Dell Ivan Godkin, 48, above, has begun a life sentence after he was found guilty by a Montgomery County jury on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
The conviction of the onetime volunteer youth pastor came as a shock to his family and members of his church, according to this report.
Prosecutor Monica Cooper said his family and church members had testified that he was a good Christian. They could not believe he had assaulted a girl over a period of four years, using Scripture to justify the abuse which began when the victim, a relative of Godkin, was just 13.
He would say lots of things about God being OK with it. He would use Bible verses about men’s and women’s roles to justify the abuse. He’s the scariest kind of child predator because he’s the kind who is sitting next to you in church, and he seems like the nicest guy.
Lead prosecutor Sheri Culberson.Cooper said:
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.
According to prosecutors, Godkin’s ex-wife testified during the punishment phase of the trial that he beat her repeatedly during their 12-year marriage.
“One of the assaults occurred after she had gone to their pastor at church seeking help,” according to a news release from the district attorney’s office. “By the time she arrived home, Godkin knew she had spoken to the pastor and beat her because of it.”