A Palm Beach Sheriff’s Deputy was sentenced to six years in prison for possession of child pornography. The same officer resigned two weeks after the conviction amid an internal affairs investigation.
Adam Godbey began his career as a PBSO officer in 2013. He was accused in 2017 of uploading images containing the sexual exploitation of children. Some of these images he sent while he was on-duty.
Godbey was caught after police linked his IP address to the images that he uploaded. They searched his apartment and found a laptop hidden above the kitchen cupboards. They also found other devices containing child pornography as well.
Godbey was arrested in 2017 at a psychiatric facility for adults. Two months later, Godbey was placed on administrative leave without pay. Godbey, who had been charged with over 30 counts of child pornography possession, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of possession. Each individual image or video can be charged as its own possession count.
Godbey was given a six-year sentence but was credited with 31 months for time served. When he gets out of prison, he will spend the next six years on probation and have to register as a sex offender. Godbey is now being housed in a minimum-security facility outside of Pensacola.
Simple possession of child pornography is considered a third-degree felony in Florida and is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years. There are certain types of child pornography that may qualify for enhanced penalties such as those involving sadomasochistic abuse or other stipulations. In that case, the charge may be escalated one degree higher. For example, a third-degree felony would become a second-degree felony and so forth.
While details about the type of child pornography found on the deputy’s computers are difficult to come by, he faced ten counts of a third-degree felony which has a maximum punishment of 50 years behind bars. Godbey was given six years.
How Was He Caught?
This is the head-scratcher. Police have software that they can use to search for certain images of child pornography as they pop up in different places. In some cases, they can trace the IP address of the individual responsible for the dissemination of the photo or in possession of the photo. They will then go to a judge to attempt to get a warrant to search the premises of the individual. As a police officer, Godbey would likely have known that. But on a long enough time-scale, Godbey slipped up and police were eventually able to arrest him.
The most likely defense in a child pornography case would be that the individual didn’t know that the images were there or that they did not have exclusive access to the computer. In other cases, it’s possible to get the evidence thrown out on procedural grounds.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with any serious crime, the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. can help defend you from those charges and ensure that your rights and interests are protected. Call today to schedule an appointment.