Editor’s Note: News Channel 11 is currently not using the real name of the man known as “Robert Voe” in a federal lawsuit filed against Johnson City Police Chief Karl Turner and others pending availability of official records that would make it legally appropriate to name him.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Her name is Mikayla Evans, she’s called “Jane Doe 1” in a lawsuit against Johnson City’s police chief, and she believes there was a purpose when her life was spared in a five-story fall from a downtown Johnson City condominium window.
“I definitely shouldn’t have lived and … I definitely shouldn’t be walking at all, period should not be walking and if nothing else I was brought back to take this monster down, to help people,” Evans told News Channel 11 Thursday.
By “this monster,” Evans was referring to the called “Robert Voe” in the lawsuit filed June 23 in U.S. District Court in Greeneville. It was “Voe’s” fifth-story condominium window Evans fell, or in her view may have been pushed from early the morning of Sept. 19, 2020.
And it is “Voe” who, according to former federal attorney Kat Dahl’s lawsuit, Johnson City police either incompetently or corruptly failed to investigate allegations of crimes ranging from multiple rapes to drug dealing.
Evans, who turned 34 Wednesday, said she believes the allegations in Dahl’s lawsuit that “Voe” likely drugged multiple women he met in downtown Johnson City and raped them in his condominium. She thinks she was not sexually assaulted in his condo that night, but said she’s convinced that was what she’d been brought there for.
“I can tell you right now I was not sexually assaulted or raped,” Evans said, adding that she received results of a rape kit test that was conducted.
What she’s not sure of, and suspects, is that she was drugged.
“Some tests was not performed, which some things (that happened) it probably wouldn’t have mattered,” Evans said. But I have called myself to talk to them and ask if I was tested for GHB, roofies (rohypnol), ketamine, something like that, and they said no, that that was not requested to do.” All three drugs are among the most commonly used “date rape” drugs.
Dahl’s lawsuit claims Dahl fruitlessly pressed for Johnson City Police Department (JCPD) leaders to investigate more than a half-dozen women’s very similar claims that “Voe” had drugged and assaulted them. Evans hopes its filing and media coverage will at least lead to “Voe’s” apprehension and arrest on the one federal charge he does allegedly face — a felon in possession of ammunition, which carries a sentence of two to three years.
“I’ve tried for two years to get people to listen to me, for somebody to help me, and I didn’t have the proof is what I kept getting told,” Evans said. “He’s definitely a monster that I wish I had never, ever met in my entire life.”
Even as she came to consciousness after days of being kept sedated at Johnson City Medical Center, Evans said she was being contacted by people who spoke about “Voe’s” penchant for picking up women and drugging and assaulting them.
“I was having people message me themselves,” Evans said. “Not necessarily other women that had been a victim but just people in general, ‘hey look, he’s raped women, this is what’s said, allegedly.'”
Dahl’s lawsuit mentions the likelihood of “dozens” of victims. Evans, who’s never met Dahl, doesn’t dispute the estimate, or the lawsuit’s contention that “Voe’s” actions and modus operandi were well known in certain circles.
“This is like crowds and crowds, like 30, 40 people (who contacted her). All these people knew and nobody got nothing done, or could. Not that they didn’t want to. Some people tried and they just couldn’t get the help from either law enforcement or lawyers or whatever.”
‘Being with a stranger alone I would have never went by myself’
Evans said she remembers a great deal of the night she wound up nearly dead on a sidewalk on Spring Street. She said she spent time with friends at a north Johnson City bar, drinking a few beers.
The group then went to Wonderland downtown. She said a male friend accompanied her to “Voe’s” garage on Buffalo Street, where she swung on one of the swings he had hanging from the ceiling.
“I don’t remember leaving the garage, walking down the street, going up the elevator going into his apartment or out the window,” Evans said.
Video obtained by News Channel 11 appears to show Evans, “Voe” and a male friend (at the time) of Evans’s getting off an elevator in the condo building. She believes it is just before they entered the condo, and said she would not have gone there otherwise.
“Because he went with me, I wasn’t I guess as scared,” Evans said. “Because what woman is supposed to be scared when they have a male friend that’s with them versus being with a stranger alone I never would have went by myself.”
Evans said her girlfriends were waiting for her and that she even had one friend’s keys and another’s driver’s license. She also said the blood alcohol test performed later, which showed her at 0.072% — less than the legal limit — matches with her memory of drinking three or four beers and one liquor drink over a period of several hours.
“I don’t go out to get wasted,” she said, adding that she doesn’t remember feeling at all drunk that night. She added that she’s afraid of heights and can’t imagine herself getting close enough to a fifth-story window to accidentally fall.
Evans said she has come to believe she was pushed, but also said she realizes she may never know.
“Ever since I was in the hospital I never thought this was an accident. I know I was not intoxicated and I know I was not on drugs or anything like that to fall out of a window. I’m absolutely terrified of heights. I wouldn’t have been near the window let alone sitting in it.”
What she does know is that her life has never been the same since she landed feet first on the sidewalk.
‘They asked her if they can amputate both my feet’
For many months after Sept. 19, 2020, Evans was focused on recovering. She spent weeks in the hospital and many more in rehab, not walking on her own for months.
She said many doctors and nurses played a major role in her recovery. She still uses a cane, and her right hand has undergone surgeries and begun to “freeze up” again recently.
Considering what the early prognosis was, though, she’s grateful and considers her current physical state a miracle. During the three weeks she spent under sedation, Evans’s mother was right by her side, she said.
“They asked her if they could amputate both of my feet and my right arm because they couldn’t get blood flow… I landed on my feet is why they wanted to take (my feet) . I had burst fractures in my arm and my feet, and other places too, which explode like fireworks.”
Evans said she is thankful for her mother’s response.
“The only way that she told them that they could amputate was if it was life or death. Other than that, wait until I woke up and ask me themselves.”
Multiple surgeries and much rehab later, Evans took her first faltering steps.
“The therapist, my mother and one of her friends, I’d been telling them for like two months, ‘they’re going to tell me I can walk,'” she said.
Her mother tried to temper her optimism, afraid of the disappointment not being able to walk might bring, Evans remembered. But she persisted in her determination, and with her muscle mass extremely withered, she tried with a walker and succeeded.
“It was very, very uncomfortable. We all cried. I even cried. And then I had to sit back down and we worked on it a few times, and we did that for weeks.
“Every time somebody told me ‘no,’ I said ‘you watch me. Watch me now.'”
Physical pain wasn’t the only thing Evans was dealing with. She said she’s met with a therapist and had some real psychological struggles despite not having been raped and having to remember that experience.
“I was not sexually assaulted or raped, but mentally I’ve went to my very bottom point, to where I didn’t feel I wanted to come back up,” Evans said. “And I set and told myself, ‘you don’t give up, you’re not a quitter. You got to get this out and let people know even if you have to tell it yourself and get the whole world to start following you on different social media.”
‘I technically broke the camel’s back’
When she began feeling stronger, though, Evans said she began researching the other allegations on her own. She took it on herself to be public about her story, her opinions about “Voe,” and even about his real name.
“I technically broke the camel’s back,” she said. “Obviously I fell, and I shouldn’t have lived, and that was not what they were expecting.”
She said she believes the Dahl suit’s allegations against the JCPD — it claims the department was either incompetent or corrupt in its handling of all aspects of “Voe’s” case — are accurate based on her own experience. She doesn’t necessarily think the detective investigating her case, which according to police reports ultimately “revealed no criminal activity,” was corrupt or incompetent.
But Evans said she thinks the overall handling of “Voe’s” activities, whether they be alleged drug dealing, sexual assaults or anything else, was a mix of “about 80% corruption.”
Pointing to the multiple women whom the Dahl case says came forward to police with allegations “Voe” had assaulted them, Evans said she is willing to speak out, even though she finds it scary in some ways.
“I understand why the women’s names are protected (in the lawsuit),” Evans said. “Most women don’t want to come forward until they know something is legit set in stone, and a lot of these girls, they just want to forget what he done. They don’t want to keep dredging it up.”
Evans has become quite familiar with a couple of other women’s experiences and allegations and that they’ve driven her to want a justice meted out to “Voe” that she thinks he deserves.
“I’ve been asking for help for two years because I feel like he’s going to run even further, he’s going to run to (other countries),” she said. “Nobody wanted to help me, nobody wanted to listen, and everything I’ve been saying is true.”
With “Voe” allegedly now wanted (under a sealed warrant) for a felony, Evans said she hopes his name becomes public soon and his picture is plastered all over the internet.
“I want people to see what he looks like, and help put him away.”
Evans said she also wants any of “Voe’s” victims who learn about her to know she’s there for them, would like to hear from them if they’re willing to talk.
“If they don’t feel comfortable telling the news or going on record wherever it may be, police, lawyers — even Kat’s lawyer, you’re welcome to message me on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, I don’t care what it is.
“If you feel like you need to tell a story I’ll help tell it for you if you can’t speak or don’t want to.”
Evans said she also believes it’s time for some authority figures to quit dismissing women’s allegations for what she said are illegitimate reasons.
Evans said after reading one officer’s alleged comments about her attire in Dahl’s lawsuit, she wondered whether she “was like a half-priority even though I fell five stories out the window because of the way I was dressed.
“”Well she looks like, well, you know, I’m not gonna say it,'” she said, referring to the alleged comment.
“I don’t care if I went outside with Bandaids covering my lady parts and I’m doing cartwheels. That don’t give you the right to touch me, drug me, rape me, anything like that.”