A Worthington man, who was being held in the Greene County Jail on a bond of $110,000 while awaiting trial on felony child molesting allegations, has been released from jail and the criminal case that’s been pending against him has been dismissed.
Mark Evans, now 49, was first arrested and charged with five felonies, all involving alleged child molesting, last December. Since then, his case has taken some twists and turns.
He was first charged with three Level 3 felonies and two Level 4 felonies for alleged child molesting. But the investigation continued after his arrest and with new information, the allegations became more serious.
Since a charge in a pending case cannot simply be changed to a higher level, the original case was dismissed and a new case was filed against Evans. In the newer case, he was charged with a total of four felonies instead of five: Two counts of child molesting, both Level 1 felonies, and two counts of child molesting involving fondling or touching a child under the age of 14, both Level 4 felonies.
Under Indiana law, felonies are ranked as Level 1 down through Level 6 with Level 1 being the most serious.
In the original case, his bond was set at $75,000 and in late February, he posted $7,500 cash to bond out. But in the newer case with more serious charges, the standard bond amount was increased to $110,000 surety with ten percent cash allowed.
Evans was arrested on the new charges in early April and once again booked in to the Greene County Jail. The cash bond of $7,500 he posted in the original case was released, but in the newer case, it would have taken $11,000 cash to bond out. This time, he did not bond out and he remained in jail while awaiting trial.
In late April, Greene County Public Defender Alan Baughman was appointed to represent Evans. Greene County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Keven McIntosh represented the State. The lead officer investigating this case was Deputy Marshal Russell Walls of the Worthington Police Department.
A jury trial was scheduled to begin on September 18. That date was moved up to August 21 after the defense requested a fast and speedy trial.
The court record then reflects numerous motions, subpoenas, depositions, a request for a search warrant, requests for discovery, etc. by both defense and prosecution.
On August 10, the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss Count 2. The motion did not state a reason. That count was dismissed, leaving three felony counts.
On August 14, a hearing was held in Greene Superior Court on a defense motion.
During that hearing, the defense agreed to a continuance on the jury trial and it was reset for September 18.
The defense also requested the defendant be released from jail on his own recognizance. Judge Dena Martin granted that request and Evans was released from the Greene County Jail.
Then last Friday, August 31, the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the entire case without prejudice. “Without prejudice” means the state could still file a new case against Evans.
In the motion for dismissal, the reason given by the prosecution states “for the reason that the State needs additional time to investigate the matter.”
There is no indication one way or the other that the case will or will not be refiled.
For now, Evans is free and there are no criminal charges pending against him.
Today, on Tuesday, September 4, Greene Superior Court marked this file as “Case closed.”