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'Put this super-predator away': Victims cheer arrest of former Kansas City, Kansas, detective

091522_lowe_ophelia williams.jpg
Peggy Lowe
/
KCUR 89.3
Ophelia Williams is interviewed by reporters on Thursday in Kansas City, Kansas. She is named as “O.W.,” one of two victims in a federal indictment filed Thursday against former Kansas City, Kansas, Police Detective Roger Golubski, who is accused of raping her for years. KCUR is using Williams' name and photo with her permission.

Ophelia Williams is named as one of two victims in the federal indictment against former Kansas City, Kansas, Police Detective Roger Golubski, who is accused of raping and sexually assaulting her repeatedly for years.

Ophelia Williams was taking her granddaughter to school Thursday morning when her cell phone rang. It was a female FBI agent she knew.

“She just said, ‘Ophelia,’” Williams recalled. “I was like, ‘Why are you calling me so early in the morning? She said, ‘I have good news to tell you.’”

The agent told her something Williams had been waiting for since the late 1990s.

“She said, ‘I just arrested Roger Golubski.’ So I screamed,” Williams said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Quit playin.'' She said, ‘For real, I put handcuffs on him.’ I started crying.”

Williams is identified as “O.W.” in the federal indictment filed Thursday after Golubski was arrested by the FBI at his Edwardsville home about 6:30 a.m. KCUR is using Williams’ name with her permission.

Golubski faces six counts of depriving Williams and another woman, identified as “S.K.,” of their civil rights through rape, sexual assault and kidnapping.

Williams had been working with the agent for some time, as the FBI investigation goes back until at least 2019.

“I was like, ‘Thank you, thank you,’ and she was like, ‘No, thank you. You did this,’” Williams said. “I was just devastated, so happy.”

Williams, 60, joined social justice advocates and the families of other victims Thursday evening at a bar in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas, despite her fear of Wyandotte County. (She now lives in Kansas City, Missouri.) She had a margarita and, along with about a dozen others, toasted to the arrest of a man accused of preying on Black women for decades.

Leading the toasts was Rev. Rick Behrens, pastor at Grandview Park Presbyterian Church and board member of the social justice organization MORE2.

"So we give thanks to God and everybody who’s worked and everybody who’s put in the effort to put this super-predator away, for as long as possible, forever," Behrens said.

Williams has said Golubski started his sexual attacks on her in August 1999, after KCKPD arrested her twin 14-year-old sons for a double homicide. Golubski told her he could help her with her sons’ cases, but he raped her in her home. The indictment says Golubski returned to assault Williams repeatedly from September 1999 through December 2002.

Over the years, Williams said, she was bolstered by her faith in God, who she says gave her patience.

“It’s still not over because he got arrested. He’s gotta get convicted,” Williams said of Golubski. “And my boys need to come home. And Roger Golubski should pay his debt that he owe.”

Williams also said no one listened to her and many other Black women who say Golubski assault them for one reason.

“Why? Because I’m Black,” she said. “Because I’m Black. He kept doin’ it and doin’ it.”

Other women who say they were victimized by Golubski on Thursday expressed relief but said the news was bittersweet because he hasn’t been held accountable for other cases.

Saundra Newsom is the mother of Doniel Quinn, who was killed in an April 1994 double homicide in Kansas City, Kansas. Lamonte McIntyre, then a 17-year-old high school student, was charged with the crime and wrongfully convicted; he spent 23 years in prison before his exoneration and release in 2017. Williams filed an affidavit in his case, one of more than 70 women McIntyre’s lawyers say were victimized by Golubski.

On Thursday, Newsom said she was happy for Williams and the other woman named in the indictment. But she also said she hopes all the people in the Kansas City, Kansas, criminal justice system who knew what Golubski was doing will be brought to justice and made to pay — financially — for what they ignored.

“This man didn’t do this by himself,” Newsom said. “Everybody’s pension should be on the table. Was the money worth it?"

I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.