Ex-Cobb band director pleads guilty to molesting student, gets 12 years in prison

Credit: North Cobb High School

Credit: North Cobb High School

A former band director at North Cobb Christian School was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges related to a sexual relationship he had with an underage student beginning in 2016.

Craig Godfrey, 39, of Cartersville, entered a negotiated plea Monday on three counts, online court records show. He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of sexual assault by a teacher, while five additional counts against him were dropped.

Godfrey was arrested in January 2021 after he was investigated about a sexual relationship with a student that lasted about three years, Acworth police said. Godfrey began the relationship with a sophomore student in 2016 and had sexual contact with the girl on school grounds, according to his arrest warrant. He and the student also exchanged sexually explicit photos on Snapchat, the warrant said. The relationship ended in 2019 when the student was an adult, police said.

The investigation began when the school contacted police after learning of the band director’s inappropriate relationship in early 2021, head of school Todd Clingman said at the time.

“North Cobb Christian School has zero tolerance for misconduct and took immediate action by contacting and working closely with the Acworth Police Department,” Clingman said in an email to parents. He added that Godfrey was immediately banned from campus and had been denied access to school technology and web portals.

Godfrey is a graduate of Valdosta State University and formerly worked at Rockmart High School. When he became sexually involved with the student in 2016, Godfrey had been working at North Cobb Christian for only a year.

The negotiated plea deal resulted in a 25-year sentence, with 12 years to serve in prison and the remaining 13 on probation. After being released from jail on $50,000 bond in February 2021, Godfrey was booked back into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on Monday.