The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office has created a new position to solely handle sexual assault cases within the county.
Delaware County Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel said creating the position of special victims prosecutor to focus on crimes against children is of special importance. The office has previously created specialized prosecutor positions for drug crimes and for domestic violence cases.
“Child victims need and should have a dedicated prosecutor throughout the entire criminal justice process, and now our children will have a prosecutor who is particularly knowledgeable and passionate about fighting for them,” Schiffel said. “These cases can be complex, often involving multiple offenses over a period of time. We need a specialized team in place to not only get justice and protect our children from further harm, but also to offer emotional support through the process and resources for healing after court. Having a dedicated prosecutor to work with our Victim Services Unit will result in a more cohesive process and better serve our Delaware County community.”
The role will be filled by Cory Goe. He prosecuted cases for the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office from 2014-2018 before joining the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, where he prosecuted cases related to medical marijuana licenses.
Goe said a majority of the cases will be sexual assault cases involving children, and he’ll work to make sure the victims feel comfortable and ready for trial.
“These are some of the most serious cases this office handles,” Goe said. The focus of my work will be working with those children, getting them prepared for the process of being able to testify in court. Just getting them comfortable with the court process and giving them someone specific they can reach out to.”
Goe added he has experience prosecuting cases involving children from his time at the prosecutor’s office, so he understands what is needed for the position.
“I have a lot of experience with these cases,” he said. “I have a good understanding with these cases. Because of how difficult they are, it takes a lot of preparation and a lot of getting the family and potential victim as comfortable as possible because ultimately that type of testimony, that type of relationship is what makes a case.”
Goe said these cases are really a team effort beginning from law enforcement, who take the initial report, to the laboratory technicians who work with evidence, and finally the prosecutors who take the case to trial.
“By having someone more specialized in these types of cases it’s a lot easier for that teamwork approach to be successful because we’ve got those things in place,” Goe said. “I know Melissa and this office in particular have that understanding of how important teamwork is.”
Goe said he’s passionate about the work and is excited to return to Delaware County.
“I built a lot of great relationships here, and I missed the work,” he said. “These are the most difficult cases I’ve ever had to deal with, but I got the most out of these cases when we were able to go through the process and get good outcomes for the victims and their families. This was a good opportunity to continue that work. This was something I was very interested in giving back to the community.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.