A Union County grand jury has returned a 14-count indictment against a former teacher at an Elizabeth middle school who is now charged with separately sexually assaulting two of his students numerous times over the course of a decade, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Monday.
Robert Goodlin, 75, is charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, four counts of second-degree sexual assault, two counts apiece of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and four counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.
A lengthy, intensive investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit revealed that the alleged incidents involving the first victim occurred from 1993 into 1998, when Goodlin worked as an industrial technology teacher at Joseph Battin School No. 4 on South Broad Street in Elizabeth, according to Unit Supervisor and Assistant Prosecutor Caroline Lawlor, who is prosecuting the case. The victim was sexually assaulted at his Elizabeth home, in the defendant’s vehicle in Elizabeth, and multiple times at the defendant’s cabin located in North Jersey, Lawlor said.
The alleged sexual abuse involving the second victim took place from 2002 into 2003 in various locations in Elizabeth. Both victims were under the age of 18 for the duration of the incidents.
Goodlin was arrested without incident in September 2017 and has been held on strict house arrest since. Anyone with further information about his activities is urged to contact Special Victims Unit Detective Annie Coll at 908-965-3876.
Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison, while second-degree crimes can result in terms of 5 to 10 years.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.