Sexual contact trial begins

William Thompson

Kyle Evetts, the local rancher and farmer charged with nine counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor, finally got his day in court Tuesday as opening arguments were presented in the Quay County Courthouse.

Tenth Judicial District Judge Ricky D. Purcell told jurors he expects the trial to be completed by the end of this week.
Evetts’ accuser, now an adult, told criminal investigators in 2003 that Evetts sexually abused her from the time she was eight years old to about the age of 16. The alleged criminal sexual acts were to have occurred between June 1989 and Feb. 1997.

Donald Schutte, deputy district attorney for Quay County, began opening arguments by telling jurors they were about to hear the story of a young woman who had everything going for her in the summer of 2003, but began to become withdrawn. “She told her fiance she was having flashbacks,” said Schutte. “Her fiance finally got her to admit that something had happened to her as a child.”

Schutte then gave the jurors a graphic description of how Evetts allegedly began to inappropriately touch the complaining witness when she was a young girl.
Schutte said the complaining witness’ mother and a childhood friend will testify on the state’s behalf in addition to other witnesses..

Hal Greig, Evetts’ attorney, told jurors Evetts denies all charges. “My client professes his innocence,” said Greig. “He may or may not testify in this case.” Greig said the complaining witness appeared to lead a normal life.
“She did not show any signs of a person who was undergoing distress,” said Greig. “These events never happened. You will find the state’s case is inconsistent. There will be no corroborating or physical evidence.”

Greig emphasized burden of proof. “The burden in this case is on the state at all times.” The jury of seven men and five women were selected just prior to opening arguments. More than 60 Quay County residents were in the jury pool. About one third of the potential jurors claimed to have known Evetts or known of Evetts prior to the trial.