moved in with someone new, the woman says.
When the Ontario woman said she was going to the police with her evidence against Evans, the local woman said, she was given the strength to do the same, providing police with a statement as well as text messages and other documentation. Evans was charged in January with the offences related to the Ontario woman, though the warrant issued for his arrest was limited to that province and did not give local police the authority to arrest him.
Evans was charged with the offences related to the St. John’s woman on April 15, but was released on a recognizance with a promise to appear in court May 23.
In late April, an Ontario judge changed the warrant for Evans’ arrest to allow the RNC to apprehend him, which they did the next day.
Evans did not respond to an emailed request from The Telegram for comment.
The Ontario woman spoke to The Telegram, but a judge in that province subsequently implemented a publication ban on the details of Evans’ charges that were presented at his bail hearing there on May 3. There’s also a publication ban on the woman’s name, as in all cases of sexual assault, though she intends on applying to the court to have it lifted.
The day the warrant for Evans’ arrest was expanded outside Ontario, she slept easier, she says.
She says she would like to see a national registry of those who are convicted of multiple domestic assaults.
“I most certainly think there should be a registry of serial abusers, just like sex offenders,” she told The Telegram. “It should not be as easy for these people to move on to new and unsuspecting victims.”
Both women say they have chosen to speak about domestic violence to encourage others to talk to someone if they find themselves in that situation.
“Don’t be ashamed and hide, thinking that this person will get better,” the Ontario woman says. “They hide in our silence.”