Former Elizabeth middle school teacher admits to sexual assault of students

A former Elizabeth middle school teacher has admitted to sexually assaulting two of his students numerous times over the course of about a decade, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Robert Goodlin, 76, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual assault during a hearing held Tuesday before state Superior Court Judge William Daniel.

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 the victim’s 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 information about his activities is still being urged to contact Special Victims Unit Detective Annie Coll at 908-965-3876.

Sentencing in the case has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 5.