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Man found guilty of rape

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MALONE — A jury took only 26 minutes to convict a Constable man of 14 counts of rape and child endangerment Friday in Franklin County Court after a five-day trial.

Donald Gokey, 24, was found guilty of four counts of first-degree rape, five counts of first-degree criminal sexual act and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He had sex with a then-12-year-old on numerous occasions between January and March 2011.

Gokey jumped bail and fled to Alabama after his June 2011 arrest. He was extradited after attempting to flee the scene of an unrelated arrest. State police said at the time that he had to be tasered and also provided a false identity to Alabama authorities.

District Attorney Derek P. Champagne said the prosecution’s case rested primarily on three factors: the victim’s testimony about the sex acts, DNA evidence, and inappropriate and graphic text messages from Gokey on the victim’s phone.

“This case is about a little 12-year-old girl with a dalmatian blanket on her bed who was twisted and manipulated by a 22-year-old worldly adult into thinking that ... sex with the defendant was not only (acceptable), but worse yet that it was love, it was a Cinderella (story),” Mr. Champagne’s summation statement reads.

The victim’s testimony included graphic details of multiple sex acts between her and Gokey that Mr. Champagne argued were just too specific and detailed for a 12-year-old mind to fabricate.

The statement adds that forensic specialists were able to determine that bedsheets contained the victim’s and Gokey’s DNA intermingled. A serologist, who specializes in analyzing bodily fluids, was able to identify the substance as semen and a scientist was able to prove there is a one in 300 billion chance that the DNA was not Gokey’s.

When he is sentenced March 6, he could face up to 100 years behind bars. Mr. Champagne said the judge could allow several of the charges, which each carries a 25-year maximum penalty, to run consecutively.

“It’s always difficult when the defense is confronted with DNA,” Gokey’s attorney, Edward F. Narrow of Syracuse, said, adding that the DNA, text messages and testimony created a “solid” case against his client.

At the end of the day, Mr. Narrow said, he feels the verdict was “a fair resolution” that was based upon “quality of evidence.”

“Obviously we’re pleased with the verdict,” Mr. Champagne said. “It was a tragedy for the victim and the victim’s family and we’re hoping for a lengthy and appropriate sentence in light of his predatory assault on the victim.”

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