Domestic violence offenders harass their victims from jail, deputies say

Flagler County monitors offenders while in jail

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – When the newly formed full-time Flagler County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit began monitoring domestic violence offenders in jail, officials said they noticed that in some cases the threat of violence had not stopped even after an arrest.

"We have offenders in jail threatening their victims, 'When I get out I'm going to kill you,"' Sheriff Rick Staly said.

Some offenders were taking advantage of phone privileges to harass their surviving victims.

"We discovered this because all of our phone line in the jail are recorded," Staly said. "So our assigned detective monitors the phone calls that are being made."

Staly said recent arrestee Harry Edward Goldsborough, who is charged with domestic battery on his girlfriend, was violating the judge's order to have no contact with the victim.

"And this guy was calling his victim and threatening her," Staly said. "This is probably the most prolific offender that we have caught doing this." 

Staly said his detectives have now added almost two dozen charges of violating the no-contact order to Goldsborough's case.

"Which means he could go off to prison for a long time," Staly said.

The sheriff has also upgraded the jail inmate phone system to pick up key words in conversations and better monitor inmates.

Staly said an additional benefit of closer inmate phone monitoring is that surviving victims don't have to testify and face their abusers all over again because the evidence is recorded electronically.

After Staly was sworn in in January 2017, he convened a Domestic Violence Task Force to combat the rising domestic violence in Flagler County.

In 2017 in Flagler County, four people were killed by domestic violence. In 2018, two people were killed by domestic violence.

One of the Task Force's recommendations was for the Sheriff's Office to assign a full-time detective and full-time crime analyst solely to domestic violence cases. Staly said both of the staffers have been instrumental in monitoring, arresting and following up on domestic violence offenders.

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.