Butler County doctor gets 5-16 years for sexual abuse of teen

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In Butler County, David Evanko once had a glowing reputation as a doctor who volunteered to take uninsured patients and treat children at a nearby juvenile detention center, as a family man who took in children bouncing between foster homes and adopted them, and as a dedicated Boy Scout troop leader.

But there was "a dark side," Erie County Senior Judge Fred Anthony said Monday as he sentenced Evanko, 59, to five to 16 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage boy about 20 years ago over the course of two years, plying him with alcohol so he could "have his way with him," prosecutors said.

He was convicted in April of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and rape.

"There's no question in my mind that Dr. Evanko has made substantial contributions to other people," said Judge Anthony, who was brought in from Erie County to hear the case. He called Evanko's crimes "hideous."

"The dark side, the hidden side, the side they hadn't seen ... that's what you're being sent to prison for today," the judge said.

Judge Anthony was brought in from Erie after judges in Butler County removed themselves from the case because of their ties to the defendant. After a recommendation from a psychologist, the judge also declared Evanko a sexually violent predator, a legal designation that will require him to attend monthly counseling and register with the state police four times a year.

Evanko was arrested in 2009 after a man in his 30s, a cab driver in Portland, Ore., came forward and told police that he supplied him with alcohol and had sex or oral sex with him hundreds of times over the course of two years in Butler County and on trips to Wilwood, N.J., Cleveland, Philadelphia and other cities.

He met Evanko through Boy Scout Troop 10 in Butler, where his brothers were members. One of Evanko's tactics, he said, was a "truth or dare" game that usually ended in sex, typically after hours of drinking.

One of his older brothers made similar accusations against him, but prosecutors declined to pursue the case because of the statute of limitations.

Evanko's family, who testified at the sentencing hearing, denied repeatedly that he could sexually abuse the boys.

They spoke admiringly of his generosity and community work. His wife, Catherine, is a retired counselor who worked with sexual offenders and abuse victims.

"I worked with sexual offenders," she said, "and my husband is not a sexual offender."

Mrs. Evanko said Evanko was exceedingly generous and their family often took in children who came from tumultuous homes and ultimately adopted two boys who came to live with them.

He was also involved in Big Brothers, Big Sisters and served on child abuse committees, including on one with retired Trooper Robert McGraw, the lead investigator on the case against Evanko.

Judge Anthony gave Evanko, who now lives in Lancaster County, one week before he has to report back to court to be taken to prison. He said he plans to "spend it with my family" but declined further comment.

neigh_north

Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.


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