Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

January 19, 2013

Goemaat sentenced, denies guilt

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — Though found guilty by a jury on Nov. 14, 2012, Victoria Marie Goemaat, 38, says she did not commit the crime for which she was sentenced on Friday. 

Goemaat was tried for the crime of prohbited acts related to a prescription drug offense. She, with the help of her attorney, Tom Gall, was seeking a deferred judgment in this case, to have it cleared from her record after a period of time. Including this case, Goemaat has a felony, four simple misdemeanor and four serious misdemeanor arrests on her record. 

"This has massive consequences in today's society," Gall said. He explained the concerns regarding future difficulty landing employment and other challenges Goemaat will face if this remains on her record. Goemaat herself was remorseful for the crime.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I don't know what else to say. I didn't do it. I did not do this. I don't want this on my record, I'll do anything you ask me to do." 

Assistant Marion County Attorney Tiffany Kragnes said the State had offered Goemaat a plea agreement, including one for a deferred judgment, before the case went to trial. Those agreements expired. Kragnes sought 10 years in prison, to be suspended, in favor of three years' probation. She also asked the court to impose a fine, court costs and fees. 

Kragnes went on to say that, though it appears Goemaat is now "clean," she continues to not accept responsibility for her crime. At the same time, Kragnes agreed with Gall, and the presentence investigator, that incarceration was not the best option for Goemaat. 

"One of the critical elements of rehabilitation is acknowledging (a crime was committed)," Judge Terry Rickers said. He added that a jury of Goemaat's peers was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that she was guilty of a crime.

"And I need to respect that," Rickers added. 

Rickers followed the recommended sentence of 10 years, suspended, and three years' probation. Her license has been revoked for 180 days, must undergo a substance abuse evaluation and follow through any treatment recommendations.