Trial Delayed For Man Accused Of Impregnating Stepdaughter
March 18, 2002 at 7:52 PM EST - Updated July 27 at 4:10 AM
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - The trial of a man accused of impregnating his stepdaughter with a syringe has been delayed because of media attention from his wife's recent trial.
John Goff was scheduled to go on trial Monday before Judge John Adams of Summit County Common Pleas Court. Adams reset the trial for April 29, six days after Narda Goff is sentenced.
"We were ready to go Monday, but whatever the court decides, we will abide by it," said attorney Walter Madison, who represents John Goff. "That doesn't change our position. John just wants his day in court."
Narda Goff, 43, was convicted March 11 of child endangering and complicity to commit sexual battery for helping her husband impregnate her 16-year-old daughter. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Assistant County Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi wrote in a motion Friday that John Goff's trial should be delayed "because of the large amount of recent media attention, it will be significantly more difficult to select an impartial jury in such a short period of time."
Goff, 40, will be tried by a jury, unlike his wife, who waived her right to a jury trial.
Attorneys will be permitted to question jurors individually about pretrial publicity, a time-consuming process that could last several days.
Adams ruled that Mrs. Goff was "an active participant in the planning and execution of the insemination of her daughter."
John Goff faces 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, of Stow, 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.
The daughter -- now 19 -- testified that her stepfather, an auxiliary police officer and former Marine, threatened to kill her mother if she did not agree to become pregnant.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)