Home Jacksonville Press Releases 2009 Former Navy Sailor Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison in Online Child Exploitation Case

Former Navy Sailor Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison in Online Child Exploitation Case

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 18, 2009
  • Middle District of Florida (904) 301-6300

JACKSONVILLE, FL—U.S. Attorney A. Brian Albritton announces that U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan yesterday sentenced Robert William Godwin (age 31, of Jacksonville) to 10 years and one month in federal prison and a lifetime term of supervised release for using the Internet to attempt to entice a minor child to engage in sexual activity. Godwin had been found guilty after a jury trial on March 5, 2009.

According to court testimony and evidence introduced during the trial, from July 28, 2008, through August 11, 2008, Godwin engaged in several online conversations in an Internet "chat room" with a person whom he believed to be a 14-year-old child. This "child" was actually an investigator with the Florida Attorney General's Child Predator CyberCrime Unit. During the course of the conversations, Godwin attempted to entice and persuade the "child" to engage in sex with him, and on one occasion Godwin directed the "child" to perform a graphic sexual act. On August 11, 2008, Godwin planned to meet the "child" at a restaurant in Orange Park and then travel to the "child's" home to engage in sex. When Godwin arrived at the restaurant, he was arrested by Clay County Sheriff's Office detectives. At the time of this offense, Godwin was enlisted in the Navy and worked at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

This case was investigated by the Child Predator CyberCrime Unit of the State of Florida Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Clay County Sheriff's Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's Child Predator CyberCrime Unit is a member of the FBI Cyber Taskforce in Jacksonville and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a federally funded program working nationwide to educate and support law enforcement to stop these crimes. More information on the Florida Attorney General's CyberCrime initiative is available at http://www.myfloridalegal.com.