NJ jury awards $1.15M to man who claimed teacher raped him
ELIZABETH — A former teacher facing charges of sexually abusing a student 20 years ago has been ordered to pay his accuser more than $1 million.
Robert Goodlin was ordered by a jury to pay $1.15 million to the now 38-year-old man who sued him, according to NJ.com.
The award comes more than a year after the Elizabeth School District reached a $600,000 settlement with the accuser last year.
State pension records show Goodlin worked for the Elizabeth Board of Education for 25 years and is a veteran. The Union County Prosecutor's Office announced a 14-count indictment against Goodlin in March.
An investigation by the prosecutor's office found that the alleged incidents with the man happened from 1993 into 1998 while Goodlin was a teacher at Joseph Battin School No. 4. The alleged assaults happened at Goodlin's home, in his vehicle and at a cabin in North Jersey.
Goodlin's attorney painted the alleged victim as someone who "owed child support, couldn't hold down a job," and cited the case against former Penn State as motivation for the lawsuit, the website reported. On the other side, the alleged victim's attorney told the members of the jury that "there is a child rapist in this very courtroom. A guilty man."
NJ.com reported that the jury reached a decision within an hour after the four-day trial.
Goodlin has been on house arrest since his arrest last year, and is scheduled for another hearing in the criminal case on Oct. 9.
Phone calls to attorneys to the alleged victim and Goodlin seeking comment were not returned on Tuesday night.