Moses Evans

A local justice of the peace and former Baton Rouge police officer was arrested Friday and accused of brutally abusing his now ex-girlfriend and her three children over more than a decade, causing them severe injuries and permanent disfigurement — until the woman ran from their shared house in July 2018. 

Moses Evans, 55, who served 11 years with the Baton Rouge Police Department and was first elected justice of the peace in 2008, has been booked into Parish Prison on a litany of domestic abuse counts. 

Many of the accusations involve the ex-girlfriend's son from a previous relationship. Her son, now 18, told deputies with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office the abuse started when he was 4 — when his mother moved in with Evans — and didn't end until both mother and son fled Evans' house last summer, according to arrest reports. 

The ex-girlfriend told deputies that the day she left, Evans was "punching her in the head and stomach repeatedly, but she was able to escape and ran out the backdoor and jumped over a fence with only the bloody clothing on her body," an arrest warrant says. She went to the hospital and was treated for several injuries, including a healed broken nose, burn scars on her back, healed fractures to her left hand, fingers and arm, and additional scars on her scalp and back. 

She later told detectives the injuries documented in her medical records were the result of Evans having punched her "hundreds of times between 2004 and 2018" and beaten her with a pipe or baseball bat. She said the burn scars are from him holding her down on a hot piece of metal, according to the arrest records. 

Deputies said she had scars around her eyes, chipped teeth and disfigured ears resulting from the abuse — all features that were not present in a photograph of her before she started living with Evans in 2003. She told detectives that "she tried to hide the abuse because she feared" Evans and "was forced to lie about her injuries and her son's injuries if questioned in public." 

The abuse against her son, who's identified as Evans' stepson, included being struck in the head — "with flashlights, plastic pipes, metal rods, garden tools, workout weights, the handle of a gun, tools (wrench, screwdriver, etc.)" — hundreds of times over the years, according to another arrest document. Deputies observed scars on the victim's body, including "20 to 30 scars on the crown of his scalp where his hair no longer grows" as a result of the alleged beatings. 

The stepson said Evans also "rammed his head into walls and cabinets as a form of punishment" and tied him up, choked him with an extension cord and subjected him to waterboarding "to the point where the victim claimed he almost drowned when he was under the age of 10." 

He also described being whipped across his back with belts and extension cords as another form of punishment, and said two of his front teeth were chipped "as a result of being punched in the face numerous times" by Evans, according to deputies. 

The victim said he never told anyone about the abuse because he feared what Evans would do to his mom. He ran away from Evans' house shortly after his mother left.

The investigation started after the woman left Evans and sought custody of their two younger children. Abuse allegations against Evans arose during custody hearings, which resulted in him being ordered to participate in anger management classes and supervised visitation.

His stepson was also granted a temporary restraining order around that time due to physical abuse — but several months would pass before Evans' arrest this week. It's unclear why that took so long. 

The restraining order was granted in August 2018, according to court documents. In her petition for protection from abuse, the ex-girlfriend says "Moses (Evans) punishes us when he don't get what he want" and describes herself and her son "bleeding like hogs" as a result of routine beatings.

"I have been treated worse than an animal, had no opinions, no rights," she wrote. "I am a human being."

She said Evans didn't let the children "go to school, socialize or nothing."

Evans denied the allegations of abuse, claiming his ex-girlfriend provided insufficient evidence and arguing she shouldn't be awarded sole custody, according to court documents filed during the custody case. He referred to having home-schooled the children.

Evans was ultimately granted joint custody of the two children. He was ordered to complete anger management classes and was then allowed unsupervised visitation. According to arrest reports, both children reported being abused during visitation: one punched in the face and the other slapped repeatedly. Their mother called authorities on June 16 of this year and reported the abuse, which ultimately led to Evans' arrest on Friday. 

Evans, 13470 Clark St., was booked into Parish Prison on multiple counts of the following: aggravated second-degree battery, domestic abuse battery with serious bodily injury, cruelty to juveniles and second-degree cruelty to juveniles.

Evans was elected justice of the peace as a Democrat in his north Baton Rouge district in 2008 and then reelected in 2014. His current term is set to expire in 2020. The district is bordered on the north by Dyer Road, the south by Prescott Road, the Comite River on the east and Southern University on the west.

He retired from the Baton Rouge Police Department as a corporal in 1993. 

While running for justice of the peace, Evans touted volunteer roles and community service, including president of the Alsen-St. Irma Lee Fire Department Board, instructor with the East Baton Rouge Parish Adult Education Program, president of the Scotlandville Million Man March Association and scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 1902. He also ran unsuccessfully for a Metro Council seat in 2004.

Evans has been featured in more recent media reports for officiating same-sex weddings.

Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.