Former Elizabeth teacher charged with repeated sexual assaults of student in 1990s

A former teacher at an Elizabeth middle school has been charged with sexually assaulting a student numerous times over the course of approximately five years during the 1990s, acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas K. Isenhour announced Wednesday.

Robert Goodlin, 75, has been charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a minor, second-degree sexual assault of a minor, second-degree sexual assault by force or coercion, third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

A lengthy, intensive investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit revealed that the alleged incidents 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, who was under the age of 18 for the duration of the alleged abuse, 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.

Goodlin was arrested without incident Tuesday and lodged in Union County Jail pending a first appearance scheduled to take place today.

Anyone with further information about Goodlin is being 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.