Content of this story may be offensive to some readers.
Court documents obtained this week reveal lurid details in the Texas Ranger investigation of longtime court reporter Jeffery Goodwyn.
Goodwyn, 56, was arrested June 14 for delivering 3.5 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover agent at a hotel room in Decatur. He posted $20,000 bond and was released from Wise County Jail the following day, but additional charges might follow if information contained in a search warrant affidavit proves to be true.
The affidavit includes allegations that Goodwyn was stealing drugs from the court’s evidence room and using them to lure young men for sex. An informant also hinted at the possible possession of child pornography by Goodwyn.
The Messenger obtained the affidavit through an open records request to Denton County’s district court.
Shortly after a Texas Ranger and other officers conducted the sting operation on Goodwyn and arrested him on the drug possession charge, they executed a search warrant in a basement at his home. Investigators confiscated a cell phone, several computer hard drives, a few laptop computers and a desktop computer along with a collection of DVDs. Information in the affidavit details what evidence U.S. Secret Service agents will be looking for when they attempt to mine data from the devices.
The case began when a confidential informant told his counselor, who contracted with the Wise County Adult Probation Office, that Goodwyn “was utilizing methamphetamine to entice young men to his residence to engage in sex” and “had stolen evidence (methamphetamine) from the 271st Judicial District Courtroom; and utilized said evidence to entice men to engage in sexual relations.”
The informant was on probation for possession of a controlled substance through the court where Goodwyn worked for more than 30 years. He told the counselor he was trying to stay clean, but Goodwyn repeatedly contacted him to engage in drug use. The informant also reported that Goodwyn “knocked down” community service hours of another probationer in exchange for sex.
He also alleged that Goodwyn used him to help set up dates with other young men where they would trade sex for drugs.
The men would allegedly go to Goodwyn’s “man cave” – the basement of his house in the 1600 block of S. Stratton in Decatur – and engage in “party and play,” which means the combination of drug use and sex. He said those parties sometimes involved the use of several types of drugs while pornography played on multiple monitors and television screens.
On the night Goodwyn was arrested, the informant had set up a date between Goodwyn and an undercover officer, who was posing as a young male willing to engage in sexual relations with Goodwyn in exchange for methamphetamine.
Investigators also suspect Goodwyn used a variety of social media websites, online gaming sites, email and text messaging to arrange the illicit exchanges.
The case is still under investigation, but no further charges have been filed against Goodwyn.
Goodwyn is one of the longest-serving employees in the Wise County Courthouse, having worked as a court reporter for more than 30 years – including 19 with 271st District Judge John Fostel.
“Jeff has always been a good worker and a good employee,” Fostel said in a previous interview. “At my age of 65, and all I’ve seen in my life, there’s not much that shocks me, but I’m shocked by this whole thing. It’s just a bad situation.”
Court reporters document the details of a trial, creating a transcript that is used in appeals and becomes a permanent legal record. They are often called upon to document other legal procedures as well, including depositions and hearings. The 2013 Wise County budget shows Goodwyn was paid $86,000 a year as court reporter.