Three years after his imprisonment on sexual misconduct charges, former Pennsylvania state trooper Michael K. Evans will cost taxpayers at least $1.3 million – with more expenses likely, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Two settlements in civil rights lawsuits by victims have reached $800,000. A judge says another case may proceed, which leaves the state open to an expensive jury verdict if it does not negotiate a settlement.
“They [state officials] can drag the case out, but they are going to have to pay sooner or later,” said Penny Harrington of the National Center for Women and Policing. “The juries are going to look at this cop and say, ‘What were you thinking?’ They are going to sock it to them.”
To prevent such cases from reocurring, the state has agreed to a costly contract with an international security firm to monitor the state police and make systematic changes. Gov. Ed Rendell announced in September the hiring of Kroll Associates amid growing allegations of widespread sexual misconduct. Under terms made public yesterday, the state will pay Kroll up to $500,000 through June 30. Kroll has assigned a former federal drug agent and three former federal prosecutors–including two women–to work on the issue.
The civil cases against Evans – who is serving a 5-to-10-year state prison term after pleading guilty to incidents involving six females in the late 1990s – have already netted the largest settlements made by the state police in the last decade.
Last year, the department agreed to pay $550,000 to a woman Evans encountered when she was a 15-year-old runaway. He had been sent to pick her up at a friend’s house and bring her to a police unit to wait for her father. Instead, he took her to a garage, where he sexually assaulted her.