Report expected to shed light on child abuse case

Date: 2008-07-08
Source: zwire.com

Report expected to shed light on child abuse case

July 08, 2008
James V. Franco
The Record

TROY - The case of Sharmon Evans, the woman accused of neglecting her 11-year-old boy, was adjourned until next month while a pre-sentence report is prepared by the Probation Department.

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Her attorney, Joe Ahearn, said the report will give the judge a "full picture" of Evans' life including her employment history, military history, education history and anything else that may be relevant, including her arrest record, which he said is clean.

"It's being done so the judge can get a clear picture of who Ms. Evans is," Ahearn said after the court appearance.

The report is due before her next appearance on Aug. 25 said Judge Linda Griffin.

Assistant District Attorney Laura Krugler earlier offered up a plea deal of 60 days in jail and three years probation- a deal she said fits the crime and one Ahearn said his client is still mulling over.

Evans could also lose custody of the child.

If convicted of endangering the welfare of a child at trial, she could face up to one year in jail.

In May, the 11-year-old showed up at his cousin's home and said he was running away from Evans.

The cousin told his mother a story of abuse that included that his cousin was being fed only on certain days, repeatedly being slapping, being locked in a feces-strewn room and being forced to wear diapers rather than use a toilet. The mother went to police.

The 57-year-old Evans was arrested and city Code Enforcement personnel shuttered her 714 Fourth Ave. house because of unsanitary conditions.

She said nothing during the brief court appearance, Monday.

Evans, who adopted the 11-year-old about a decade ago, was a foster mom working for Rensselaer County for some 20 years.

The Rensselaer County Department of Social Services conducted a two-week investigation of Evans in December, which is the same time she abandoned her career as a foster parent.

The 14-year-old cousin, Derrick Evans, who is Sharmon Evans' grandson and who spent time at her home, said she would foster as many as eight children at her home at any given time. Foster parents are paid about $20 per day to clothe and feed the child.

Officials with DSS said Evans had a stellar record for years but would not comment on what the December investigation revealed, or if it was the reason for her resignation.

Since the story broke, however, others have come forward with complaints of how Evans treated their children while in her care.

The 11-year-old is now in another foster home and his cousin reported on May 14 that he is doing better and he now wears "Nikes instead of Wal-Mart brand sneakers."

James V. Franco can be reached at 270-1277 or by email at jfranco@troyrecord.com

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