EAST ST. LOUIS — An Alhambra man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to three counts of child pornography.
In a press release, U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said Robert E. Godsey, 34, Alhambra, pleaded guilty to a three-count indictment charging him with distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, receipt of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possession of visual depictions of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
On the first two counts, Godsey faces a term of imprisonment of not less than five years but not more than 40 years, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years to life. On the third count, he faces a term of imprisonment of not more than 20 years, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years to life. Godsey’s sentencing is scheduled for March 13 at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis. 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, 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 he was the only user of the Samsung notebook computer, and that there would be images and videos depicting minors younger than 12 (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 younger than 12.
After obtaining Godsey’s consent to assume control of the email account used to trade image and video files of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a special Homeland Security Investigations agent accessed the email 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 U.S. 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 information, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the resources tab.
The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. The case is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Scott.