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Car dealer denies he raped relative

A former sister-in-law of Country Jeep Eagle owner George M. Gould says Gould raped her nine years ago, while she was under his care in Rhode Island.

Gould, 45, of 6339 Griffin Road, south of Brooksville, was arrested Friday on a Rhode Island warrant charging him with first-degree sexual assault.

He was released from the Hernando County Jail on Saturday after appearing before Circuit Judge Hale Stancil, who set Gould's bail at $25,000.

Gould, through his attorney, said he was innocent.

"Mr. Gould is taken aback by this," Robert Morris Jr. said. "He has no idea what she is talking about. All we know is that it stems from an incident back in 1986."

The woman, now 26, was a minor at the time of the alleged incident.

She said Saturday that Gould attacked her after she moved in with him and his wife in Coventry, R.I.

"I went to live with them when my father was ill," said the woman, whose name is not being published because of the nature of the allegations. "And it was during that time that he raped me twice."

The woman said her sister, Gould's wife, who was eight months pregnant at the time, was not home during the incidents.

Morris said the woman's allegations first surfaced last year when Gould was going through a divorce.

"Why did she wait until then to make these allegations?" he asked.

The woman said she purposely waited until the divorce was final before she went to authorities. She said she didn't want anyone to think her allegations were made to sway the court in the divorce case.

"Obviously, there is evidence that he has done this to me," she said. "Otherwise, they wouldn't have issued a warrant for his arrest."

According to records from the Hernando County Jail, the Coventry Police Department had requested that Gould be held without bail, because such a charge does not allow for bail in Rhode Island.

The woman was upset when she heard Saturday that Gould was out of jail, but Morris said it would have been unfair for the judge not to set bail.

"The grand jury (that indicted Gould earlier this year in Rhode Island) only heard one side," Morris said.

"We are certain Mr. Gould will be exonerated," Morris said.

The woman said that with Gould out of jail, she fears for her safety.

"I don't plan on staying at my home," she said.