Mormon dentist says he gave woman drug for her anxiety. She says he enabled her rape

A bailiff handcuffs Mountain Home dentist John Goodrich after Goodrich was sentenced Friday for one felony count of distributing a controlled substance. Judge Michael Reardon said he wanted Goodrich’s sentence to serve as a deterrent to others in the medical profession.

Idaho Statesman

” ‘Jane Doe’ woke up in her bedroom, bloody and half-naked, with no idea of how she got there.

 The five to six hours preceding that moment remain mostly blank in her memory. But the Boise woman claims that she was with John Goodrich, a Mountain Home dentist, on July 8, 2016, and that she believes he raped her after giving her a sedative.

Goodrich, 57, was sentenced Friday to three years of probation and 90 days in jail for felony distribution of a controlled substance, Halcion. That’s the sedative he gave Jane.

But Goodrich was never charged in connection to her accusation of sexual assault.

Last March, Goodrich told the Statesman that he gave the drug to a woman he knew who was having a “microneedle facial” procedure done by an aesthetician at a Boise medical office. On the October day he pleaded guilty, Goodrich told a judge he “gave (the woman) Halcion at her request to help her with fear.” His attorney, Michael Bartlett, repeated Friday that Jane asked for the drug.

Jane’s story is vastly different. In interviews with the Statesman, Jane outlined her claims that it was Goodrich’s idea to get the facials because he had one before. He also got a facial that day, she said.

Jane said Goodrich gave her the medication, telling her that the procedure would be very painful. Jane said he placed a crushed blue powder under her tongue, and she trusted him because he was a dentist.

After taking the drug, Jane said, she has no memory of the facial or of how she got home.

She was wearing a surgical garment that day from a previous, unrelated procedure, and said she would never have taken the garment off if she were in her normal state of mind. But when she woke up, it had been removed and blood was visible.

Goodrich was charged with the drug crime after separate allegations, later dropped, of child sexual abuse in Mountain Home. Both cases made news — but what wasn’t publicly known was Jane’s claim that she was sexually assaulted while impaired, one that prosecutors concluded couldn’t stand up in court, and a judge said Friday that he wasn’t convinced was true.

Mountain Home dentist John Goodrich, center, sits with his attorney, Michael Bartlett, in a Boise courtroom during Goodrich’s Friday sentencing for a felony count of distributing a controlled substance.

Reporting the crime

Jane filed a report with the Boise Police Department on Sept. 12, 2016, telling police that Goodrich gave her Halcion.

According to a heavily redacted version of the report given to the Statesman, Jane told police that Goodrich then had sex with her at her home while she was under the influence — though because of the drug, she said, she didn’t remember any of it.

She claimed Goodrich then left her unconscious at the home, and later apologized to her in a text message, the report states.

“I believe, based on my knowledge and my experience with him, that the reason for that drug is so that he can have a submissive person that he can do what he wants to,” she said.

The Federal Drug Administration lists Halcion as a drug used to treat certain kinds of insomnia. It’s also commonly used in sedation dentistry. Common side effects include memory loss, headache, difficulty with coordination and drowsiness. The agency’s medication guide states: “After taking Halcion, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.”

Goodrich had claimed in May that Jane was a patient of his when he gave her the sedative. He revised that claim in October.

Jane said she was never a patient. She said she met Goodrich on Match.com and they dated briefly, meeting around March 2016. Jane also claims that days before the facial, she told Goodrich she did not want to have sex with him. She maintains that she would not have changed her mind on that subject.

Shelley Akamatsu, an Ada County deputy prosecutor, told 4th District Judge Michael Reardon about the encounter and Jane’s claims during sentencing Friday. Asked after the hearing about the lack of sexual assault charges, Akamatsu said her office moved forward with the drug violation because it was what prosecutors could prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bartlett, Goodrich’s defense attorney, strongly rejects the suggestion that his client took advantage of Jane. Bartlett said Goodrich would never have raped a woman, and genuinely believed Jane wanted to have consensual sex. He said Goodrich also did not believe Jane was still intoxicated by the Halcion.

And regardless, he said, Goodrich couldn’t have been charged with rape anyway.

Idaho law defines rape as nonconsensual sex under a variety of provisions. The law outlines that a victim cannot consent to sex if he or she is unconscious or asleep, or if the victim “was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred.”

But even if a person does not remember what happened the next day, Bartlett said, they can be aware and able to give consent in the moment. He argued that was the case with Jane.

Jane said she finds that argument ridiculous. She believes that she was too intoxicated to say “yes” or “no” and that she was deliberately taken advantage of by Goodrich.

A prior accusation

Why did Jane go to police in September 2016?

Goodrich was arrested on Sept. 2 after a woman, now in her 30s, accused him of abusing her for several years in the mid-’90s. That woman, Lyn, told the Statesman that she had blocked out most of the memories, but began to remember the abuse again in 2015.

That year, Lyn confronted Goodrich and he went to his church to repent. He was then excommunicated — for five years, Bartlett said — from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after he confessed to inappropriate thoughts about the girl.

Eventually, Lyn reported the abuse to Mountain Home police.Goodrich was charged with lewd conduct with a minor younger than age 16. That’s a crime punishable by up to life in prison if convicted.

Both Jane and Akamatsu described calls Jane received — from Goodrich and from a member of his family — after Goodrich left jail, asking Jane to describe the July 2016 encounter as consensual.

Jane claimed Goodrich knew police were going to look through his phone records and find a text message from Jane saying, “I think you took advantage of me.” Bartlett argued the text was playful, with a smiley-face emoji behind it. Jane maintains she was not joking in the text message.

As a mother, Jane said, she felt obligated to go to police about what happened to her after learning Goodrich may have hurt a child, and because she worried there may be other victims. If it hadn’t been for the accusations of child abuse, Jane said, she might have just kept quiet.

Goodrich told police that he had once become aroused by Lyn when she was a girl, but did not touch her, according to a video of a Sept. 2, 2016, Mountain Home Police interview provided to the Statesman by Lyn’s attorney. Goodrich maintained that he never sexually abused the girl, and believed the girl had been coerced by family members into thinking abuse occurred.

Bartlett told the Statesman that his client took steps to deliberately distance himself from Lyn and avoid touching her. And Lyn’s sister told an investigator hired by Bartlett that she did not believe the abuse allegations, in part because locations and certain other details of her sister’s story had changed.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Goodrich said in the police video. “It was like an accident.”

Then-Elmore County Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Kuehn dismissed the lewd conduct charge on July 31, 2017, citing insufficient evidence. In September, Kuehn said that because the alleged crime happened about two decades ago, witnesses’ memories had aged and she decided the charge must be dismissed.

The Statesman could not confirm more information about why the case was dropped. Both Kuehn and former Elmore County Prosecutor Kristina Schindele now work for the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, where spokesman Scott Graf said it would be inappropriate for a deputy attorney general to comment on a county case. Elmore County’s new prosecutor, Daniel Page, said in November that his legal and ethical obligations prevent him from further expanding on the case. He also denied a request for Mountain Home Police records, including phone conversations that apparently implicated Goodrich, citing personal privacy protections.

Goodrich and his wife, Lorraine, went through a nearly two-year divorce starting in 2015. An affidavit from Bo Davies, his divorce attorney, claims that in the course of that case, Kuehn disclosed that Lorraine Goodrich asked her to “fabricate and lie” — to claim Goodrich had another victim, to keep the criminal charge involving Lyn from being dismissed. The affidavit, signed Dec. 15, 2017, was provided to the Idaho Statesman by Bartlett.

Sentenced as a deterrent

In court Friday, Goodrich fought tears as he expressed remorse for providing the Halcion.

“I’ve been devastated beyond words,” he told 4th District Judge Michael Reardon. “What I thought was an act of kindness has turned into a nightmare beyond description. I was sloppy and didn’t realize at the time that I was being sloppy, and the regret is indescribable.”

Reardon told Goodrich that because he improperly used his license to prescribe a controlled substance, his sentence needed to set a deterrent to other medical professions. The judge ordered that Goodrich immediately serve 10 days of his sentence in the Ada County Jail, and then 50 days in the Elmore County Jail on work release. The final 30 days were suspended, to be used if his probation officer required it.

But Reardon also said he did not believe Goodrich intended to rape Jane.

“It appears to me that while (Jane) characterized this at various times as a rape, in looking at the string of text messages between the two of them, I’m satisfied that while I don’t think it’s beyond doubt that there was a sexual event after the delivery of a controlled substance, I don’t think that the delivery of a controlled substance had anything to do with (rape), other than possibly lowering the victim’s inhibitions,” Reardon said in court. “… After reading all of this, I don’t think it was Mr. Goodrich’s intention to lower inhibitions to take sexual advantage of her.”

Goodrich was granted a withheld judgment, meaning that if he complies with the circumstances of his probation, he could go back before the court and ask to have the conviction dismissed.

Jane hopes that with a felony drug conviction, Goodrich will be forbidden from prescribing medication. “If that’s the case, then that takes away one of the tools of his trade,” she said.

Goodrich does still have a valid license to practice dentistry. But that could change: Michael Kane, the Idaho Board of Dentistry’s attorney, said in December that the board was waiting to consider action until Goodrich’s conviction was formally recorded.

Meanwhile, the Elmore abuse allegations live on in a civil suit. Bartlett argues that Lyn has changed her story several times and that the lawsuit is motivated by money. Lyn said she doesn’t expect to get money out of her lawsuit, but because the criminal charge was dropped, she feels “an obligation” to move forward with the civil case.

“It’s just another way for me to get the truth out,” she said, “to bring justice to my (abuser) and justice to me.””

 

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