Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A former Northwestern University Police Lieutenant who ran a home photography business is facing child pornography charges in a second case in which he is alleged to have taken pornographic photos of a teenage girl, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Ronald Godby, 53, is charged with one felony count each of Manufacturing Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography following a joint investigation by the Cook County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Mount Prospect Police Department. Godby was previously charged with the same offenses in February in a different, but similar case.
In addition to his job as a police officer, Godby had a home photography business and occasionally took photos at various extracurricular events at a northwest suburban high school.
According to prosecutors, Godby had known the victim through a family member since the victim was in middle school and had photographed the victim at various school events where he acted as the unofficial photographer.
Sometime during the spring or early summer of 2012, while Godby was employed with the Northwestern University Police Department, he began communicating with the victim through social media. During those communications, Godby asked the victim if the victim would like him to take headshots to be used for auditions for various high school productions.
During the next three years, Godby would see the victim at various school events that he was photographing. In the spring of 2015, Godby contacted the victim and inquired if the victim would like to do more photo shoots. The victim agreed to do photo shoots during the winter and spring of 2015, both outdoors and in Godby’s home photography studio. During those shoots, Godby would photograph the victim fully clothed but would request the victim get into provocative poses.
Throughout the first half of 2015, Godby would communicate with the victim regularly via social media. During those conversations, Godby would tell the victim how beautiful the victim was and also that the victim should delete his messages so that no one would see them. In June of 2015, Godby contacted the victim via social media and asked her to do a photo shoot. The victim asked what type of clothing to wear and Godby instructed her to wear a button-down shirt. He also attached a photo of the victim in the previously charged case wearing that type of shirt.
In July of 2015, Godby picked the victim up at home and drove to several locations in Des Plaines where he directed the victim to pose in provocative positions and took several zoomed in photos that were sexual in nature.
The victim came forward to authorities after learning of Godby’s arrest in February. The victim identified herself in photos recovered from Godby’s computer.
Godby was arrested in the previous case on Feb. 1, 2016, after Mount Prospect police and Cook County Internet Crimes Against Children task force members executed a search warrant for his home and work computers. Godby appeared in court in the second case where his bond was set at $175,000 and his next court date was scheduled for May 27.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office administers the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which investigates and prosecutes criminal acts such as child pornography, sexual solicitation of a child or missing child investigations. The task force also offers guidance and information for parents and educators on internet safety.
The public is reminded that criminal charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.