Sex offender changes plea in last minute deal with prosecutor

A convicted sex offender accused of violating the terms of his parole will likely spend more time in the Colusa County Jail when he is sentenced on Nov. 14.

John Justice Goodman, 80, of Colusa, pleaded no contest on Oct. 10 to possessing child pornography.

The 11th hour change of plea from not guilty to no contest occurred in Colusa County Superior Court on the day of Goodman’s scheduled preliminary hearing, in which deputies from the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department were present and prepared to publicly unveil the description and amount of pornographic images found on Goodman’s computer that depicted minors under the age of 18 personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct.

The no contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, will carry the same weight in punnishment as a guilty plea, said Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson.

Goodman was originally convicted in 2010 of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. He served four years in prison and was released in 2015, according to the California Megan’s Law website, where he is required to register for life.

Goodman had been out of prison two years when a Colusa County Sheriff’s Deputy arrested him for possessing child pornography, which Goodman admitted to last week through his attorney Michael Wise, of Sacramento, when he agreed to accept the plea deal offered by the Colusa County District Attorney’s office.

Goodman anticipates a sentence of one year in jail on the felony child pornography charge, which came with a special felony enhancement because of his previous conviction.

He also anticipates probation of up to five years and fines up to $20,000 on each of the two felonies, although Judge Thompson will have the final say after he reviews the sentencing report.

Following his arrest Oct. 30, 2017, Goodman served almost six months in jail prior to being allowed out on bail, which will be applied as credit against his new sentence.  Had the case gone to trial, Goodman could have – if convicted – faced California’s harsher penalties under California’s three strikes law for persistent sex offenders, officials said.