March 11, 2002 at 7:32 PM EST - Updated June 29 at 10:41 PM
By M.R. KROPKO, Associated Press Writer
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A woman was convicted Monday of helping her husband impregnate her 16-year-old daughter with a syringe.
Narda Goff, 43, was "an active participant in the planning and execution of the insemination of her daughter," said Summit County Common Pleas Judge John R. Adams, who heard the case in a two-day trial last week.
Mrs. Goff was convicted of child endangering and complicity to commit sexual battery and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. She was acquitted of a second count of the complicity charge.
Her husband, John Goff, goes on trial March 18 on rape and sexual battery charges. He is accused of breaking the laws that he and his wife campaigned to make tougher after a man accused of molesting Mrs. Goff's daughter was acquitted.
The Goffs 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.
According to paternity tests, John Goff is the father of his stepdaughter's baby. The boy, born in September 1999, is in foster care.
Adams also said Mrs. Goff "created substantial risk to the health and safety of the child."
He said her daughter -- now 19 -- has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and depression and has attempted suicide, problems he said stem from the insemination and birth of her baby.
Adams ordered that Mrs. Goff undergo a psychological evaluation. He did not set a sentencing date.
He revoked her bond as a precaution after Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi told him police were investigating an unspecified threat Mrs. Goff's daughter said she received at the discount store where she works.
Mrs. Goff's attorney, Lawrence Whitney, said outside of the courtroom that he was surprised by the threat and did not know anything about it.
Whitney had argued that the daughter willingly allowed the inseminations to fulfill Mrs. Goff's wish to give her new husband a child. Mrs. Goff had had a hysterectomy.
The daughter testified that her stepfather, an auxiliary police officer and former Marine, threatened to kill her mother if she did not agree to become pregnant.
She said 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.
Mrs. Goff, according to the prosecution, helped her husband by charting her daughter's menstrual cycle to determine when the girl would be most fertile.
But Whitney said she did not know her husband performed the insemination. The daughter testified her mother was not present the two times she was injected, but LoPrinzi said Mrs. Goff had told police that she witnessed one of the injections.
Whitney said the verdict did not surprise his client.
"She was open to the fact she could be convicted of at least of the endangering. I thought it would be all or nothing concerning the sexual batteries," Whitney said.
Mrs. Goff did not speak after the verdicts were read or to reporters as she was led out of the courtroom by deputies.
"We are obviously very pleased with the verdict," said county Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh. "Unfortunately, nothing can undo the severe emotional trauma Narda Goff has caused to her daughter."
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)