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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Alhambra Resident Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography Offenses

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on December 11, 2014, Robert E. Godsey, 34, Alhambra, IL, pled guilty to a three-count Indictment charging him with Distribution of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct (Count 1), Receipt of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct (Count 2), and Possession of Visual Depictions of Prepubescent Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct (Count 3). On Counts 1 and 2, Godsey faces a term of imprisonment of not less than five (5) years but not more than forty (40) years, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five (5) years to life. On Count 3, he faces a term of imprisonment of not more than twenty (20) years, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five (5) years to life. Godsey’s sentencing is scheduled for March 13, 2015, in East St. Louis, Illinois, until then, he will be held in custody without bail.

Facts revealed in Court showed that on July 8, 2014, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), obtained a federal search warrant to search a residence in Alhambra occupied by Godsey, and others, for evidence of child pornography. When executing the search warrant, officers seized a Samsung notebook computer from Godsey’s bedroom.

On the same day that the search warrant was executed, Godsey provided a videotaped statement in which he admitted collecting and trading images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct with other collectors of child pornography via the internet. Godsey said that he was the only user of the Samsung notebook computer, and that there would be some images and/or videos depicting minors under the age of twelve (prepubescent minors) engaged in sexually explicit conduct. A forensic review of the notebook computer revealed numerous video and image files of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and, as acknowledged by Godsey, some of these images and videos were of minors under the age of twelve.

After obtaining Godsey’s consent to assume control of the e-mail account used to trade image and video files of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a special agent with HSI accessed the e-mail account and found video and image files of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on the account, many of which involved prepubescent minors. This confirmed Godsey’s statement that he traded images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, many of which depicted prepubescent minors, with other individuals online.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.

Updated February 19, 2015