Prosecutors were forced to dismiss a potential rape case due to a lack of evidence to support the suspect’s statements despite having the Greenbrier man’s confession.
William Allen Goulet, 26, was previously held behind bars in lieu of a $1 million bond pending an investigation that launched in April 2019. Authorities launched an investigation against the then-25-year-old after he told two separate law enforcement agencies he’d molested three of his four children.
The Greenbrier man was held behind bars in lieu of a $1 million bond before being released from the Faulkner County Detention Center 60 days later. Arkansas law allows authorities to hold a suspect on felony-level charges for up to 60 days before formally filing charges.
A review hearing regarding the potential case was held earlier this month in Faulkner County Circuit Court. During the hearing, senior deputy prosecutor Hugh Finkelstein announced the 20th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was dismissing the case against Goulet due to “a lack of evidence.”
“We move to nolle pros at this time,” Finkelstein said Jan. 6. “If there is more evidence that surfaces, we will refile.”
After the case was dismissed, the Log Cabin Democrat obtained Goulet’s case file via the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
According to the case file, Goulet went to the Conway Police Department “just after midnight” on April 25, 2019. Goulet went to the police department because he “wanted to confess to a crime.”
The Greenbrier man told authorities he had been “molesting his children” and said he wanted to come clean. Before confessing to authorities, Goulet confided in his wife. After learning about the inappropriate relations, Goulet’s then-wife kicked him out of the couple’s home. On April 23, 2019, the two spoke to their pastor about the matter and were instructed to reach out to law enforcement, according to a report.
Goulet told Conway officer Chad E. Wilson and Sgt. Melissa Smith that he would molest his three oldest children while his wife was at work. The two worked for the same company. However, he “works in cement and on rainy days, he would stay home with the children,” the report states.
In his confession, Goulet admitted to performing oral sex on three of his four children and said he also performed anal intercourse on one of the children. Goulet told the officers the child “was in pain and cried throughout he incident” and that the child “was timid around him for several days.”
Wilson questioned Goulet about possible triggers he may have that caused him to molest the children. However, the Greenbrier man said he had “never watched child pornograpy and that he hasn’t watched adult pornography ‘in ages.’”
In his statement, Goulet said the children often “began crying” when he sexually violated them.
According to his statement, he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the alleged incidents happened.
Because the incidents reportedly occurred out of CPD’s jurisdiction, the Conway officers asked Goulet if he would drive to Greenbrier that night to file a report with local police. Goulet agreed to drive to Greenbrier and file a second report.
During the second confession, Goulet told Greenbrier officer John Hendricks he’d performed sexual acts on the children “over a period of a couple of years.”
Goulet began the sexual relationship with the children by “kissing them on the lips” and said he molested the three children at least three times each. The oldest child would have been 2 or 3 years old when the alleged abuse began, according to Goulet’s statement.
According to the medical examinations conducted in this case, there were no “physical findings” of abuse.
Finkelstein said that because there was no evidence to support Goulet’s statements, the prosecutor’s office could not move forward with formal charges at this time, citing Arkansas § 16-89-111.
According to Arkansas law, a confession cannot and does not warrant an individuals conviction without further proof the offense was committed.
The confession must be supported “by substantial independent evidence that would tend to establish the trustworthiness of the confession,” the law reads in part.
Online records show that a circuit judge has since approved a 10-year protection order that bars Goulet from communicating with the children or their mother.
Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at email@example.com.