#BREAKING - Channel 2 Investigative Reporter @NicoleCarrWSB just confronted former East Point police Sgt. Richard Gooddine minutes after he was terminated. What he told her about the allegations he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl, LIVE at Noon on Channel 2. pic.twitter.com/Oj8IdKiIHO— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) August 22, 2018
Former Sgt. Richard Gooddine from East Point, Georgia, is under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) over allegations involving the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.
What’s more troubling is that the same officer was accused of sexual misconduct in three other instances but was never formally reprimanded.
Gooddine, who was fired from the East Point Police Department last week, was accused of sexual assault or inappropriate touching in 2011, 2016, and 2017. Now, he’s being accused by a 15-year-old and her mother, who says he molested the girl after arresting her for a curfew violation.
“She just broke down. She was crying. She was just so scared and terrified,” her mother said. “I immediately brought my daughter to the hospital.”
But Gooddine didn’t let it go, following the mother and daughter to the hospital and stalking the emergency department’s halls to try to find her.
“I have seen video of the officer having to be escorted out of the emergency room facility by the hospital staff,” family attorney Thomas Reynolds said.
Gooddine was also accused of a similar assault in 2011, but the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office refused to prosecute the now former officer in the sexual battery and child molestation case, justifying its decision by saying the case would not be in the child’s best interest.
In 2016, a 60-year-old woman told police Gooddine “brushed against her breast” while handcuffing her. She added that the officer appeared intoxicated.
The frisk, the woman explained, made her feel uncomfortable as she was in front of her grandchild. The woman was arrested on charges of driving without a license, and an officer who pulled up later said he didn’t see Gooddine doing anything unprofessional.
In 2017, Gooddine was once again accused of assaulting someone on duty.
After Gooddine arrested a woman accused of shoplifting from a local Walmart, she said Gooddine pulled her pants down inside the patrol car and then fondled her. She claimed she told the officer’s partner later what happened, as he wasn’t present when she was attacked.
While the incident allegedly happened inside the patrol car, the case was dismissed after investigators said that video from Walmart and the jail didn’t show Gooddine doing anything inappropriate.
The former cop also passed a polygraph test when he answered “no” to questions regarding the alleged harassment.
After internal investigations in the 2016 and 2017 cases were deemed “not sustained,” Gooddine was allowed to stay with the force, targeting other women and children.
Following the most recent ordeal involving the teen, however, the department finally took action, firing him.
Gooddine was confronted by journalists following his termination, at which time he insisted he was innocent.
He remains under investigation, and the East Point Police Department has yet to respond to reporters’ requests for comment.
It’s nothing new to hear of officers abusing their power and position to take advantage of women while on duty, but knowing that predators are allowed to continue using their job as a means to prey on their victims even after their conduct has been reported is heartbreaking, to say the least.
Law enforcement agencies across the country need to make a stronger effort to purge these sexual harassers from the force and force them to face justice for their crimes.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder