Goularte has opted not to appear in person for as long as the judge allows due to fear of his own safety, as his legal team told various media. He faces a felony charge of lewd acts with a minor if convicted.
Goularte was recently involved in an incident with Velasquez earlier this year, resulting in Velasquez facing an attempted murder charge. As Velasquez confronted him, Goularte and his stepfather escaped in their vehicle before a high-speed chase ensued.
Goularte’s stepfather was allegedly shot by Velasquez during the incident and faced a non-life-threatening injury. Velasquez faces a minimum of 20 years in prison if found guilty of attempted murder.
Goularte appeared in South County Morgan Hill Courthouse virtually for his plea hearing, which lasted only two minutes and was delayed until June 6. Judge Le Jacqueline Duong approved a continuance for Goularte to attend proceedings virtually until further notice.
Goularte has been out on bail since February on the condition that he remains home with a monitoring device and isn’t within 100 yards of a child under the age of 14.
Protestors were rampant outside of the courthouse during the hearing, with many holding signs alluding to their stances that Goularte should be in jail as the trial moves forward.
“That’s what sexual predators do. They deny everything. And because the law doesn’t do anything to protect the children or even women who are sexually harassed, everything’s still the same. So I think that’s where we need to change the law,” said protestor Lily Robinson.
“It wasn’t justice. Somebody’s able to commit a crime like that against a child, somebody that believes in the justice system and it fails, and they have to take justice in their own hands. That’s the way the world is right now,” said another protestor, Jason Goelz.
Emotions have run high over the past few months since the investigation into both Goularte and Velasquez. The judge presiding over the Velasquez case requested extra security in light of alleged threats.
Goularte and his legal team have continued to deny all accusations.
What is your reaction to Harry Goularte not appearing in court to face Cain Velasquez’s family and supporters?