Knoxville jogger escapes kidnapping, attempted rape; Sex offender charged

Officials said that charges for aggravated kidnapping and attempted rape are forthcoming for the suspect, Japa Goins.
Officials said that charges for aggravated kidnapped and attempted rape are forthcoming for the suspect, Japa Goins. (Source: WVLT)
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 11:46 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2022 at 8:35 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Market Square Suspect In Court

Japa Goins the convicted sex offender is accused of kidnapping and trying to rape a woman as she jogged through Market Square. https://bit.ly/3TYf29x

Posted by WVLT on Friday, September 9, 2022

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A convicted sex offender is accused of kidnapping and trying to rape a woman as she jogged through Market Square on Tuesday morning, according to the Knoxville Police Department.

KPD officers responded to Market Square just after 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to a report that a woman was randomly assaulted by an unknown man near the Subway, officials said.

“Multiple bystanders came to the woman’s aid, and the woman was able to escape with only minor injuries,” KPD spokesperson Scott Erland said. “The suspect then ran from the scene prior to officer arrival.”

Erland said the Violent Crimes Unit, Property Crimes Unit, patrol officers and Sex Offender Registry Detail worked together to identify the man as Japa Goins, 34.

Goins was located and arrested at the Probation and Parole Board on Elm Street at 10:00 a.m., Erland told WVLT News. The man reportedly admitted to the assault during an interview with Violent Crimes Unit investigators.

Officials said that charges for aggravated kidnapping and attempted rape are forthcoming for Goins.

@wvlt8

A convicted sex offender is accused of kidnapping and trying to rape a woman as she jogged through Market Square on Tuesday morning, according to the Knoxville Police Department. Head to the link in our bio for alarming details about the suspect’s criminal history. #knoxville #tennessee #crime #news

♬ Breaking News Background Music (Basic A)(1001538) - LEOPARD

“I am incredibly proud of the great urgency and teamwork our investigators and patrol officers showed to bring this incident to an almost immediate resolution,” Chief of Police Paul Noel said. “I am also thankful for the bystanders who jumped in to help when help was needed. People should feel and be safe in every public space in our city, and we will respond quickly to address any actions or behavior that compromises that sense of safety.”

Additional charges are possible, according to Erland.

According to the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, Goins faced two separate rape charges and two separate sexual battery charges in 2021. The rape charges were dismissed but Goins plead guilty to the sexual battery charges, according to records.