Michael B. Godfrey in 2014

Michael B. Godfrey in 2014

OMAHA - A violin instructor who started giving lessons about 20 years ago in Omaha is accused of digitally penetrating a female student several times over four years, according to court documents.

Michael B. Godfrey, 77, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault of a child and booked into the Douglas County Jail.

A girl had told Omaha police that she was sexually assaulted several times by Godfrey during her violin lessons from 2011 to 2014. That would make her as young as 6 or as old as 10 years old when the alleged assaults occurred.

The girl, now 14 years old, has since moved out of state with her family. Her father called Omaha police in November to report that her 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 near 52nd and Izard Streets 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 touched the girl's vagina, belly button and hips, according to the document.

The girl said the alleged assaults occurred in Godfrey's basement, which served as his violin studio for lessons.

Chief Deputy Douglas County Attorney Brenda Beadle said Friday that her office is reviewing the case, but she expects to file a charge of first-degree sexual assault of a child against Godfrey on Monday.

When the girl was in eighth grade, officials said, she used a classmate's cellphone to call Godfrey and confront him. The girl told police that Godfrey blamed the abuse on her and she got so "angry and upset she was on the brink of tears," the document said. The girl hung up and didn't contact Godfrey again, according to the document.

Godfrey wrote in his bio on violinist.com that he has played violin since he was 9 years old. He said he worked at Union Pacific Railroad for nearly 22 years, took early retirement and earned a bachelor of music degree in violin performance at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2003. He said he taught about 35 students of all ages.

A 2014 World-Herald article said Godfrey played violin in the UNO Chamber Orchestra.

Beadle, the chief deputy county attorney, said the investigation into Godfrey's conduct is ongoing.

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