Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Adam W. Godbey was arrested last week after investigators reportedly found over 30 pictures and videos depicting underage girls and boys performing sexual acts on his cellphone and laptop computer.
Godbey, 38, is facing several counts of child pornography charges. He is at being held without bond at Palm Beach County Jail. During his first court session last Thursday, a judge ordered him to receive a mental health evaluation and told him not to have contact with any minors. The press did not name an attorney for Godbey.
According to the police report, Godbey’s arrest was the result of a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about someone uploading child porn to a website. Investigators were able to track the IP address of the uploader and that led them to Godbey’s home.
Police got a warrant and searched Godbey’s home on June 28. They reportedly found a cell phone and laptop “hidden on the top of a kitchen cabinet.” The devices contained over 30 “images and videos of child pornography,” the affidavit said. Godbey allegedly told investigators that he owned the phone.
Godbey was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2013. In 2015, he was reportedly highlighted in an official news release for helping save a kitten trapped underneath a vehicle in Belle Glade. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement to the press:
“The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public’s trust. Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct. This misconduct was reported, investigated and determined to be criminal in nature, resulting in the charges.”
Child pornography is defined as any image that depicts minors under the age of 18 performing sex acts. Possession of child pornography occurs when a person knowingly possesses, controls, or views a picture, video, or other presentation that depicts sexual conduct by a minor. Simple possession is a third-degree felony with penalties that include up to 20 years in prison for each offense, fines, and mandatory lifetime registration on the National Sex Offender Registry.
Sharing child pornography with another person can increase the severity of the penalties and upgrade the charge to a second-degree felony. Production of child pornography naturally carries the harshest penalties. It is a first-degree crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison for each offense.
Courts in Florida have zero tolerance for sex crimes involving children and both state and federal law enforcement officials fight vigorously to ensure anyone suspected of or charged with a sex crime is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
These types of cases can carry life-changing consequences and that is why it is important for an offender to hire a skilled and experienced attorney to handle the case and find the best possible outcome on their behalf.