HOBOKEN, N.J. — He's a standout football star at a New Jersey high school who's now been indicted for his alleged role in a group sexual assault in a room in the school building.
Administrators say that they have surveillance video proving quarterback Amir Goodwin's role in the crime, and detectives and prosecutors support that claim. Goodwin's family and their attorney, however, say that the accusations are false, and that he'll fight them vigorously.
People who know Goodwin, 18, are used to seeing him on the gridiron, where he's distinguished himself as a wide receiver in past years, and as a quarterback this year, his senior year.
The Star-Ledger listed him this season as a "Player To Watch," and he's developed a highlight reel and player photo for potential recruiters from college football programs.
However, the photo of Goodwin that circulated on Wednesday was from the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office. It was his mugshot. He's charged with a list of crimes, including aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child due to possession of child pornography.
That last charge is the result of claims by prosecutors that Goodwin recorded video on his cellphone of him and three other students pushing a 17-year-old girl into a room at Hoboken High School, exposing her genitalia and forcing her to perform a sex act.
The accusations are very different from the reputation Goodwin's family says he has. PIX11 News spoke with his mother, briefly.
“Just for the record,” she said, “he’s an awesome kid, awesome kid.” She also directed PIX11 News to speak further with their attorney, Adrienne Edward, of Jersey City. She said, in a telephone interview that Goodwin is a good student who “is going to fight these charges,” and “has never had any contact with police” in the past.
Goodwin’s three alleged accomplices now have contact with police. They face similar charges to those of Goodwin, except that because they’re age 16 and 17, they’re being prosecuted as juveniles.
“With adolescents these days,” said a neighbor of the school, who declined to give her name, but said she is a Hoboken High School alumna, “nothing surprises me. They need some mentors in their life to push them in the right direction.”
Other neighbors also expressed sadness and disappointment at the accusations, but not shock. “I’m not surprised,” said Nick Mastropascqua, a nearby resident. “And social media has disintegrated society to a certain extent.”
It is not clear whether or not any video of the alleged incident has been posted on social media. Goodwin’s attorney did insist, however, that her client was not charged as a recipient of a sexual act, as had been reported by other media outlets.
PIX11 did not receive any response from the Hoboken School District to our request for comment.