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Omaha violin teacher found guilty of molesting student, faces up to 5 years in prison
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Omaha violin teacher found guilty of molesting student, faces up to 5 years in prison

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An Omaha violin teacher pleaded no contest Thursday to third-degree sexual assault of a child.

Michael B. Godfrey, 79, then was found guilty by a judge.

Michael Godfrey

Godfrey

Godfrey faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced in October. Third-degree sexual assault involves touching of a child’s private parts.

In return for his plea, prosecutors dropped a more serious count alleging that he digitally penetrated a former student when she was between the ages of 8 and 10.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said the family of the girl, who turns 17 this month and who lives out of state, was “thrilled” with the plea deal reached between prosecutor Beth Beninato and Godfrey’s attorney, Clarence Mock.

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The girl’s father called Omaha police in November to report that his daughter had told her therapist two years ago about the alleged abuse.

The father said he waited to tell police because his daughter was suicidal, according to a police report.

In an interview with law enforcement in her new city, the girl said she was assaulted when her mother dropped her off at Godfrey’s house for violin lessons, according to a court document.

The girl said Godfrey would have her sit on his lap and say, “I don’t do this with any of my other students,” the document states. Godfrey then would reach under her pants and underwear and fondle the girl, according to the document. The girl said the assaults occurred in Godfrey’s basement, which served as his violin studio.

“He’ll have to register as a sex offender,” Kleine said. “He’s facing up to five years. And the victim won’t have to testify. It’s a result we’re very pleased with, as is the family.”

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