Scheme To Impregnate Daughter Lands Local Woman In Jail
May 7, 2002 at 6:00 PM EST - Updated July 3 at 1:40 AM
By JOE MILICIA, Associated Press Writer
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A woman convicted of helping her husband impregnate her 16-year-old daughter with a syringe was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.
Narda Goff, 43, was convicted in a non-jury trial in March of child endangering and complicity to commit sexual battery. She could have gotten 10 years behind bars.
Her husband, John Goff, 40 -- the girl's stepfather -- has been charged with rape and sexual battery and is awaiting trial.
"Mrs. Goff I just can't understand why you failed to protect your daughter," Summit County Common Pleas Judge John R. Adams said Tuesday. "I think she'll suffer more by the sentence than you will."
Mrs. Goff broke down in tears when asked if she wanted to make a statement.
"Just that I'm sorry," she said in a barely audible voice.
Mrs. Goff then sat down and looked at her daughter, who began to sob. Mrs. Goff pushed a box of tissues across the table toward her daughter.
John and Narda Goff became advocates for tougher rape laws 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 of rape. Previously, only sexual intercourse was considered rape.
Goff now faces trial under the toughened rape laws.
According to paternity tests, Goff is the father of his stepdaughter's baby. The boy, born in September 1999, is in foster care.
The daughter -- now 19 -- has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and depression and has attempted suicide, problems Adams said stem from the insemination and birth of her baby.
Goff had asked state Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer to remove Adams as his trial judge because he convicted Mrs. Goff and may have already reached a conclusion regarding Goff.
Moyer denied the request on Friday, saying Adams has not had an opportunity to hear Goff's defense. Goff's trial was delayed by the appeal and has not yet been rescheduled.
Mrs. Goff's attorney, Lawrence Whitney, had argued that the daughter willingly allowed the insemination to fulfill Mrs. Goff's wish to give her husband a child. Mrs. Goff has had a hysterectomy.
Whitney told the judge Tuesday that Mrs. Goff recognizes she acted inappropriately. He said she has been realistic about going to prison. "She is more sad over her grandson's condition," of being in foster care, he said.
Mrs. Goff suffers from multiple sclerosis and needed Whitney's assistance to walk into the courtroom.
Assistant prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi told Adams that Mrs. Goff is still in denial that her husband is the father of the child, despite the paternity tests. LoPrinzi said Mrs. Goff still blames her daughter for what happened.
"As frail as she may look, as sick as she may be, I think it's time for this court to send her to the penitentiary to pay for what she has done to her daughter," LoPrinzi said.
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.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)