Gary Goins takes the stand in sex abuse trial - | WBTV Charlotte

Gary Goins takes the stand in sex abuse trial


For the first time, jurors are hearing from the ex-Gaston County High School wrestling coach at the center of a sexual abuse trial.

Gary Goins is charged with 22 sex crimes against minors and on Friday, jurors heard from the former coach who says he never ordered any wrestlers to physically abuse one another.

But before Goins took the stand, there were some early morning fireworks in the courtroom.

Judge Jesse Caldwell admonished a court observer for inappropriate behavior in the courtroom and online.

State prosecutors informed the judge that the observer made visible facial gestures while witnesses testified and posted rumors on social media, something the judge warned the court about on Thursday.

"This is not a public forum where you can feel free to demonstrate your emotions, you understand that? This is the court of law," yelled Judge Caldwell.

"You don't have the right to come in here and attempt to demonstrate in anyway whatsoever your own emotions. If you can't do that then you need to get out that door," he continued.

That wasn't the only thing that had jurors on the edge of their seat.

Gary Goins, the former East Gaston High School wrestling coach facing 22 sex crimes against minors, broke his silence when he took the stand.

Goins didn't stay on the stand long due to court ending early, but while there, he and his defense attorney went over the layout of East Gaston High and discussed who had access to different rooms in the school.

Goins later told jurors about how he never told any of his wrestlers to choke out other teammates although he was aware it is was going on.

"I've never ordered another student to choke another student. I've seen it happen and didn't stop it. I just saw it as rough housing," said Goins.

He went on to testify while he allowed wrestlers to choke each other out, he set guidelines.

"What I Wouldn't allow was for them to choke people and not get chocked," said Goins.

Earlier in the day, Goins' wife took the stand and told jurors that she, Goins and one of the accusers went on a skiing trip together.

She also told jurors, she didn't learn of the sex abuse investigation until the night before her husband was arrested.

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