Tuesday, April 29, 1999

Martin O'Hanlon

p. A7.

MLA convicted of trying to buy sex from prostitute, 14

REGINA — With his wife looking on stoically, a member of the Saskatchewan legislature was convicted yesterday for a seamy dashboard encounter with an underage hooker.

Jack Goohsen, 56, showed no emotion as a Queen's Bench judge found him guilty of trying to buy sex from the 14-year-old part-time prostitute.

Judge Darla Hunter said she couldn't accept Goohsen's testimony that he was simply being a Good Samaritan when he picked the girl up in his car and drove her to an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Regina.

"Within minutes of her getting into his car, he should have been aware that she was — in the business of offering sex," Hunter said.

"Accordingly — I find Jack Goohsen guilty."

In January, the court heard two radically different accounts of what happened late on night in April, 1997, when police found Goohsen and the girl in the parking lot of the abandoned factory.

The girl, whose identity is protected by court order, testified that she got into the car with a man after he offered her $40 for oral sex.

She couldn't identify Goohsen, but the defence didn't dispute that he was the car driver. The girl, who is now 16, said Goohsen drove her to an isolated area that another young prostitute had shown him.

Once there, she said Goohsen felt her breasts and vagina. She said he then pulled down his pants and she was about to perform oral sex when a police cruiser approached.

Constable Herve Millette of the RCMP said that when he walked up to the car Goohsen's pants didn't appear to be on properly and the girl had one leg out of her jeans.

Goohsen denied his pants were askew and offered a completely different version of events. He testified that he was merely helping the girl after she flagged down his car on a city street and pleaded for a ride to her group home.

Goohsen, an Independent who represents the rural riding of Cypress Hills, said the girl duped him into driving to the factory by giving him false directions to her group home.

Goohsen said he was shocked when they reached the site and the girl offered to perform oral sex for $60.

In her judgement, Hunter said that although she had doubts about some of the girl's testimony, she also didn't believe much of Goohsen's story.

A sentencing hearing is held June 29. Goohsen could face up to five years in prison, but he is unlikely to receive much jail time, if any.

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Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: January 19, 2001
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