NORTH COBB CHRISTIAN BAND DIRECTOR ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH CHILD SEX CRIMES
January 20, 2021
Northwest Georgia News
A teacher at North Cobb Christian School has been arrested and charged with child sex crimes involving a relationship with a student at the school, according to Acworth police.
Craig Dean Godfrey, 38, a band director at North Cobb Christian, was found to have had a sexual relationship with a student between 2016 and 2019, police said. School officials report there are allegations involving a second student.
North Cobb Christian is a private Christian school located at 4500 Eagle Drive. It lists a Kennesaw address, but is within Acworth city limits.
The student, now an adult, was a sophomore at the school when the relationship started, police said in a statement. In addition to physical contact, police found evidence Godfrey and his student had exchanged "communication and explicit photos" on a social media app during the three-year relationship.
According to his arrest warrant, Godfrey asked for nude photos of the student via Snapchat when she was under 15 years of age.
The school contacted police Friday with information about the relationship, police said. The teacher, who lives in Cartersville, was arrested Tuesday with charges of aggravated child molestation, obscene telephone contact and sexual exploitation of a child. He is being held in the Cobb County jail without bond.
Elizabeth Cossick, a spokesperson for the school, said school officials learned of allegations of a sexual crime against a former student Friday, and have since learned of similar allegations from a second former student.
“The safety and wellbeing of our students are of the utmost importance. North Cobb Christian School has zero tolerance for misconduct and took immediate action by proactively contacting and working closely with the Acworth Police Department,” she said in an email. “The employee was placed on immediate leave and is not permitted on campus or to access school technology. As a school, we are all heartbroken by this situation. Together as a community, we are committed to offering the utmost support to our students and families.”
Head of School Todd Clingman wrote a letter to parents Tuesday via email informing them of Godfrey’s arrest.
“We have been heavy hearted to learn this news and are doing everything that we can to prevent it from happening again,” he said in the letter, adding that the school conducts full criminal background checks and contacts multiple references for new hires. Employees are also trained to identify and report child abuse, he said.
“As a school, we are heartbroken by this situation,” Clingman continued. “We exist to partner with you in nurturing the hearts and minds of your children, so that they may realize their potential in Christ. Please join us in praying for anyone affected and for our whole school family during this difficult time.”
The police investigation is still ongoing.
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