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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Former Sacramento Area Youth Gymnastics Coach Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Derek Swede Godfrey, 48, formerly of Rocklin, pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, in October 5, 2006, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Godfrey’s home in Rocklin. On his computer, agents located more than 400 videos and 5,000 still images depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of minors. The day after, Godfrey, a youth gymnastics coach, left the United States for the Netherlands where he had dual-citizenship. On January 25, 2007, a grand jury in Sacramento indicted Godfrey, charging him with one count of possession of child pornography.

In 2012, Godfrey was located in Perth, Australia, where he was once again found to be coaching children’s gymnastics. At that time, Australian authorities arrested Godfrey on charges unrelated to the charges in the United States. In April 2016, Australian authorities agreed to extradite Godfrey to the United States to face the charges pending in Sacramento.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Morris is prosecuting the case.

Godfrey is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on June 7, 2018. Godfrey faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
Updated March 15, 2018