Moments after an East Point police officer accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl was fired Wednesday morning, he wanted to make one thing clear.
“I’m not guilty,” Sgt. Richard Gooddine told Channel 2 Action News as he was leaving the police department. “Just leave me alone.”
The officer was let go Wednesday in the wake of allegations he stalked the teen and her mother at a local hospital just hours after he sexually assaulted the girl, according to the news station.
“It was determined during the course of our internal affairs investigation that Gooddine had violated multiple departmental policies and procedures, which resulted in his termination” East Point police Chief Tommy Gardner said in a statement.
Gooddine had been on paid administrative leave since Monday, when the claims were brought against him alleging he detained the child for violating curfew, took her to the Village Highlands apartment complex and assaulted her for three hours before taking her home. He was on duty at the time of the alleged assault.
Gooddine first approached the girl at Sykes Park in East Point, her attorney, Thomas Reynolds, told Channel 2. Reynolds said he believes Gooddine followed his client and her friends from a local Waffle House.
The officer let everyone but the teen go, Reynolds said. When her mother took her to the hospital, Reynolds said hospital staff had to escort Gooddine out of the facility.
Tuesday, Channel 2 reported Gooddine faced similar allegations involving a second 15-year-old girl seven years ago but was never prosecuted.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute him in that 2011 sexual battery and child molestation case, claiming it would not have been in the best interest of the victim, Channel 2 reported. Gooddine maintained his innocence in the case.
In an interview with Channel 2, Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard said the victim was in counseling and making progress, and prosecutors were concerned that the trial would re-traumatize her.
Gooddine has not been charged in the recent case. The GBI is investigating.
We’re working to learn more.
—Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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