KNAU and Arizona News
3:44 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Coconino County Judge Blames Victim

Local victims advocates are reeling over the comments made by a Coconino County Superior Court Judge in a recent sexual assault case.

During the sentencing of convicted sex offender Robb Evans, Judge Jacqueline Hatch reportedly blamed the victim.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun, Judge Hatch said, "If you wouldn't have been there that night none of this would have happened."

Mike Wheelis, with Coconino Victim Witness Services, says he was surprised by the judge's words.

"It takes a lot to come forward to ask for help and share the details of a traumatic even with strangers," he said. "The message should be that you are not responsible for any unwanted or uninvited assault on your body."

Robb Evans, a former state police officer, was convicted of sexual assault in July.

According to the prosecution, Evans had drunk 8 beers in one Flagstaff bar before driving to another where he groped a female patron.

Evans faced a maximum 2 1/2 years in prison.

After the sentencing hearing with Judge Hatch, Evans walked out of court Wednesday with 2 years probation and one hundred hours of community service.

He will not be required to register as a sex offender.