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Local News

Plea Deal Reached for Santa Barbara Man Accused of Raping Unconscious Woman

Robert Harold Goldman
Robert Harold Goldman

A Santa Barbara man accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman earlier this year has reached a plea deal with prosecutors that could allow him to avoid time behind bars, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Robert Harold Goldman, 27, originally was 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, said Mary Barron, senior deputy district attorney.

Goldman was arrested by Santa Barbara police on Jan. 31 in connection with the assault on a 29-year-old Los Angeles woman, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Officers responded at about 7:20 a.m. on that date to a report of a sexual assault that had occurred during the early morning hours.

The victim, who was identified in court documents as Jane Doe, told investigators that she had been out dining and drinking with friends the previous evening, Harwood said.

“She became intoxicated,” he told Noozhawk, “and in the early morning, she and a friend went to a residence in the 200 block of Santa Barbara Street.”

Other people were there, including Goldman, who was an acquaintance of Doe, Harwood said.

“The victim ultimately fell asleep on a couch, and she woke up later to discover that she was being sexually assaulted by Goldman,” Harwood said.

He said Goldman left the scene, and Doe went to a friend’s home and contacted police.

A $100,000 warrant was issued for Goldman's arrest, and he was taken into custody the afternoon of Jan. 31.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Clifford Anderson approved an agreement under which Goldman pleaded no contest to a single felony count of assault by means likely to cause great bodily harm, Barron said.

When he returns to court Sept. 12, Goldman will be sentenced to 365 days in County Jail, Barron said.

However, he will be eligible to apply for the Sheriff's Department's electronic monitoring program, which would allow him to avoid further time in jail.

He also will be placed on probation for five years, and be required to refrain from drugs and alcohol, with regular testing.

Goldman will have to undergo any counseling suggested by the Probation Department, which will produce a report before sentencing with its recommendations.

He also will be ordered to have no contact with the victim for 10 years, but will not be required to register as a sex offender.

Barron said the victim concurred with the terms of the plea deal, and will have the opportunity at the sentencing hearing to give a victim-impact statement.

Goldman will remain free on bail until the Sept. 12 hearing, Barron said.

The original criminal complaint against Goldman included a notice that prosecutors “intend to introduce evidence of any prior act(s) of sexual offenses committed by the defendant.”

However, Harwood said he could not comment about any possible prior offenses.

Barron said she was precluded from discussing the case or the plea deal further until after sentencing.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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