Woman Impregnated By Stepfather Sues Agencies

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A woman impregnated by her stepfather with a syringe has sued two agencies, saying they knew of her pregnancy but did nothing to protect her from further abuse.

Shenna Grimm filed the lawsuit against the Summit County Children Services Board and Summa Health System on Friday in Summit County Common Pleas Court.

Her stepfather, John Goff, of nearby Stow, was convicted Thursday of two counts each of rape and sexual battery and one count of endangering children. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 7 and faces up to 35 years in prison.

Paternity tests show Goff, 41, fathered his stepdaughter's baby.

In December 1998 he inseminated Grimm, who was 16 at the time and now 20, with a syringe full of his semen. The boy, born in 1999, is in foster care.

Grimm's mother, Narda Goff, was convicted in March of helping her husband impregnate Grimm and was sentenced to three years in prison. Mrs. Goff was unable to have another baby because of a hysterectomy.

Grimm's lawsuit contends that officials with the children services board and Akron City Hospital, which is owned by Summa Health, knew of her pregnancy but failed to report it or take action.

Neither the hospital nor the CSB took "any appropriate action to protect" Grimm "from further sexual abuse and made no meaningful referrals with respect to such abuse," the lawsuit says.

By not taking action, the agencies "were malicious, willful and reckless," and Grimm suffered permanent physical and mental harm, the suit says.

John Goff abused Grimm from June 1998 to 2000, according to the lawsuit. Grimm reported the abuse to Stow police in January 2001 after moving out of the Goffs' home.

Grimm is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and attorney fees. The suit also names Goff as a defendant, with his address as the Summit County Jail. Goff has maintained his stepdaughter agreed to bear the child.

Officials with the children services board declined to comment Friday to the Akron Beacon Journal and could not be reached Saturday. Summa Health spokeswoman Samantha Williams said Saturday that the agency had no comment because it had not seen the lawsuit.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)