Child trafficker sentenced to 10 years in prison
A 17-year-old Denver-area teenager ran away from home with her best friend in 2017. The two were found sometime later after Dasjuan Goode sold them for sex at a Glenwood Springs hotel.
That’s according to the mother of one the girls in a written statement read during Goode’s sentencing hearing in Glenwood Springs on Wednesday.
Goode, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of trafficking a juvenile for sex. He apologized to the court Wednesday – but not the victims directly – and said he was ashamed of his “selfish decision making” and asked forgiveness.
In a written statement read in court by an FBI victim’s advocate Anne Darr, the mother of one of the victims said she wanted a harsher penalty, but she agreed with the plea deal so that her daughter wouldn’t have to testify in court.
Prior to being trafficked, the girl “had been sexually abused by a family member” while on a summer trip, the mother said.
After that, “her spark was gone,” and the trauma spiraled out of control, leading her to stop normal activities and make several runaway attempts.
She and her best friend got involved with bad people, the mother said, and they wound up in Glenwood Springs, where Goode and codefendant Damara Hester, 26, prostituted them for at least a week, according to court documents.
“She was a teenager, a child, who was taken advantage of when she was hurting the most,” the mother wrote.
“My hope is that the sentence you hand down will send a message that this can happen to anyone,” the mother wrote to the judge.
According to Goode’s court-appointed attorney Heidi Troxell, it is possible he did not realize the two girls were younger than 18 years old.
Goode “was adamant to me that he would have never harbored runaways,” Troxell said.
Nevertheless, Goode recognized that he must take responsibility for his actions and pay his debt to society, Troxell said.
“I would like to say that I apologize for my actions,” Goode said in a brief statement. “My actions and my selfish decision making … made this situation. As of today, I would ask the court to forgive me for my bad decision making, as well as the wrongdoing in my prior history,” he said.
The plea agreement stipulated that if Goode received a sentence longer than 10 years, he could withdraw his guilty plea.
Ninth District Judge Denise Lynch said she was not willing to issue a harsher sentence and risk forcing the victim to testify in open court.
“I don’t want the victim to be traumatized by a trial. She’s been through enough,” Lynch said.
Goode asked the 10-year sentence run concurrently with an 18-month prison sentence for other charges from Arapahoe and Adams counties.
Lynch ordered that the 10 year sentence, minus nearly a year of time served since the warrant was issued, begin after completion of his current sentences.
“It is certainly an extremely serious offense. Trafficking minors for sex is becoming, unfortunately… a bigger problem in the United States,” Lynch said.
Janet Drake, deputy Attorney General for Colorado, said Goode had a concerning criminal record, including an attempted murder charge that was pleaded down to robbery ten years ago.
Drake appreciated that Goode took responsibility for this case, but issued a warning.
“If he continues on the path he’s been on, he’ll be back in prison probably for the rest of his life,” Drake said.
Drake added that she hopes the victims will find closure after the traffickers are sentenced.
Hester pleaded guilty in September to contributing to the delinquency of a minor – a class IV felony – and is scheduled for sentencing in November.
Ron Braden, 54, charged with soliciting sex through Goode and Hester’s trafficking scheme, is scheduled for trial in January.
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Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said he has never seen a case where arrest documents were not filed within 48 hours.