When he was 49 years old, 5-foot-10, 320-pound Greg Nelson Golson decided he wanted to rape a petite 13-year-old girl, the daughter of his ex-wife who shared a home with Golson.
The mother would later admit she heard strange noises at night so she decided to wear ear plugs to bed.
The girl endured multiple sexual assaults while a freshman in an Orange County high school, but was terrified that nobody would believe her if she complained.
When she finally told a teacher, "he thought it was, like, made up or something," according to court records.
Finally, during a church retreat in San Bernardino she shared a diary entry with a friend, who notified camp advisers who went to law enforcement. Police arrested Golson, who denied guilt. But the diary would come into play at the trial. Prosecutors in the Orange County District Attorney's office introduced a lone page from the diary:
"How do you tell the man [her high school boyfriend] you love every night after everyone goes to sleep your own stepdad touches you in ways he himself, your boyfriend hasn't? How do get rid of this dirty feeling? How many showers must you take? How many tears must you shed? How long does this have to happen? 3 years? 4 years? More?"
(Jurors did not see the portion of the diary that also showed the girl fretting about what would happen if her boyfriend ever discovered the rapes: "He'd leave me. I need him. I love him. I know I have to tell him, but how? . . . Does everyone go through this? Or is it my fault? How does it end?")
According to Golson's defense lawyer, the girl's entire diary proves "everything she does is dramatic," that she was "emotionally disturbed," a member of a cult and making false rape charges to get attention.
But Superior Court Judge Frank Fasel blocked the defense from introducing the remainder of the diary, arguing that it didn't give context to the important entry.
"You know, drama--a 16-year-old drama queen, if that's the right terminology," said Fasel. "Why is that probative? It is not at this point in time."
The defense wasn't happy that Fasel also allowed prosecutors to introduce the testimony of Golson's niece, who claims she was molested by the defendant in about 1985.
In July 2010, a jury found Golson guilty of forcible rape and multiple counts of lewd conduct with a minor. Fasel sentenced him to serve 11 years in a California prison. The defense promptly appealed the conviction, claiming that Fasel made rulings that improperly favored the government.
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This month, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered and rejected all of Golson's complaints about his trial.
"We have found no error," wrote Justice Eileen Moore.
Golson will continue to serve his punishment.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly