DA: ‘Supporters Had No Idea'

Inside a Vista courtroom Thursday, a man who served as a principal and school administrator at three North County schools admitted to sexually abusing a child for years, contradicting dozens of letters sent to the defense attorney in support of the defendant.

Robert Melvin Goode Jr., 59, hung his head and looked at the floor as a judge asked him about his guilty plea to two counts that will put him behind bars for 12 years.

Goode admitted to continuous sexual abuse of a child and forcible oral copulation of a child. The abuse of the victim allegedly began when the child was 8 years of age and continued for the past 6 years, according to investigators.

The plea agreement was reached and supported by prosecutors and family members who wanted to protect the identity of the victim in this case.

"Had we gone to trial, we could have added dozens of charges," said Jodi Breton, Deputy District Attorney. "Supporters [of Mr. Goode] had no idea the severity of the case."

"This was far more than fondling a child," she said.

Through the DA's office, the family released a statement calling today's change in plea "a day of solidarity for victims of sexual crimes." Adding, "We are satisfied with the outcome as it means our daughter will not have to testify."

Goode Jr. recently resigned from his post as a senior administrator at three North County schools, according to a statement from the Classical Academy organization. The schools include The Classical Academy in Escondido and the Classical Academy High School in Escondido, where he was the Chief Executive Officer. He also worked at the Coastal Academy in Oceanside. Goode was also the High School Principal at Tri-City Christian School in Vista between 1983 thru 1994.

A statement released after Goode's arrest from the Classical Academies said officials were "shocked" to learn about the allegations against Goode.

Dozens of North County residents wrote letters to the defense in support of Goode, according to Breton. "Everyone seems to hate child molesters unless it's someone they know," she said.

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