Jeremy Peter Goulet, the man authorities say fatally shot two Santa Cruz police detectives Tuesday on Branciforte Avenue before other officers killed him in a shootout, was previously accused of raping two women in the military in Hawaii, his former defense attorney said Thursday.
"I knew him over a year in 2006, 2007," Honolulu attorney Donald L. Wilkerson told Capitola-Soquel Patch during a phone interview Feb. 28.
"I first heard about it on the radio, last night or the night before," Wilkerson said of the fatal shootings in Santa Cruz. "It's a tragedy for everyone involved."
Wilkerson said he represented Goulet, then in his late 20s, in two court martial proceedings after Goulet was accused of two different sexual assaults of a female officer and a female soldier during his first few months in Hawaii.
When Goulet first arrived in Hawaii, he was an Army helicopter pilot stationed at Wheeler Army Airfield, "close to Wahiawa, on the island of Oahu," Wilkerson said.
"He was here in Hawaii about a week when he was accused of the first rape," Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson said Goulet went to a party in Ewa Beach, on Oahu, with some soldiers. Goulet was accused of crawling into a bathroom window at a female officer's home and sexually assaulting her, Wilkerson said.
"The first crime scene was a private home, where he allegedly crawled through the window," Wilkerson said. "The Army arrested him and confined him to Wheeler at that point."
In the second case, with a court martial proceeding under way, Goulet had been assigned to oversee some soldiers temporarily housed in a barracks at Wheeler Army Airfield, Wilkerson said.
"They were scheduled to deploy to Iraq the next morning," Wilkerson said. "He was accused of raping a female soldier who was in the barracks at Wheeler."
The Army dropped both rape cases against Goulet, who was a warrant officer, in exchange for his agreement to accept an "other than honorable discharge," Wilkerson said.
"That's one grade up from a dishonorable discharge," Wilkerson said.
The alleged rapes were never tried in any civilian or other courts, Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson said he met Goulet's brother during the court martial hearings.
"His twin brother Jeff, they look exactly alike, same build, same looks," Wilkerson said. "They were identical twins. Jeff never had any problems with the law as far as I know. I met him during the hearings. Jeff and I went to the alleged crime scenes together."
The last time Wilkerson heard from Jeremy Goulet was several years ago when he was in Oregon.
"Some letters that went back and forth, and telephone conversations," Wilkerson said. "We discussed briefly how he was doing in Portland."
According to The Oregonian, Goulet was accused of peeping in a window to watch a 22-year-old woman shower in October 2007, and he spent time behind bars on the related conviction.
Asked for perspective on the news from Santa Cruz since Tuesday, Wilkerson said he was stunned and saddened.
"I think it's a terrible tragedy," Wilkerson said. "I really feel bad for the two police officers and their families. As for Jeremy, he really had challenges in his life.
"He was battling some kind of demons," Wilkerson said. "It really is a tragedy for everybody involved, the women involved, the police officers and their families, and Jeremy's family. From what I've read it appears they had an idea of what he was dealing with, and to see him die that way it must be awfully hard on them."
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser spoke to Wilkerson on Wednesday. That report is behind a paywall.
When Santa Cruz police Det. Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler approached the door of Goulet's residence Tuesday afternoon in Santa Cruz, they were investigating a misdemeanor sexual assault, authorities said.
Goulet had been fired from his job at the Kind Grind coffee shop in the harbor days before, after an employee there filed a sexual complaint against him, according to law enforcement.
The deaths of Baker and Butler were the first in the 150-year history of the Santa Cruz Police Department, police and city officials said.