Judge denies bond for suspected serial rapist

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Wearing a neck brace and looking visibly wounded, 37-year-old Vincent Gerald Goff walked slowly into the courtroom at the Harrison County Jail Wednesday morning.  Authorities say the staples in his head, black eye, and broken ribs are from a beating he received from his latest sexual assault victim.

As he stood before Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain, Goff heard the long list of charges against him.

"You've been charged with kidnapping, sexual battery, molesting, kidnapping, sexual battery, sexual battery, kidnapping and kidnapping," Judge Albert Fountain read.

One case dates back to February 2006. The sheriff said a couple was kidnapped with a gun and sexually assaulted by a masked man while camping off Three Rivers Road.

A month later, a similar attack occurred at the same site. That case involved a man and a 14-year-old girl who were kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

Then last week, Goff was arrested after deputies said he kidnapped a man and a woman and tried to sexually assault them. Investigators said the male victim managed to grab the rifle from Goff and beat him.

Now, Goff is a suspect in a fourth sexual assault.  That attack happened last year, also at the Three Rivers location.

"We're definitely taking a look at him for the '08 case. We feel we're going to be able to link him to that one. We have some other evidence that we're looking at and we're waiting for results on that," Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said.

Judge Fountain initially set Goff's bond at $7 million on all 14 charges.  However, after investigators upgraded one of the sexual battery charges to rape, the judge denied bond because rape can carry a life sentence.

"Do you understand that if you're convicted of these charges, you can serve time in the state penitentiary?" Judge Fountain asked Goff.

"Yes sir," Goff replied softly.

Goff now sits in isolation in the Harrison County jail.  The next step is the preliminary hearing.

"Get it to trial as quick as we can," Brisolara said. "Get him out of here, get him in Parchman where he belongs."

D'Iberville Police said Goff is also a suspect in the attempted sexual assault of a woman two months ago. He also faces indecent exposure and petty larceny charges in Harrison County following his arrest in May.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.