Convicted killer indicted for attempt rape and assault

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


A Mahoning County grand jury has handed up multiple counts in an indictment against a city man who spent 25 years in prison, then purportedly attempted to rape and assault a woman less than two years after his release.

James Gooden, 57, of Lakeview Avenue, has been indicted on charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, attempted rape and felonious assault with sexual-predator and repeat violent-offender specifications attached to the charges.

Gooden is charged in the attack and attempted rape of a 21-year-old West Side woman last week.

According to police reports, Gooden went to the home of a neighbor shortly after 11 a.m., carrying a box of candy he said he wanted to give to the victim’s children. The victim invited Gooden into the house.

The victim, who was on the phone speaking with her mother at the time of the incident, told Gooden to put the box of candy on a nearby table. After putting down the candy, Gooden purportedly grabbed the woman, held a long kitchen knife to her throat and began walking her toward the back of the house.

The victim told police Gooden ordered her to take off all of her clothes, but the victim told Gooden that her children were in the house and she would at least like to shut the door.

As Gooden walked her toward the door, she pushed him onto a sofa, and they began to struggle.

The smaller and much- lighter victim was cut on the hand during the struggle but managed to escape the house and run to a neighbor’s home where she called police.

Gooden was convicted of the 1986 stabbing death and rape of a Youngstown woman.

He served 25 years in prison on those charges and was released in late 2011.

The indictment says Gooden also was convicted of aggravated robbery and felonious assault in Madison County in the late 1970s.

Gooden likely will be arraigned in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in two weeks.

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