State v. Goff

In State v. Goff, 203 W.Va. 516, 509 S.E.2d 557 (1998), the defendant testified at trial and denied having any involvement in the sexual crime with which he was charged. The jury returned a verdict finding the defendant guilty of sexual assault in the first degree. At the sentencing hearing, the defendant exercised his right of allocution and spoke at length denying his guilt. The trial court sentenced the defendant to thirty-five years of imprisonment and stated: "I'm rejecting any motion of probation. I'm further rejecting any other matters concerning a lesser sentence or referral to the youthful offenders facility.... You, sir, will not admit the crime you have been convicted of. Therefore there is no rehabilitation." (203 W.Va. at 519, 509 S.E.2d at 560.) Thereafter, the defendant filed a motion for reconsideration of the sentence in which he admitted his offense. The trial court denied the motion and stated as one of its reasons for doing so: "The Court looking at the age of the victim and the defendant's refusal to admit his crime and show remorse during the trial, at sentencing, and only reversing his posture for purposes of the hearing for reconsideration leads the Court to believe that the original sentence imposed is appropriate." (203 W.Va. at 520, 509 S.E.2d at 561.)