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Man guilty of having sex with 12-year-old

January 18, 2001

Man guilty of having sex with 12-year-old



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


A New Mexico man who admitted having sex with a 12-year-old Hagerstown girl he met at a Florida baseball game was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in the Washington County Detention Center.

Robert Martin Godwin, 42, of Sante Fe, N.M., pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree sex offense before Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick Wright.

On July 20, Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Ken Cain responded to Washington County Hospital where Hagerstown City Police were with the victim, who told them of the sexual encounters at the Econo Lodge near State Line, Pa.

The girl, now 13, told Cain and Investigator Kenny Barnhart she met Godwin at a baseball game in Florida on March 13 and that they remained in contact by telephone after she returned home to Hagerstown, court records said.

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Godwin is a chef who travels around the country in connection with his job.

The girl said she telephoned Godwin July 18 and asked him to meet her at the Valley Mall. When he arrived, he picked up the girl and her two friends and they went to lunch, court records said.

Later they all went to the Econo Lodge and while the friends waited in the car, Godwin and the girl went into the motel room and had consensual sex, court records said.

The girl told deputies Godwin later took her friends home and then returned to the motel where she and Godwin had sex numerous times and spent the night together, court records said.

The girl's mother spoke in court Thursday about her belief that Godwin is a pedophile.

"If you do let him out, will the next child get away with her life?," the mother asked. "My child was lucky."

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said she disagrees with the victim's mother, noting there was no evidence Godwin had ever done such a thing before.

"I believe this was a one-time thing," Cirincion said.

Godwin admitted the events of July 18-20.

"I agree with the facts but this was an isolated incident ... a big mistake," Godwin said. "I understand the hurt to her family and mine."

Charges of second-degree rape and second- degree sex offense were dropped in exchange for the plea.

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