Haverhill man accused of repeat sex assaults on young female freed while case is pending

William Evans appears in Haverhill District Court via Zoom

HAVERHILL — A man who faces 35 charges of sexual assault against a girl has been released on GPS monitoring after a superior court judge overruled a decision made in Haverhill District Court that he be held.

William Thomas Evans is able to remain free from jail while is case is pending, court officials said. Salem Superior Court Judge Salim Tabit allowed the bail petition made by defense attorney Timothy Connors. 

According to the judge's ruling, Evans is still considered dangerous, but conditions exist to assure the safety of the public.   

While he is out of jail, Evans will be tracked using a GPS monitor and must abide by a curfew of 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., according to court officials. Other conditions of his release include that he must maintain or seek employment, not possess any weapons or commit any new crimes, and must abide by the restrictions set forth in restraining and state Department of Children and Families orders related to the case.

Evans is also not allowed any unsupervised contact with children under 18 except his own children. Those visits, according to court officials, will be monitored by a DCF supervisor. 

Evans, 39, who lives in Bradford, was arrested Sept. 11 following a six-month investigation involving Haverhill police and DCF, court records indicate. He faces a total of 35 charges in the case involving sexual abuse of a relative over several years — 12 counts of rape of a child by force, five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, 17 counts of aggravated rape of a child and one count of distribution of obscene matter, court records show.

The alleged victim told investigators the abuse began when she was 7 years old, according to a police report.

Essex County District Attorney's office spokeswoman Carrie Kimball said the punishment for the crimes Evans is accused of could be as severe as life behind bars.

"Child rape is punishable by any term of years from probation to life in prison," Kimball said. "The judge decides upon conviction."

Haverhill police became aware of the alleged abuse in March, when the victim told family members about an incident of sexual abuse, the police report said. When the victim disclosed what happened to her, those she told did not believe her, the report said. The victim then decided to run away, according to the report.

Connors, the defense attorney, said in court that the teen has been "lying for much of her life" and has been evaluated for anger issues since age 10. Connors also said that there have been 47 "51A reports," or accusations of child abuse or neglect filed with DCF, against Evans that were unsupported.

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