Berkeley Sea Scout Leader Faces New Charges in Sex Case

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

The Berkeley Sea Scout leader who was arrested in December for the alleged sexual abuse of his charges was hit with still more counts on Friday. 

Eugene Austin Evans, 65, spent the weekend in jail after he was rearrested on newly filed counts of exposing minors to pornography. 

Evans had generated headlines nationally two years ago when the Supreme Court turned down his appeal of a lawsuit he had filed against the city of Berkeley after councilmembers refused to grant his ship a free berth because of the anti-gay policies of the Boy Scouts of America. 

Deputy District Attorney Susan Torrence said Wednesday that with the new counts, Evans is charged with 18 counts of sexual abuse and displaying pornography to minors. 

The crimes charged include seven victims with offenses going back to 1988, the earliest date allowed under the statute of limitations for sex crimes. 

“There are other victims who would testify, but those offenses go beyond the statute,” Torrence said, with one victim telling investigators that the sexual abuse goes back to the 1970s. 

While Evans was originally charged with 19 counts, some of those counts were consolidated, she said. 

Crimes charged include lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, oral copulation with a minor under age 16, sexual penetration with an object of a minor and commission of sex acts on a youth of 15 by an adult at least 10 years older. 

Evans faces a potential minimum sentence of 30 years if convicted of all charges. 

When charged with the latest counts, Torrence was able to get Evans’s bail raised to a half-million dollars, and as a result, the former scoutmaster—he was expelled from the national organization after his initital arrest—was forced to spend the weekend at the Santa Rita jail. 

“We had asked for a million dollars,” said Torrence. Previous bail had been $190,000. 

“One of his friends posted a property bond,” she said. “He put up his $1.1 million home.” 

The seven victims in the current set of charges were between the ages of 15 and 17 at the time of the alleged offenses, Torrence said. 

Evans has until June 3 to enter pleas on the new charges, and his next scheduled court date is June 20. 

Torrence said she is hoping to reach a settlement on the case so that the victims aren’t forced to testify in open court. 

Evans’s attorney, Philip Schnayerson of Hayward, was unavailable for comment.