Accused abuser gets two months

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2003

It began as a sodomy first degree charge, but ended with the defendant having two months to serve.

Fourth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins sentenced Jerry Gooden, 33, to 15 years on charges of sexual abuse first degree after a plea agreement was made between the district attorney’s office and defense attorney George E. Jones III.

Wiggins later suspended the sentence and gave Gooden five years supervised probation and 18 months jail time.

Gooden is currently incarcerated at the Dallas County Jail and has already spent 16 months behind bars. He now only has two months of prison time remaining.

Keith said the victim in the case &045;&045; 10- to 12-year-old boy at the time of the incidents, but now 16-years-old &045;&045; wanted to put the difficult situation behind him.

Gooden also received what Keith called a &uot;very stringent trespass order&uot; from Wiggins Monday afternoon. The order forbids Gooden from making contact with the victim, and if violated would send him back to jail.

Defense Attorney George E. Jones III said a sodomy first degree conviction would have put Gooden in jail for 10 years to life. Sexual abuse first degree carries a sentence of 2-20 years.

The charges against Gooden stemmed from a number of incidents that occurred between 1997 and 1999 at several different Selma locations.

Police reports state the victim reported to the Department of Human Resources in July 1999 that a relative &045;&045; Gooden &045;&045; had been sexually abusing him since he was 10 years old. The victim later gave a statement to the Selma Police Department that Gooden allegedly sodomized him.

The victim also stated Gooden took him to his friend’s house where his acquaintances would allegedly take turns sexually abusing him.

A police report was filed August 2, 1999, and a warrant for Gooden’s arrest issued late that month.

Keith said the delay from arrest to sentencing occurred because of mental examinations Gooden underwent.