SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 25, 2013

Salem man standing trial in '07 rape claim

SALEM — When the 5-year-old girl, still in her pajamas, walked downstairs to “Big Rich’s” room one morning nearly six years ago, “she didn’t know she was walking into a nightmare,” a prosecutor told jurors yesterday.

Richard Gouker’s lawyer, meanwhile, argued that it wasn’t the little girl’s nightmare, but “every man’s nightmare, to have a little girl testify to acts like this,” acts that Gouker denies.

Gouker, 61, of 2 Marion Road, Salem, went on trial yesterday in Salem Superior Court on a charge of child rape, more than five years after he was first charged.

The girl, now 11, described to jurors how she went to Gouker’s room in the basement of his Salem home on the morning of Aug. 5, 2007.

“He had a big TV,” she told jurors. He later explained how big: 51 inches, he testified. Sometimes she would go to his room to watch it.

But on that morning, Gouker was there, she said. She soon found herself being undressed, she said, Gouker telling her not to say anything or else he would kill her mother.

The girl paused as she described what happened next. Gouker climbed on top of her, she said.

“Did it hurt?” asked prosecutor James Gubitose.

“Yes,” the girl said.

But she kept quiet, she said, fearing for her mother.

The girl’s mother later told jurors that after she underwent cancer surgery and could not work, she was forced to move with the girl to Gouker’s home.

Gouker later testified that he felt “obligated” to take them in. “She (the girl’s mother) was my girlfriend’s daughter,” he said.

Mother and daughter shared a pullout sofa bed in a room they referred to as “the library,” the girl’s mother said, making air quotes as she used the word. She paid Gouker rent from her disability insurance checks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Comments Tracker