AKRON, Ohio — A man was convicted Thursday of rape for forcibly impregnating his then-16-year-old stepdaughter with a syringe, violating rape laws he had pushed legislators to enact.
After deliberating for just over two hours, jurors found John Goff guilty of two counts of rape, two counts of sexual battery and one count of endangering children. He faces up to 35 years in prison at his Oct. 8 sentencing.
Goff, 41, of Stow, frowned and looked at his family as the verdict was read. Judge John Adams revoked Goff's bond and he was immediately handcuffed and led away.
Goff was convicted of breaking the laws that he and his wife campaigned for in the 1990s after a man accused of molesting his stepdaughter was acquitted.
Lawmakers toughened the laws in 1996 to include penetration with any object as a component of rape. Previously, only sexual intercourse was considered rape.
Paternity tests showed that Goff fathered his stepdaughter's baby. The boy, born in 1999, is in foster care.
Goff's wife, Narda, 43, was convicted in March of helping John Goff impregnate her daughter with a syringe of his semen and was sentenced to three years in prison.
She refused to testify against her husband.
Narda Goff's attorney argued during the trial that her daughter willingly allowed the insemination because the mother wanted to give her husband a child. Narda Goff had a hysterectomy.
The stepdaughter testified on Monday that she agreed to inseminate herself--but only because Goff, an auxiliary police officer and former Marine, put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her mother if she didn't comply.
Brian LoPrinzi, assistant Summit County prosecutor, said the circumstances of how the stepdaughter, who turns 20 today, became pregnant are "not only immoral but illegal and disgusting." The victim has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and has attempted suicide.
"She knew he was violent and abusive," LoPrinzi said. "She didn't want to do it, but she didn't even know it was wrong. They asked her, a girl with a fourth-grade education, to do the unthinkable without explaining any of the ramifications of having a child."
The Goffs home-schooled the girl after the fourth grade.
In closing statements Thursday, defense lawyer Tim Ivey argued that Goff did not commit a crime because his stepdaughter agreed to carry his child.
Ivey told jurors that the girl turned against Goff after the baby was born and after her new boyfriend pressured her.