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JURY SENTENCES FORMER YOUTH PASTOR TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR AGGRAVATED SEXUAL OF A CHILD

Godkin BookingOn Thursday, August 11, 2016, jurors in the 221st District Court of Montgomery County, Texas (Judge Lisa Michalk presiding) found Defendant Dell Ivan Godkin, 48, guilty of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. Later that evening, the same jury sentenced Godkin to Life in prison. At trial, Assistant District Attorneys Sheri Culberson and Monica Cooper presented evidence that beginning in 2011, Godkin committed multiple sexual acts upon a girl who was younger than 14 years of age, and continued to do so for approximately four years. The victim testified and told the jury about the abuse that finally stopped just a few months before her 17th birthday when she “made a deal” with Godkin that she would not tell anyone about what Godkin had done to her if he would stop sexually abusing her.

During the punishment phase of trial, Godkin’s ex-wife testified that Godkin beat her multiple times during their 12-year marriage. One of the assaults occurred after she had gone to their pastor at church seeking help. By the time she arrived home, Godkin knew she had spoken to the pastor and beat her because of it. The jury also heard from another of Godkin’s sexual assault victims. However, due to the pendency of that case in another county, no information can be released at this time.

Godkin will be eligible for parole in approximately 2046, after he serves at least one-half of his sentence. District Attorney Brett Ligon was present for the verdict that was announced at approximately 10:15 p.m. and said he was very happy with the verdict and said that “this result showed once again the commitment Montgomery County citizens have to protecting its children and providing those victims with justice.”

Sheri Culberson, Chief Prosecutor: “We are very proud of the victims in this case. It takes a lot of courage to face your abuser during a trial like this. But, ultimately, the community is a safer place because of their courage and bravery.”

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