University Police lieutenant on administrative leave following child pornography charges

Madeline Fox, Campus Editor

A Northwestern police lieutenant is on administrative leave following child pornography charges, University officials said Wednesday.

Ronald Godby, 53, was charged with manufacturing and possession of child pornography, court officials said, as well as grooming — the act of knowingly using an online service to lure a child to commit a sex offense or engage in unlawful sexual conduct. Godby appeared in a Rolling Meadows, Illinois courtroom Wednesday morning, where his bond on the felony charges was set at $100,000, officials said.

Godby was arrested Monday after an investigation revealed he used his relationship with family friends to take inappropriate pictures of and send sexual messages to a minor, according to a news release from the Cook County State Attorney’s Office.

Godby, who works in the investigations unit of the police force, also has a home photography business and occasionally takes team photos for a northwest suburban high school, according to the news release.

The Mount Prospect, Illinois resident had taken photographs of the minor and her family on several occasions. He used that relationship to arrange a shoot with the then 13-year-old girl in which he took her to a remote location in Des Plaines, Illinois, and had her pose in provocative positions while he took “zoomed-in photos of a sexual nature” without her knowledge, according to the release.

After the photo shoot, Godby began communicating with the minor using Facebook and other social media platforms, according to the news release. In fall 2015, she went to his house for a photo shoot, but cut the session short after his directions became sexually suggestive, according to the release.

After the girl told her classmates Godby had sent her sexually suggestive pictures of women and a photograph of a penis, they informed a teacher, who reported it to authorities, according to the release.

Mount Prospect police searched Godby’s home, his vehicles and his office at University Police on Monday, and seized several computers, hard drives, data storage and professional cameras, according to the department’s website.

Godby was placed on administrative leave and banned from entering University campuses, University spokesman Al Cubbage said Wednesday in a statement to The Daily.

This story was updated Feb. 5 at 2:03 a.m. with information from the Cook County State Attorney’s Office.

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