Defense calls 4 to stand during wrestling coach's trial

by: Trish Williford Updated:


GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - Three former East Gaston High School wrestlers have accused Scott Goins of forcing them to have sex.

The defense called four witnesses to the stand Monday, including a former student and three of Goins' former colleagues. They all testified they never witnessed the former coach doing anything wrong.

Joseph Coss, a former wrestler at East Gaston High, was first to take the stand for the defense. 

The 18-year-old told the court he wrestled for Goins for a year in 2009. Coss said Goins was tough but a great coach. 

He testified Goins would rub his shoulders during mental exercises, but said it was nothing inappropriate.

During cross-examination prosecutors asked Coss about the team's out-of-town trips.

“Had you ever had a chance to see Goins share a bed?” the prosecutor asked.

“Yes, once,” Coss said.
Coss said that was only because one of the wrestlers didn't have a bed to sleep in during a trip to Atlanta. 

Coss said it wasn't unusual for Goins to tell him and other players he loved them. He said the players would tell Goins they loved him, too.

Coss said after Goins' arrest he was interviewed by Gaston County police.  He told them he had not been abused.

Former assisting wrestling coach TJ McNellie also took the stand. He worked under Goins from 2003 to 2008.

He said he never saw anything inappropriate happen in the locker room that would give him concern.

Former East Gaston Principal Andy Mcginnis also took the stand late Monday afternoon. Prosecutors asked about an incident when Goins was accused of striking a student on the head with his ring. 

He admitted to doing it and there was never another complaint about it.

Court has recessed until Wednesday morning because a juror has a doctor's appointment and won't be able to attend court Tuesday.

Read our past coverage:

June 5, 2013: Police: Gaston Co. coach accused of molesting students

June 6, 2013: 3rd student accuses coach of sexual abuse

April 1: Judge OKs contact between accused coach's attorney, victims

July 15: Jury selection starts for former coach accused of sex abuse

July 18: Witness describes how he says former coach ‘groomed’ him

July 21: Former wrestler testifies in trial of coach accused of sexual misconduct

July 22: 2nd accuser testifies against former wrestling coach

July 23: Third accuser takes stand in former wrestling coach’s trial

July 25: Accuser said he tried to kill coach charged with sex abuse