EAST POINT, Ga. — A father was brought to tears on the witness stand when he recalled his daughter telling him a police officer had sexually assaulted her.
The father said it hurt because he is the one who chose the officer to mentor his daughter.
Testimony continued Monday at the Fulton County Courthouse in the trial of former East Point officer Richard Gooddine.
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The father told the jury during the second day of the trial he needed a mentor for his daughter after she ran away. Channel 2 is not identifying the daughter because of the nature of the charges.
The father said Gooddine brought his daughter home after she ran away, so he asked Gooddine to mentor her. He said he grew to trust the officer with his child. The father testified Gooddine would often come to his home and spend time with the teen.
Then one day his daughter told him that Gooddine had touched her inappropriately.
“And I say, ‘Who (has) been touching you?’ And she say, ‘Gooddine,’” the father said while sobbing on the witness stand.
The father said it really hurt since he was the one who asked Gooddine to help his daughter get on the right track.
“And I made a bad choice for my daughter, man, when I thought I was making the best choice. You know how that feel?” he said while tears streamed down his face.
The father said he didn’t know exactly where to turn.
“I can’t fight no police. Who do you tell the police on, man?” he said.
Gooddine is accused of sexually assaulting three women and two children during a seven-year period. He faces 19 counts, including aggravated sexual battery, child molestation and sexual assault by a law enforcement officer.
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Gooddine’s attorney got into a testy exchange with the father about whether the alleged incident really happened.
“You weren’t there, were you?” attorney Rudjard Hayes asked.
“It happened,” the father responded.
“Did you see it happen?” Hayes asked.
“It happened,” the father said again.
“Answer my question. Yes or no?” Hayes replied.
“It happened,” the father said, his voice rising.
The defense has said the victims have ulterior motives in accusing Gooddine of wrongdoing. Hayes asked the father about civil suits filed against the former officer and the East Point Police Department. The father seemed to resent the line of questioning.
“I don’t have anything to do with civil. I don’t want nothing to do with civil. I don’t want no pity party,” he said.
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The defense said Gooddine is not guilty and pointed out that at first, Gooddine wasn’t prosecuted in this case until later, when more women came forward.
Prosecutors said Gooddine preyed on vulnerable women and children for years. Testimony resumes Tuesday morning.
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