UPDATE: Wife of indicted state lawmaker releases statement

Update:  September 28, 2020:

EAST BERNSTADT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The wife of indicted state lawmaker Robert Goforth released a statement Monday saying she never wanted her husband criminally charged.

The Republican representative is accused of threatening to kill his wife, hog-tie her and strangle her with a computer chord while the couple’s children were home, according to his arrest citation.

He was indicted on charges of strangulation and assault, according to the Corbin Times-Tribuen.  Robert Goforth has pleaded not guilty.

In her statement, Ashley Goforth, says she and her husband have reconciled.  Her statement in its entirety is below:

“Robert and I both deeply regret the incident that occurred last April. We were reconciled within days after it happened, and Robert and I have lived together at our home with our children since that time.  It was my strong desire that my husband not be charged with any offenses, and I formally communicated that to the Commonwealth’s Attorney and grand jury in Laurel County.  Robert is a loving husband and father who goes above and beyond for his family. We have both sought spiritual and family counseling as we continue to work on our personal issues as a married couple.  It has been a difficult year, but we are thankful for the grace and compassion of a loving God. It has sustained us.”

Robert Goforth is up for re-election in the 89th District, which is made up of Jackson County and parts of Laurel and Madison counties.

Ashley Goforth from Facebook


Story from September 22, 2020 below:

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – An embattled Republican state lawmaker is indicted for assaulting a woman in April, increasing the calls for his resignation.

Ironically, 44-year-old 89th District state Rep. Robert Goforth was indicted by the Laurel County Grand Jury under a law for which he voted which made strangulation a more serious offense and easier to prosecute.

The Grand Jury indicted Goforth, of East Bernstadt, on one count of first-degree strangulation and one count of fourth-degree assault, according to the Corbin Times-Tribune newspaper.

The indictment was handed down Friday.

As previously reported, Goforth was arrested early o the morning of April 21 after a woman went to London’s 911 Dispatch Center and told deputies she’d been assaulted ad choked with a computer cord. The woman told deputies Goforth had threatened to kill her and ‘hog tie” her, and she had marks on her neck, arms and forehead, according to court documents filed at the time.

Three children were at the home during the incident, the Times-Tribune reported.

An Army veteran and pharmacist, Goforth, who was first elected to the General Assembly in 2018, ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in the 2019 primary, getting 39 percent of the vote despite an accusation by a woman that Goforth ad had bee part of a sexual assault against her years earlier.

At the time of his arrest, state Democrats called for him to resign. Those calls came again in August after his preliminary hearing. They only have been amplified since the indictment.

“State Representative Goforth should have resigned back in April and his party should have taken action against him when he refused to do so,” Marisa McNee, a spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party, said in a statement, according to the Herald-Leader. “This is not the first time a victim of Mr. Goforth’s violent assaults has come forward. Republican Leadership has ignored this for far too long, it is time for them to take action. Goforth needs to go.”

Goforth’s Democratic challenger in November’s general election also called on Goforth to step down.

“I am calling on Mr. Goforth to resign from office and withdrawal from this race immediately. This district has suffered enough embarrassment and bad press over this affair. Mr. Goforth needs to remain focused on his legal case, Domestic Violence issues, and marriage. He can no longer effectively represent the citizens of the 89th District,” Democrat Mike VanWinkle said in a post on his campaign Facebook page.
Those comments prompted others to call on the Kentucky Education Association to rescind its endorsement of Goforth.
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