Police said a former youth minister at a Clermont County church fatally shot himself Monday, just hours after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct involving a 15-year-old girl. Christopher E. Evans, 39, was free on his own recognizance but due back in court Tuesday for a new bond hearing because prosecutors had obtained letters he wrote to the victim despite the judge ordering him to not contact her.
The story in the Cincinnati Enquirer quotes from the love letter that Evans sent to the girl. She had been living with Evans and his wife at the time of their affair—Evens and his wife were "acting as parents" to the girl, according to the CE—so Evans wasn't just the girl's youth pastor but her temporary guardian as well. That's two positions of authority that Evans abused. And no one knows exactly what was going on during the affair, but there are shades of religious manipulation in the letter Evans sent the girl: "God [is] up in heaven looking down on us and telling Jesus that our relationship is the way a relationship should be."
Even if Evans weren't the girl's pastor and stand-in parent, the age of consent in Ohio is 16. Still, a man is dead, a girl has been further traumatized by the actions of an batshit adult, and Evans' other children lost their father. Sad, sad, sad.