Sunday, July 14, 2024

Pender County man pleads guilty to sexual assault, possession of a firearm by a felon

Arthur Goulette
Arthur Goulette

A Pender County man was sentenced to more than eight years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual assault and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Arthur Jay Goulette, 45, of Burgaw, pleaded guilty in Pender County Superior Court on Thursday to second-degree sexual offense and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to District Attorney Ben David. Superior Court Judge Doug Parsons sentenced Goulette to 100-180 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred at Goulette’s home on Highway 53 east in Burgaw on April 14, 2012. The victim suffered several injuries, including bruising and a broken nose, David said. Goulette was arrested and charged in connection with the incident on April 19, 2012.

While investigating the victim’s allegations, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office found Goulette to be in possession of a shotgun in his bedroom. He was previously convicted in 2004 of robbery with a dangerous weapon in New Hanover County and was prohibited from possessing a firearm, David said.

The case was continued for more than two years because the defendant was originally found incompetent to stand trial, David said. He was treated while incarcerated at the Central Regional Hospital in Bunter until he was well enough to enter Thursday’s plea.

“Today’s plea would not have resulted in the defendant’s years of incarceration and decades on the sex offender registry without a victim coming forward to report her sexual abuse. She is to be commended for her bravery,” David said.

Following his release from prison, Goulette is required to register as a sex offender for 30 years.

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