by: Ken Lemon Updated:
GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - Day two on the stand was so draining for one of Scott Goins accusers, that he stepped out of court and collapsed in tears into the arms of a friend waiting in the hallway of the Gaston County Courthouse. He is the last of three former east Gaston High School wrestlers who say Goins, the former coach, forced them to have sex. This accuser today said Goins asked for his help to committee suicide.
He told jurors that last year Goins knew police were asking questions about his contact with wrestlers. The questions began in 2011 when this accuser broke down and told friends his former coach sexually abused him. They told police. The accuser said he denied the claim when police came to him and even informed the coach every time police talked to him. He said Goins told him, "stay strong."
The former wrestler testified that spring of last year the coach invited him to lunch.
"I will never forget the statement, "----, you are going to have to shoot me" said the accuser. He said Goins believed suicide was the best way out. "He told me though, 'I can't kill myself so you are going to have to help me because I will go to hell if I do, and I committed these acts against you so you are the one who should do it.'"
He said Goins forced him to have sex when he was 15 years old. "Let's face it did I want my parents to know that the man that they trusted for years did all these things to me." The wrestler said he and Goins talked several times about the plans for suicide. He said they brought Tracphones and used code words before they talked so no one could discover their plans or trick them into telling.
He said Goins decided strangulation would be best. They decided to set a time to make sure the coach was choked for 8 minutes to ensure death. In April of last year they went into the woods at Posten Park in Lowell.
"I remember him saying, 'Take care of my family.' And I said I will. And he said, "I was talking to God not you.'"
The accuser says he remembers wrapping the rope around the coach's neck and watching him struggle for air. He doesn't remember hearing the 8 minute alarm on his watch. He stopped when the coach passed out. "Whether it be a sign from God that I left or the devil staring me in the face I don't know which one it was."
He left and burned his cloths and the rope believing his coach was dead. He threw the phones into a river.
Goins didn't die. He awoke and walked seven miles back his car at East Gaston High School. Goins called his wife claiming he had been in an accident. She called 911. Defense attorney Brent Ratchford said the coach had no memory of what happened. Ratchford insists it was an attempted murder not and attempted suicide. He said the coach realized what happened when the coach later heard the accuser's confession.
During pretrial motions Ratchford expressed his concern that charges against the accuser were dropped in exchange for his testimony in Goins trial. Ratchford asked a few questions about the incident late today then had to stop. We expect to hear more cross examination about the incident Friday morning.
Read our past coverage:
June 6, 2013: 3rd student accuses coach of sexual abuse