Former Talent Councilman Goyette sentenced in plea deal

Former Talent City Councilman Dan Goyette must serve three years of supervised probation and 120 hours of community service for attempting to take nude photographs of a 17-year-old family member.

Thursday morning, in Jackson County Circuit Court, Goyette entered an Alford plea on a felony charge of coercion. In such a plea, the defendant doesn't admit to the crime, but admits that the prosecution could prove the charge.

His attorney, Jeni Feinberg, said her client engaged in behavior that was "a horrible violation of trust."

The case started in August 2011. Police reports said Goyette tried to convince a teenage relative to go into the woods so he could take pictures of her naked.

The victim told Goyette, " 'I don't want any part of this. It's creepy'," Feinberg told Judge Lorenzo Mejia at the sentencing.

Mejia accepted the plea agreement, and ordered Goyette to have no contact with minors except for incidental, work-related contact. Goyette owns Downtowne Coffee House in Talent.

Mejia also warned Goyette he can't work or volunteer at schools, playgrounds or any place children would be expected to congregate, possess "sexually stimulating" materials or utilize social-networking sites without the consent of his probation officer.

"Goyette will be required to undergo sex offender evaluation and possible treatment. He must also submit to searches and polygraph testing," said Jackson County prosecutor Adam Peterson.

Feinberg said Goyette entered therapy before police were involved in the case.

"He recognized how inappropriate the situation was," she said.

Mejia told Goyette that even articulating his thoughts about what he wanted to do with the young girl was a "huge violation of trust," even if he didn't follow through with his plans.

"I think creepy about sums this up," Mejia said.

Goyette must move to a location more than three miles away from the girl. He has 30 days to move, Mejia said.

Peterson said the teen and her family agreed to Goyette's plea to spare the teen further pain from going to trial. Goyette can't attempt to expunge this felony conviction from his criminal record for five years, Peterson added.

"We found evidence he was intending to follow through with going out into the woods to take naked pictures," Peterson said.

The victim and her mother spoke prior to sentencing.

The teen said she had looked to Goyette for guidance. He repaid her with "damage and trickery," and attempted to isolate her from her friends and family.

"You betrayed my trust," she said.

The mother said her daughter's sense of innocence has been stolen by a man she should have been able to trust and has been replaced with fear and doubts about the true motives of others.

"Now she doesn't trust herself. She doesn't trust others," the mother said.

Goyette thanked his wife and Feinberg for standing by him before addressing the victim and her family.

"I am sorry," Goyette said to the victim. "I want you to know, I'm not mad at you."

Goyette went on to say he never intended to hurt the teen or her family, and that his attempts to discuss the matter with them were rebuffed.

Mejia told Goyette he should have begun his brief statement by apologizing to the victim, whom he said was generous to agree to the plea bargain. The judge also urged the girl not to allow this incident to rob her of her ability to trust others.

"It would be a very difficult life for you if you decide not to trust anyone," Mejia said.

Sanne Specht is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach her at 541-776-4497 or email

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