A high-risk sex offender who was the subject of a FOX Undercover investigation catches a major break in court today that will let him stay out of prison.
Ralph Goodwin was freed last year after spending some 20 years behind bars for kidnapping and raping a seven-year-old boy from Lowell.
Goodwin was back in court today, accused of violating his probation by drinking alcohol. Probation officials told the judge that Goodwin initially denied drinking until he was confronted with the findings of a blood alcohol test.
If the judge sent Goodwin to prison, the only sentence available was 30 to 40 years. But the judge said that was too much, and instead ordered an alcohol monitoring device to be installed in Goodwin's home.
Laurie Myers, an advocate for victims of sexual assault, was in court today along with the victim's mother.
" The reason why he kidnapped and raped her child was because of alcohol. Now we have him admit to drinking alcohol. It was detected in his bloodstream and yet he gets another break. So what next? Does he have to molest another kid?" she said after the hearing.
The state's highest court weighed in on Goodwin's case last month, saying sex offenders cannot be forced to wear GPS devices as a condition of their release unless it's part of their original sentence.
However, Goodwin is currently wearing a GPS device because he already violated his probation this past summer.