Press-Republican

March 7, 2013

Rapist gets 40 years in prison

By DENISE A. RAYMO
Press-Republican

---- — MALONE — A Constable man was sentenced to 40 years in state prison Wednesday for repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl three years ago.

Donald J. Gokey, 25, was convicted on 13 charges, including four counts of first-degree rape, five counts of criminal sexual act and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The case involved a girl he encountered while temporarily staying in the Constable area.

It took the jury 26 minutes to reach a verdict at his December 2012 trial.

BRIEF APOLOGY

Gokey appeared for sentencing Wednesday before Acting Franklin County Court Judge Kathleen Rogers and said, “I apologize for my actions.”

But when she asked him to elaborate about what he meant, Gokey shrugged his shoulders and remained quiet.

Rogers said, “That’s not much for an apology,” whereby defense attorney Edward Narrow leaned in to his client and whispered.

Gokey then added, “I’m sorry for the pain and suffering.”

The judge said Gokey has taken no responsibility for his actions and that he could have taken a plea and spared his victim “the horrible humiliation” of telling a courtroom full of people — including the jury, court officers and spectators — the graphic details of what happened to her.

CLAIMED TEACHING

Rogers noted that Gokey was very articulate when he took the stand during the trial and gave his version of what had happened, which was “contrary to the evidence.”

District Attorney Derek Champagne said Gokey was caught when a member of the girl’s family saw sexually explicit text messages on her phone and questioned her about it.

Gokey, who fled the area and had to be extradited from Alabama, was sentenced to 10 years on each rape count, seven years for each sex-act count and one year in County Jail on each endangerment count.

The sex-act and endangerment terms are to be served concurrently to the rape counts.

He was also ordered to serve 20 years of post-release supervision and to pay a $1,000 fine and $425 in assorted court surcharges and fees.

An order of protection that will expire March 6, 2013, was issued for the victim and her family.

COURAGE CITED

“The judge was dead-on,” said Champagne. “And the courage of that girl to go before that jury and tell what happened, I couldn’t be more proud.”

In the gallery witnessing the sentencing were the victim, seven members of her family and several law-enforcement officers who came for the conclusion of the case.

“We were pleased with the entire investigation,” the DA said, describing Gokey’s actions as “twisted and manipulative.”

The prosecutor said the girl has “scars that will never heal” and urged Rogers to sentence Gokey to at least 65 years behind bars.

He said sentencing is weighed using five factors but that rehabilitation is not possible in this case.

“There is no way to rehabilitate these (kinds of) people. That’s a farce,” Champagne said. “That’s why this sentence was appropriate.”

Email Denise A. Raymo: draymo@pressrepublican.com