RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Manhattan man convicted of 21 sex crimes involving young girls wants a new trial due to reported discrepancies in the victims’ testimony.
In August, a jury found John Goodpasture Jr., 43, guilty on all counts against him, including rape, aggravated indecent liberties and aggravated criminal sodomy, involving two minor girls between September 2010 and June 2011. Court records indicate that one of the victims was 10 years old and the niece of Goodpasture's live-in girlfriend. The other victim, 13, was the daughter of Goodpasture's live-in girlfriend.
Goodpasture was scheduled to be sentenced by Riley County District Court Judge David Stutzman Friday morning (10/5) but the proceedings were continued after Stutzman heard testimony regarding a motion for a new trial filed by the defense. WIBW was denied camera access both in the courtroom and courthouse. Only still photography was allowed inside the courtroom.
Goodpasture’s attorney made the judge aware of a conversation that a fellow defense attorney, Brenda Jordan, had with Assistant Riley County Attorney Kendra Lewison, who prosecuted the case, after Goodpasture’s trial.
Mention was made that two weeks prior to the trial, one of the victims said she wanted to recant her story and the other victim was having memory problems. Jordan could not remember the exact conversation, she testified.
Goodpasture’s lawyer says he was never informed about either issue which would have impacted his line of questioning during the trial.
Deputy Riley County Attorney Bethany Fields, who also prosecuted the case, told the judge that the state did not coach the witnesses what to say. She said that one of the victims did recant her story approximately two weeks before the trial but shortly before it started, decided she would testify.
Judge Stutzman did not rule on what was presented Friday. The hearing was continued to October 18th at 4 PM.
Goodpasture was arrested on June 15, 2011 in connection with the sexual assaults on the 10-year-old girl. Additional charges were added when the 13-year-old victim came forward with allegations in July of 2011.
Goodpasture was convicted of rape and four counts of indecent liberties with a child stemming involving the 10-year-old girl- incidents that occurred on or about June 10, 2011 and between December 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011. He was convicted of fifteen charges of rape and one count of aggravated criminal sodomy involving the 13-year-old girl- a series of incidents that occurred between September 15, 2010 and June 3, 2011.
Both victims alleged that they were sleeping and awoke to Goodpasture touching them. He molested them and raped them on different occasions.
In a motion from August of 2011, the State said: “The 13-year-old victim has alleged that the defendant compelled her silence, in part, by telling her that if she told anyone, he would wait until her mother went to work and then kill her in front of her younger sisters. He made this threat to her on 4-6 occasions, and as a result, the victim is very frightened for her safety. She is aware of his past history of involvement with a murder, which adds to her terror.”
In the document, the State mentioned Goodpasture’s criminal history, indicating that he has two felony DUI convictions and a conviction for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. The burglary convicted resulted from a case in which the defendant was originally charged with 1st degree murder. He agreed to testify against the co-defendants in exchange for leniency and the two co-defendants were convicted of 1st degree murder. He served time in prison on the burglary charged and was released in 2006.
He remains in custody.