Northwestern University Police lieutenant faces child porn charges

Ronald Godby. (Courtesy Cook County State's Attorney's Office)

A Northwestern University Police lieutenant appeared in court Wednesday on child pornography charges involving a family friend, Cook County State's Attorney's officials said.

Ronald Godby, 53, is accused of using a relationship with a family friend to take inappropriate photos of a young girl and send messages to her via social media, officials said.

Prosecutors say Godby ran a home photography business, taking photos for the cheerleading, choir and dance teams at a northwest suburban high school. They say he knew the victim and her family since she was a child.

During one incident in 2013, Godby suggested that he and the then 13-year-old victim do a photo shoot; the victim and family agreed due to the family relationship, prosecutors said. Godby allegedly then drove the victim to a remote location in Des Plaines and directed her to pose in provocative positions, taking several zoomed sexual photos without her knowledge, prosecutors said.

After the incident, prosecutors say Godby began communicating with the victim via Facebook. In 2015, she went to Godby's home photography studio for portrait photos. She left the appointment after his directions became sexually suggestive, prosecutors said.

Godby then allegedly sent the victim a pornographic picture of a penis as well as suggestive images of women, saying that he wanted to photograph her again, prosecutors said. The victim told classmates, who reported the incident to a teacher, who then contacted police.

Godby was taken into custody on Feb. 1 after a warranted search of his home. He is charged with one felony count each of manufacturing child pornography, possession of child pornography and grooming.

His bond was set at $100,000 Wednesday. His next court date is Feb. 26.

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