Goins talks spiritual transformation at sex assault trial

Trial resumes for E. Gaston High wrestling coach

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- Scott Goins was back on the stand in his own defense Monday.

He told the jury he regrets certain actions during his coaching tenure after having a spiritual transformation. The former East Gaston High School wrestling coach faces multiple child sex charges.

"After my submission to Christ there's a lot of things that I look back at and I regret it," said Goins.

Even though Scott Goins told the jury he would change some coaching tactics, he did not admit to wrongdoing during his time as coach. Goins responded to criticism of a reckless program of physical abuse on smaller wrestlers saying wrestlers never came to him for hazing to stop.

"I just assumed that they were doing what they wanted to do," said Goins.

Earlier in the day the defense called former wrestler Ben Hart, who wrestled with two of the accusers. Hart testified he slept in the same bed as Goins during trips and never witnessed anything inappropriate.

"Defense Attorney Brent Ratchford: Were you ever touched in an inappropriate way?

Hart: Uh, no sir.

Ratchford: You ever see anyone touched in an inappropriate way?

Hart: Not sexual at all."

When asked about a hazing incident where older wrestlers forced younger wrestlers to allegedly suck on hot dogs, Goins said it was to get rid of feeble-minded athletes.

"Contrary to what the state's position is, it was meant to weed out weak wrestlers that we could take advantage of. The purpose of hazing is generally to find out the wrestlers who are weak so they can be called, because we want the tougher wrestlers to stay in the program," said Goins.

Goins finished the day by talking about his relationship with one of the accusers, and said he appreciated his wrestling mentality and took him under his wing.

Later, Goins testified he had to remove one of the accusers off his coaching staff because of misconduct.

The state did not get a chance to cross-examine Goins.

The trial resumes Tuesday.


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