4 men sought in sexual assault of Flagler Co. woman
Deputies say woman was sexually battered on beach by men
Detectives are asking for the public's help in finding four Flagler County men who are wanted in connection with the sexual assault of a Flagler County woman that deputies say happened in March after she met them in a Flagler Beach bar.
Deputies in Flagler County are searching for 30-year-old Charles Cowart, 26-year-old Kurt Benjamin, 28-year-old Daniel Goggans and his 31-year-old brother, Frank Goggans, whose picture has not been released.
“Where this atrocious crime took place, it’s something out of a horror movie. Dead animals hanging in trees, she woke up to the sounds of gunshots in the morning,” said Flagler County Sheriff’s Corporal Nate Koep.
Investigators told Channel 4 Wednesday night that the victim in this case is only being identified as a young woman in her 20s.
Back in March, police said the woman met three men at Finn’s bar in Flagler beach. Police said the men then took the girl into a beach house near the bar where they repeatedly raped her. The men then threw the woman, naked, into the back of a car and took her to another home in Flagler where she was assaulted again.
Koep told Channel 4 that the woman was with a friend at the bar, but when that friend tried to find her, she was no longer in the bar.
“He went to go pay the bar tab, just turned around for that short part of time and noticed she was gone. He went looking for her, some other people said she left with a few guys, he thought it might have been some other friends,” said Koep.
According to the investigative report from the Sheriff’s Office, a witness saw Cowart remove a used condom, condom box and bedding from the Hunting Cabin where the young woman was attacked. The witness told police Cowart was removing the items with the intention of destroying evidence.
Detectives said Cowart drove the woman home the next afternoon and admitted to have sexual relations with her on the previous evening. When the victim arrived home, deputies said she immediately reported the assault to her mother and the Sheriff's Office was contacted.
"Our detectives have tenaciously worked on gathering the facts in this case so we could charge these four with these felony offenses," said Flagler County Sheriff James L. Manfre. "The victim was violated and held against her will. These men should pay a price."
Investigators believe the 4 men are still in the area and need the public’s help finding them, before, they say, anyone else becomes a victim.
“She was kidnapped, taken to the western part of our county to a hunting cabin, where multiple people engaged in sexual activity with her, sexual battery,” said Koep. “I think they are here locally, I think they are here in Palm Coast, Flagler County area somewhere. And if not, then they’re not too far away -- Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Orlando. They’re not out of state.”
Three of the four men the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is looking for have had problems with the law before.
Channel 4 conducted a records search on the four men. The search showed that Cowart has prior convictions from 2012 for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, cruelty to animals, a petty theft charge from 2012 and driving under the influence charge from 2010.
Daniel Goggan was arrested in April on aggravated assault and domestic violence charges.
Kurt Benjamin was arrested in 2010 for driving with a license that was suspended or revoked.
“If you see them, call 911 or Crime Stoppers and do not approach them, we do believe that they are dangerous,” said Koep.
Those with information on any for the four men is asked to call the Flagler County Sheriff's Office at 386-313-4911, or Crime Stoppers at 888-277-8477. Deputies said you may remain anonymous and you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
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