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Santa Barbara Man Gets a Year in Jail in Sexual-Assault Case

Robert Harold Goldman Click to view larger
Robert Harold Goldman (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

A 28-year-old Santa Barbara man who was accused of raping an unconscious woman in January was sentenced Monday to one year in Santa Barbara County Jail after pleading no contest to assault with force likely to produce bodily injury.

Robert Harold Goldman initially was charged with rape of an unconscious or asleep person and rape while a person was prevented from resisting by an intoxicating or anesthetic substance. 

On Jan. 31, Santa Barbara police responded to a report of a sexual assault at a residence on Santa Barbara Street.

The victim — a Los Angeles woman in her 20s, according to police — told investigators she had been dining and drinking with friends the previous night and went to the residence with several others. 

The woman fell asleep on a couch and woke up in the morning to discover she was being sexually assaulted by Goldman, according to police. Goldman left the scene and the woman went to a friend's home and called the police. 

Under the no-contest plea agreement reached between Goldman’s attorney, Robert Sanger, and Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron, Goldman faces 365 days in jail, but is eligible to serve that in the electronic-monitoring program.

Goldman, who is not currently in custody, also faces five years on probation, with terms including a 10-year restraining order with the victim of this case and attending sex-offender therapy, according to the court.

He will not be required to register as a sex offender.

Two women have made dramatic victim-impact statements in court, including the victim from this case and the victim from a 2015 case in which Goldman was never criminally charged.

They spoke frankly and painfully about the brutal impact being sexually assaulted has had on their lives.

Judge Clifford Anderson didn’t hear those statements, because his schedule caused the court to bump the Sept. 12 sentencing hearing to Judge Michael Carrozzo’s courtroom.

Carrozzo didn’t want to accept a plea deal for a case that wasn’t his, so ordered that Anderson read the transcript before the sentencing.

The transcript was not in the court file as of last week, and Sanger gave a copy of the transcript to Anderson in court Monday before the lunch break.

The sentencing hearing started around 3:15 p.m. and Anderson accepted the terms of the plea agreement.

At the Sept. 12 hearing, Jane Doe No. 1, the victim in this case, told the court she has a fear of strangers now and has nightmares about Goldman and Sanger.

“I have lost part of who I am – you took it,” she said to Goldman in her statement.

“I hope the part of you that gets turned on by an unconscious woman and a bottle of dish soap dies.”

Anderson allowed Jane Doe No. 2, the victim from the uncharged case, to speak again at Monday’s hearing. Both women live outside the area and Jane Doe No. 1 was unable to attend.

“Can we as a community honestly say this deal is sufficient?” Jane Doe No. 2 said.

“A man leaves a woman stark naked and unconscious in a parking lot and her clothing and personal effects are recovered in his car. He victimizes a second woman, who wakes up to him penetrating her. As soon as she begins to stir, he pulls out of her and she hears his footsteps down the stairs and through the front door,” she said.

“Doesn’t every woman deserve to know so that no one else can be hurt by him again?”

She said, “I hope he can never again make someone feel what I am living through.”

Anderson said the plea agreement had been put together by two “competent and experienced attorneys” and accepted it, so Goldman will not have to register as a sex offender.

“It is tempting at least to follow the probation report in regards to registration,” Anderson said.

Speaking to Goldman, Anderson said that the tenor of the probation report and court statements indicate that if Goldman violates his probation, registering for a few years “will be the least of your worries.”

“You will likely be taking up residence at one of our state institutions,” Anderson said.

Speaking after the hearing, Barron said conversations with the victim influenced the plea agreement not requiring sex offender registration.

The woman didn’t want to testify, and for Goldman to have been required to register as a sex offender, the case would likely have to go to trial, Barron said.

In her court statements, the woman said she was supportive of the plea agreement because she wants to move on with her life and have the criminal case over as soon as possible.

Jane Doe No. 2 said she respected that, but felt the plea agreement was not acceptable. 

“I am very disappointed in the sentencing, particularly after it appeared that Judge Anderson was seriously considering the question of registration,” she told Noozhawk after the hearing.

A Change.org petition was created three months ago asking the court to make Goldman register as a sex offender.  

The petition, “SB Residents Concerned Re: Robert Harold Goldman’s Sentence,” had 588 signatures as of Monday and was reportedly sent to Anderson and Barron before the Nov. 29 court date. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli 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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