Prosecutors were forced to drop several charges against a man accused of raping his ex-girlfriend after she changed her testimony while under oath.
Cory Blaine Goss, 23, was initially charged with rape, second-degree domestic battery, first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and kidnapping. On Nov. 8, he pleaded guilty to second-degree domestic battery and was sentenced to seven years in prison. All other charges were dropped.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jordan Crews said the victim’s testimony was the main evidence against Goss. However, over time her accusations against him changed.
Prosecuting Attorney Luke Ferguson said without being able to use the victim’s testimony, the prosecutor’s office could no longer seek justice for the crimes Goss allegedly committed.
"While I’m glad the defendant will be going to prison, the seven-year sentence he received is significantly less than what his actions deserve," Ferguson said.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Faulkner County Circuit Court in late April, Goss was jailed after his former girlfriend said he beat her while she was holding their infant son. She initially told authorities he did this before forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
When Conway officers responded to Davis Street on Dec. 26, 2016, regarding a domestic disturbance, they encountered a woman with "two black eyes, lacerations around her mouth and bruising all over her face," the affidavit states.
The woman told officers Goss was responsible for her injuries.
She said she kicked Goss out of her home four days prior and that he later returned, forcing his way into the apartment.
The woman told officers Goss "used a butane torch to burn her on the hand while she was holding their infant son …. [and that he] then started stomping on her feet while she was still holding the infant child [on Dec. 23].
"The burn on her hand put the baby at risk of being burned, potentially coming into contact with the child’s clothing. It also posed the risk of her dropping the child while being burned, or potentially falling with the child still in her arms while he stomped on her feet. This would have caused serious injury or death [to] the small child."
Goss later returned on Christmas Eve and again forced himself into the apartment, the affidavit states.
The woman told police she thought it was Goss’s mother coming to the apartment to pick up the children for Christmas. However, when she answered the door, Goss pushed his way in, began beating her and forced her give him oral sex, she initially reported.
"He told her that he ‘wanted what everyone else was getting,’" the affidavit reads.
The affidavit also notes the woman "suffered two black eyes, one swollen completely shut, a broken tooth, severe bruising on her face, swollen jaw, and bruising on her legs."
Because the victim later changed her testimony to say the oral sex was consensual and that she allowed Goss into her home, prosecutors were forced to drop the rape, first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and kidnapping charges previously filed against Goss.
Ferguson said he believes the woman’s initial statement to police was truthful, but that his office simply could not move forward because her testimony changed while under oath.
"Unfortunately, the victim became uncooperative as the case moved forward," he said. "Without her consistent testimony, we were unable to prove the most serious charges in court, even though we believe those events occurred as they were originally reported."