Store owner arrested after sexual misconduct accusations at popular teen hangout
By Zach Myers
MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. (August 27, 2014)– Authorities have arrested a man after reviewing accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor at a popular teen hangout in downtown Martinsville.
Matt Gouldsmith, the owner of “Unleashed Arts,” was arrested on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor (four counts), child exploitation and voyeurism (two counts). He currently has no bond and will appear in court Friday afternoon. Gouldsmith turned himself in around 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Martinsville police served a search warrant at the business Aug. 1 and removed evidence in the form of electronic equipment. A witness to the search described a “truck load” of evidence being hauled away in brown paper bags.
The business is popular among teens and young adults who are interested in arts, gaming and comics. Evidence seized from the building included an iPhone, bedding, several computers, and several items of female clothing.
Sources familiar with the situation say the accusations center around a 15- or 16-year-old girl who reported inappropriate activity with the owner of “Unleashed Arts.” According to court documents, Goldsmith took nude pictures of the girl and had intercourse with her on multiple occasions. Police found the images on his iPhone.
The girl claimed they had intercourse at the shop after hours. According to court documents, it was actually Goldsmith who initiated the investigation. He came to Martinsville police in July to report harassment from the girl. Goldsmith said she’d sent him harassing text messages, including one that suggested blackmail.
“I will stop by the shop every two weeks and pick up two hundred dollars or I tell the police what has been happening since before my freshman year which by law is statutory rape and you will go to jail and lose your safe place title,” one of the messages read. Goldsmith denied those allegations and said the girl was like a daughter to him.
The girl told investigators that she’d been having sex with Goldsmith since she was 14 years old. They knew each other through Goldsmith’s son, who was about the same age as her.
Several people approached FOX59 Wednesday to defend the store owner. They said they believed the accusations are false, and the teenage girl is trying to frame the man.
“I know him as a good Christian man who goes out of his way to help other people,” said Russel Wolfe, who says he is an ordained minister. “I just don’t believe these accusations at all.”