Holt sentenced Jason Ray Gokey, 41, to serve two consecutive 16-year terms Tuesday for two counts of sexual conduct with a minor. He also sentenced him to serve a consecutive lifetime term on sexual offender probation for two counts of attempted molestation of a child.
Gokey pleaded guilty to the charges – class 2 and 3 felonies respectively – April 14. His plea agreement stipulated he would serve a 32-year sentence day for day. That means he will not be eligible to accrue time off for good behavior. He was given credit for 217 days time served. After the prosecution alerted Judge Holt that Gokey might be confused about his sentence, Holt went over the plea agreement and made sure Gokey had no questions. He then stated exactly what that meant.
“I have accepted this plea,” Holt said. “Which meant the day I accepted it, I accepted the terms. And I agreed to sentence you consistent with the plea. I felt that 32 years might be adequate for the terrible crimes that were committed on this little kid. So I’m going to give you 32 years, and there’s no discussion about it.”
Deputy Graham County Attorney C. Alan Perkins said Gokey’s sentence is substantially longer than many others with similar types of violations because he was already a convicted sex offender, and the case against him was exceptionally strong.
“Based on those reasons and, frankly, my personal conviction that Mr. Gokey represents an ongoing danger to youth in this or any community he lives in, I had to insist on a very long prison term,” Perkins said. “One that will see him behind bars for nearly all the rest of his life.”
Due to the sentencing structure of Gokey’s offenses, the term is actually slightly mitigated. The court found Gokey’s willingness to work with law enforcement and the prosecution as a mitigator. That means he will actually serve slightly less than the presumptive for his offenses.
Gokey will be 73 years old before he is let out of prison. In that event, he will be immediately placed on sex offender probation for the rest of his life with all the standard stipulations that go with it.
The mother of the victim said Gokey preyed on their already broken family, which had given him a roof over his head when he had nowhere else to go. She said she is left to pick up the pieces of the many lives he shattered with his actions.
“You may be facing a long time in prison, but I can assure you that the victims you have left behind are the ones who have a life sentence as they will never forget the hurt you have caused them,” she said.
Gokey apologized to his victims before Judge Holt pronounced the sentence.
He agreed that he needed to go to prison and hoped that he will respond to treatment for his sickness.