• Ex-wrestler takes stand in trial of coach accused of molestation

    By: Trish Williford


    GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - The former high school wrestling coach accused of molesting members of his team was back on the stand Monday.

    Another former wrestler, Ben Hart, took the stand. He told the court why he refused to talk to detectives and the district attorney about Goins' case.
    Hart, now a Texas police officer, was first to take the stand for the defense.
    Hart wrestled for Goins at East Gaston High School in 1996 and he kept a journal about his wrestling years and team trips.
    He said sometimes they wrestled over who would get to sleep with Goins.
    The defense asked if he was inappropriately touched.
    “No sir,” Hart said.
    The defense then asked if Hart ever saw anyone touched in an inappropriate way.
    “Not a sexual way at all or anything like that,” Hart said.
    Under cross examination, the state asked Hart why he refused to speak to the DA's office about the sex abuse case involving Goins.
    Hart said it was because prosecutors contacted his boss in Texas. 
    “You told him I was a victim in great detail and embarrassing detail,” Hart told prosecutors.
    Hart said he was never a victim. 
    Hart was asked about a trip the team took to Florida where some of the players dressed up like women as a prank.
    “You're saying to the jury being stripped down to underwear at best, having sexual obscenities written all over you, painted up like a prostitute and made to pose with another boy while someone takes pictures is not sexual assault?” prosecutors asked.
    “I didn't feel like I was sexually assaulted,” Hart said.
    Goins returned to the witness stand late in the afternoon and testified about the trip to Florida saying the players dressing up like women was just a joke.
    “No pictures were taken,” Goins said. “They wore makeup. I didn't order this but I was in on it.”
    The defense asked Goins if he had sex with one of the accusers during that trip.
    “I never touched him inappropriately," he said.
    Goins admitted after he gave his life to Christ, he apologized to one of his accusers for being so harsh on the wrestlers during practice.
    Goins returns to the stand Tuesday morning.

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    Ex-wrestler takes stand in trial of coach accused of molestation