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United States v. Godfrey

United States District Court, D. South Dakota

April 16, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CASEY JAMES GODFREY, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF BOND [DOCKET 26]

VERONICA L. DUFFY, Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Defendant Casey James Godfrey moves the court for reconsideration of its prior detention order. See Docket No. 26. Mr. Godfrey proposes to be released to his home with his wife and children and agrees to be subject to electronic monitoring. The government opposes the motion.

FACTS

A hearing was held on Mr. Godfrey's most recent motion on Monday, April 14, 2014. Only argument and proffers were made by the parties at this hearing.

Previously, a full evidentiary hearing was held on the occasion of Mr. Godfrey's initial appearance in this court on Friday, January 24, 2014. At the most recent hearing in April, the court took Mr. Godfrey's motion under advisement because the court wanted to review the transcript from the January hearing before making a determination on the motion. A copy of the transcript of that hearing has now been received and is filed in the court's record at Docket No. 28.

The facts adduced in the original pretrial bond report were that Mr. Godfrey, then age 27, was married and had two children under the age of four. At the time, Mr. Godfrey's wife was expecting their third child within a few days.

Mr. Godfrey possessed a valid United States passport. He had traveled outside the United States in May, 2013, to vacation in the Bahamas.

Mr. Godfrey has a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Black Hills State University, graduating in 2011. From there, Mr. Godfrey obtained employment with Servall, a janitorial business, in Chamberlain prior to being transferred to Rapid City in April, 2013. In July 2013, Mr. Godfrey obtained employment with the Rapid City Area School District as a custodian and worked at the Pinedale Elementary School until his arrest on January 16, 2014. Following his arrest, Mr. Godfrey obtained employment at Godfrey Brake Service, a Rapid City business owned by Mr. Godfrey's great-uncle.

Mr. Godfrey owns little in the way of assets. In January he had a negative monthly net income.

Mr. Godfrey had no significant criminal history prior to his arrest in connection with the charges in this matter. He was convicted of reckless driving in Lawrence County, South Dakota, in 2011. He also had four speeding tickets.

Special Agent Brent Gromer of the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation testified at the January 24, 2014, hearing. His testimony consisted of facts pertinent to the charged offenses in this case. Agent Gromer testified that he was contacted by a law enforcement agent in Nebraska who had been communicating via the internet with Mr. Godfrey. The Nebraska officer was posing as a 14-year old girl. The officer and Mr. Godfrey chatted electronically about a number of things. One of the things Mr. Godfrey told the officer through his electronic chats was that there was an 11-year old girl at the school that he worked at that Mr. Godfrey thought was "cute." Mr. Godfrey also told the officer that his pornographic interests included incest and preteen pornography.

Mr. Godfrey texted the officer that Godfrey would send him pictures of Godfrey's private parts if the officer would send Godfrey pictures of "her" private parts. The officer took a photograph of a crease in his elbow and sent it to Godfrey, representing that it was a photo of "her" genitalia. Godfrey then took a photo of his erect penis and sent it to the officer.

It was at this point that the Nebraska officer contacted Agent Gromer to intervene. Officers traveled to Pinedale Elementary School to arrest Mr. Godfrey. They recognized him from the photograph of his penis because the photograph showed a particular ring on the finger of the person in the photo, and when the officers met Godfrey, they observed that he was wearing the same ring. In addition, the officers matched the background shown in the penis photo with the elementary school ...


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