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Army: No evidence to prosecute police shooter in Hawaii

By Martha Mendoza

AP National Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:12 a.m. HST, Mar 15, 2013


SANTA CRUZ, Calif.>> A former soldier who killed two Santa Cruz police detectives last month was not prosecuted in Hawaii on two rape charges dating back to 2006 because there was not enough evidence, an Army spokesman said Thursday. 

DNA evidence failed to link victims to Jeremy Goulet, who gunned down the two detectives and was killed in a shootout on Feb. 26, said spokesman Lt. Col. S. Justin Platts. 

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and members of Congress have demanded investigations into why the military let Goulet leave the Army with an other-than-honorable discharge rather than face rape charges. 

Platts said that prosecutors in Honolulu declined to charge Goulet with a count of rape in April 2006 because fingerprints and DNA taken from rape kits did not tie Goulet to the victim. 

In that case, an Army 1st lieutenant said a man entered her off-base apartment through an open window and raped her while she was sleeping on her couch, Platts said. The woman had been drinking and couldn’t identify Goulet as her attacker, he said.

Dave Koga, a spokesman for the Honolulu prosecutor’s office, said Thursday that their database showed no actions in regards to Goulet. He said a record would exist if Honolulu police had brought a case that prosecutors declined. 

Army officials declined to prosecute a second rape charge in July 2006 because “throughout the investigation, the victim was unable to identify Goulet as her assailant” and DNA testing excluded Goulet, said Platts. 

In that case, an Army private told authorities she was raped by a man she thought was a warrant officer in an empty barracks room when she was too intoxicated to consent. Goulet was the staff duty officer at her barracks that night, said Platts. 

Honolulu attorney Donald Wilkerson, who says he represented Goulet for both two rape cases in 2006, said he dealt only with the Army and didn’t remember any contact with Honolulu police or the prosecuting attorney’s office about Goulet. 

Wilkerson declined to say whether Goulet thought there were merits to either accusation. 

“We wanted the rape charges dropped and at some point, the Army became willing to drop them if we agreed to the other-than-honorable discharge,” Wilkerson said. “My argument to them was they didn’t have enough (evidence) and that’s why I felt they should drop it.”

Platts said that without evidence or a positive identification, the Army accepted Goulet’s resignation in lieu of a court-martial in January 2007. 

Goulet’s father, 64-year-old Ronald Goulet, told The Associated Press after the Santa Cruz shootings that his son’s aspirations to be an Army helicopter pilot were dashed by what he saw as an unfair criminal prosecution in Hawaii. He said Jeremy described himself as the victim in the rape accusations. 

“He said he had a detail and was put in charge of the barracks for a week. He was on duty doing that when this girl who was drunk plopped herself in his lap and said she wanted to have sex,” Ronald Goulet said. “He had keys to a vacant room, and they went there and had sex.”

The father reiterated the Army spokesman’s statement, saying that when the rape charges were dropped after DNA failed to link him to the alleged crime, his son thought the case should be dropped. But the prosecutor persisted on other charges, and Goulet was released from the Army with a general discharge.

In the years following his discharge, Goulet was arrested on a variety of charges, and had served two years in prison in Oregon.  

———

Associated Press writer Oskar Garcia in Honolulu and Jason Dearen in San Francisco contributed to this report. 






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