FORT MYERS, Fla. — A 41-year-old man was sentenced to 18 years in prison for a sex crime after a 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing was found in a motel room with him.
According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, on Feb. 7, 2021, deputies received a tip that led them to the location of an inn at 3511 S Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers.
The man found in the room with her was identified as Gary Evans.
According to LCSO, Evans said that he was staying at the hotel with his niece. Deputies quickly realized that his ‘niece’ was a missing teen.
The teen told deputies that she was being held hostage by Evans for over a week. She also told LCSO that she was a victim of a sex crime.
The teen was taken back to her family as The Special Victims Unit and the Department of Children and Families began the investigation.
Evans was arrested and charged with the following:
On Aug. 22, Gary Evans pled guilty to the following charges:
- 2 Counts of Lewd/Lascivious Battery as a Prison Release Reoffender
- 3 Counts of Promoting a sexual performance by a child.
- 3 Counts of Possession of Child Pornography.
According to LCSO, Evans will spend the next 18 years of his life in prison and will be a designated sex offender. He will also need to pay court costs, prosecution costs, and a fine to the Rape Crisis Fund.
“I am so grateful for my family members' hard work on this case, and the amazing attorneys at the State Attorney’s Office for prosecuting it,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “Anyone who commits these horrible crimes deserves to be in prison. We must protect those that cannot protect themselves.”