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Bill Macfadyen: 2 Sexual Assault Survivors Provide Dramatic Victim Statements in Court

NoozWeek’s Top 5 includes a tragic end to a search for 2 missing men, Paula Lopez’s latest news, Ted Rall and the Clinton Foundation, and a McConnell’s ice cream scoop

I have a suggestion for my betters in the national media.

» Fact: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have nearly 100 percent name recognition.

» Fact: Nearly six out of 10 Americans despise both of them, according to the latest RealClearPolitics polling analysis.

» Fact: An even higher percentage don’t trust either any further than they can throw a bull by the tail.

» Fact: If elected, Clinton would be the second-oldest president in U.S. history, and Trump, who already is 70, would be the oldest.

My suggestion is that the national media deprive them of the oxygen of attention they crave until both candidates actually release complete, detailed medical records for a thorough review by an independent panel of physicians and health reporters.

Their personal doctors need to sit for formal interviews by the panel, as well.

The political media also should halt further coverage until Trump releases his full tax returns dating back at least 12 years.

If Clinton and Trump persist in dancing around the truth of transparency, the American people should assume they have something significant that they’re hiding from us. There is no excuse for my national news colleagues allowing them to get away with it.

This election campaign has been a farce. America deserves much better.

                                                                 •        •        •

Noozhawk was busy this past week, with 113,335 readers on our site, according to our Google Analytics. This is my take on your top five stories:

1. 2 Women Give Victim Statements Ahead of Sentencing in Santa Barbara Sex-Assault Case

As Noozhawk first reported, Robert Harold “Bob” Goldman, a 28-year-old former senior executive at a local high-tech company, was arrested earlier this year and charged with felony rape of an unconscious or asleep person, and rape while a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance.

Robert Harold 'Bob' Goldman, just waiting for sentencing.
Robert Harold “Bob” Goldman, just waiting for sentencing.

After striking a deal with prosecutors, he’s expected to instead plead no contest to just a single felony count of assault by means likely to cause great bodily harm.

The agreement includes a one-year jail sentence, but Goldman could avoid that by applying for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department’s home electronic-monitoring program.

Readers might perceive similarities between this case and that of the notorious Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimmer who served all of half of his six-month Santa Clara County jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated woman last year.

There’s an important distinction, however: Turner must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Goldman was not charged with a sex crime so his name won’t be found on any sex offender registry.

Goldman was in Superior Court on Sept. 12, but his sentencing was postponed until Nov. 29.

Also there for the proceedings were two — not one, two — women who gave moving victim-impact statements.

The first woman, identified as Jane Doe No. 1 and the twenty-something survivor of the alleged Jan. 31 assault, described waking up on a couch with Goldman on top of her. He left when she awoke, she said.

There was a bottle of liquid dish soap nearby and the lower portion of her body was covered with it, said the woman, who now lives in the Los Angeles area.

She said she got an Uber ride and spent the next several hours with Santa Barbara police and the sexual assault response team at the hospital.

The alleged encounter with Goldman occurred after a night of bar-hopping, she acknowledged, adding that she had been “out of it,” was drunk and fell asleep.

She said she wasn’t able to give consent and never would have if she had been awake.

“It’s the feeling of being violated and not able to fight back,” she said, and having “someone inside you that is not welcome.”

She told Judge Michael Carrozzo that she supports Goldman’s plea deal because she wants to put the incident behind her and move on with her life.

The second woman, also in her 20s and identified as Jane Doe No. 2, said she and Goldman had been colleagues at Graphiq, a Summerland-based data visualization startup formerly known as Find The Best.

She said she and Goldman were at a wine bar in 2015, and that’s the last thing she remembers “before I was found naked in the street, draped in an item of clothing a kind homeless person had placed over my body.”

“I was found in a state of utter incoherence, incapable of providing my name or birth date,” she said.

She said Goldman told authorities they had consensual sex, even though he apparently drove off with her clothes, keys and cell phone, leaving her “naked and unconscious in the street.”

The woman chose to move to San Francisco rather than pursue criminal charges, a decision she now regrets. She came forward after learning Goldman had been charged in the attack on Jane Doe No 1.

“To see that my inaction, my cowardice enabled Bob to prey on at least one other woman causes me terrible angst,” she said.

“The single most troubling component of this plea bargain is that Bob will not be mandated to register as a sex offender,” she added.

“He has demonstrated a propensity for sexual assault, and I am confident that other unsuspecting victims like myself and Jane Doe will be no doubt similarly victimized by him in the future.”

Click here for sexual-assault counseling and support services from the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.

An impressive recovery effort was undertaken to bring home the bodies of David Esquivel and Oscar Hernandez. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)
An impressive recovery effort was undertaken to bring home the bodies of David Esquivel and Oscar Hernandez. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

2. 2 Men Found Dead Near Wreckage of Car Off Gibraltar Road Above Santa Barbara

On the afternoon of Sept. 11, our Tom Bolton happened on a Facebook post from the sister of one of two men who had been reported missing earlier that weekend. He reached out and they struck up a conversation.

At about the same time, a paraglider soaring over the mountains above Santa Barbara spotted a wrecked vehicle in rugged terrain several hundred feet below a cliff. As soon as the paraglider landed, he notified authorities.

A substantial search-and-rescue operation was launched, and the pieces of the story all came together in the 3400 block of Gibraltar Road. Unfortunately, it had a tragic ending.

Oscar Hernandez
Oscar Hernandez
David Esquivel
David Esquivel

When emergency personnel finally reached the crash site some 600 feet below the roadway, they found the bodies of David Esquivel, 24, of Santa Maria, and Oscar Hernandez, 23, of Lompoc. Both had been ejected from the car.

Hernandez had been reported missing earlier that morning and Esquivel’s family had reported him missing the night before. They had last been seen Sept. 7.

The perilous and complex rope-system recovery effort involved a lot of muscle; Santa Barbara County, Los Padres National Forest, Montecito and Santa Barbara firefighters; the sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team; sheriff’s deputies; California Highway Patrol officers; and CalStar and county Air Support Unit helicopters.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said the Coroner’s Bureau is investigating the case and will determine an official cause of death.

Funeral services for Hernandez are scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 16 at La Purísima Concepción Catholic Church, 213 W. Olive Ave. in Lompoc. A GoFundMe page has been established to assist his family. Click here to make an online donation.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help Esquivel’s family with funeral expenses. Click here to make an online donation.

3. Former KEYT, KCOY News Anchor Paula Lopez Files Wrongful-Termination Lawsuit

Her fairness doctrine may be audacious, but things are looking better for Paula Lopez. (Twitter photo)
Her fairness doctrine may be audacious, but things are looking better for Paula Lopez. (Twitter photo)

After all that’s transpired over the last three years, in the most public of exhibitions ...

There are no words.

But I have gotten lots of inquiries about the headshot photo we published with our Giana Magnoli’s exclusive report on the latest twist in the Paula Lopez saga.

“Why,” many readers wanted to know, “did Noozhawk go from mug shot to ‘yearbook’ picture?”

As the story is about Lopez’s civil lawsuit against her former employer, not her criminal case, it would have been unfair and inappropriate to run a booking photo. It was never even a consideration.

Besides, she’s a real estate professional now. Don’t most agents use 30-year-old portrait photos?

4. Ted Rall: At the Clinton Foundation, Access Equals Corruption

Ted Rall — syndicated columnist, author and editorial cartoonist — either really struck a chord or really stepped in it with his Sept. 6 examination of the Clinton Foundation.

Channeling Pigpen in Peanuts, a dirt cloud of pay-to-play allegations has enveloped the foundation for months. While Hillary Clinton and her supporters deny anything is amiss, one of the most unusual and improbable of alliances has formed in dissent, like a magnet attracting metallic filings.

The controversy is not likely to be resolved soon, and the truth may never be known, so feel free to weigh in with a comment of your own.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this place without customers. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this place without customers. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

5. Independent McConnell’s Ice Cream Shop on Mission Street Rebranding with New Name

It’s a confusing history, and our Sam Goldman did an admirable job scooping out the highlights, but the McConnell’s ice cream shop that actually isn’t a McConnell’s ice cream shop is finally going to do something about it.

After decades of operating under a licensing agreement with Santa Barbara-based McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, the independent owners of McConnell’s Ice Cream & Yogurt, at 201 W. Mission St. in Santa Barbara, are rebranding the place as Mission Street Ice Cream & Yogurt.

McConnell’s ice cream will still be sold at the shop, however.

Meanwhile, the real McConnell’s has a store of its own at 728 State St. downtown.

Still confused? Don’t overthink it; just do what I do and order a hot fudge sundae.

                                                                 •        •        •

Last Year on Noozhawk

What was our most-read story this time last year? The same as the week before: KCOY News Anchor Paula Lopez Arrested on Charges of DUI, Assaulting Officers.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week

She may never get the Sully treatment, but this is still bad-ass: Hero Driver Pulls Children from Burning Bus.

                                                                 •        •        •

Watch It

This is a Siberian husky, but our Alaskan malamutes have always been just as stubborn and just as vocal.

(Rumble Viral video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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