Teen Says She Agreed To Be Impregnated Because Of Threat
March 6, 2002 at 11:20 PM EST - Updated July 27 at 4:10 AM
By JOE MILICIA, Associated Press Writer
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A woman testified Wednesday that her stepfather used a syringe to get her pregnant and her mother helped by charting her menstrual cycle to determine when she was most fertile.
The 19-year-old daughter said she agreed to the arrangement only after her stepfather -- with a gun in his hand -- threatened to kill her mother, Narda Goff. She said she never told her mother about the threat.
Trial started Wednesday for Mrs. Goff, 43, who is accused of helping her husband, John, get the girl pregnant at age 16. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
John Goff is accused of breaking the rape laws that he and his wife campaigned in the 1990s to make stricter. They began the effort after a man accused of molesting Mrs. Goff's daughter was acquitted because of a loophole.
The couple's campaign persuaded lawmakers to change the law in 1996 to include penetration with any object as a component to rape. Previously, only sexual intercourse was considered rape.
John Goff's trial on rape and sexual battery charges is scheduled for March 18. According to paternity tests, he is the father of his stepdaughter's baby. The boy, born in September 1999, is currently in foster care.
The daughter testified that on Christmas Eve 1998, her mother made her take a home pregnancy test.
"That was my mom's present for John -- that I was pregnant," she said.
The couple, of nearby Stow, have said their daughter willingly allowed the injections to fulfill Mrs. Goff's wish to give her new husband a child. Mrs. Goff, who has multiple sclerosis, felt she was too old and sick to bear a child.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge John R. Adams is hearing the case of Mrs. Goff, who is charged with conspiracy to commit sexual battery and child endangering. Earlier this week, prosecutors dropped charges of complicity to sexual battery and rape.
Mrs. Goff's daughter testified that her mother was not present the two times Goff inseminated her. She said her mother helped prepare the syringe in another room the first time but did not know about the second occurrence.
Police detectives testified that Mrs. Goff told them she witnessed one of the injections.
The daughter said her mother explained to her how she would be impregnated and kept track of her menstrual cycle. However, she said her mother understood that the plan was for her to inseminate herself.
Stow police Detective Randy Brink testified that John Goff told him his stepdaughter injected herself.
Questioned by her mother's attorney, the woman acknowledged that in a police report in January 2001 she had written that John Goff made her insert the syringe herself. She said she was traumatized at the time and that what she had written was incorrect.
The attorney, Lawrence Whitney, stressed during his questioning that John Goff threatened his stepdaughter without the mother's knowledge. The woman testified that her stepfather told her to lie about who the father of her baby was.
The daughter said she went to police at the urging of her boyfriend and his family after she found out "that was not how normal people live."
She testified that she helped raise the baby with her mother and that John Goff made her breastfeed the baby. After she moved out of the Goffs' house to live with her boyfriend, now her fiance, her parents wouldn't give her the baby, she said.
She said a battered women's shelter helped her eventually get her son. She had the baby for two days and then gave him up to foster care.
"His face made me think of John every day, and I could not handle that," said the daughter, who hasn't seen the boy since last March.
The daughter testified she was removed from school after the fourth grade and that her parents did a poor job of home-schooling her. She spoke rapidly during her testimony and was often unintelligible, requiring the judge to ask her to repeat herself.
The prosecutor also had to rephrase several questions so she could understand them.
Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Brian LoPrienzi said she was confused about the request that she have her stepfather's child.
"She thought it sounded wrong. It felt wrong," LoPrienzi said during opening statements.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)