Goebel sentenced for assaults

CRYSTAL FALLS—On March 17, 2017, a truly scary incident took place at an Iron River motel. A teenage girl, who was simply visiting her workplace and wished to share her excitement of her upcoming graduation and college plans, was assaulted by a stranger.
    That stranger, 31-year-old Nickolas Anthony Jonathan Goebel, was arrested on several charges for the incident and has been incarcerated at the Iron County Correctional Facility ever since.
    On Jan. 9, Goebel’s near-term future was determined. Iron County Judge C. Joseph Schwedler sentenced Goebel to a prison term of from 28 months to 15 years for second degree criminal sexual conduct (a 15-year felony). Schwedler also sentenced Goebel to 12 months in jail for a pair of resisting and obstructing a police officer charges (two-year felonies). Both those will run concurrently to the prison sentence.
    That means that Goebel, who said in court he was homeless in Chicago before moving to Iron County, will not have to serve any more time in the county jail. He has served and was given credit for 304 days served locally.
    Schwedler said that the length of Goebel’s prison term will depend on his behavior while in prison.
    Goebel had also been originally charged with unlawful imprisonment, interfering with electronic communications, two other counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer and malicious destruction of police property, but those were dismissed in the plea agreement, in which Goebel pleaded no contest to the three charges for which he was sentenced.
    Goebel arrived in court for sentencing in a wheelchair and wearing a white helmet with a face guard. In previous hearings, Goebel had thrashed around as though he were having seizures (something that is still disputed) and has attempted to assault police officers on several occasions, at times biting them.
    Both defense attorney Geoffrey Lawrence and Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Powell referred to Goebel’s cognitive deficits during the hearing. Lawrence, and Goebel himself, referenced mental health issues the defendant experiences.

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