Federal Way teacher admits to sexual affair with student

Eli Thomas Godbolt - Courtesy photo
Eli Thomas Godbolt
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Mirror staff reports:

A high school teacher in Federal Way has been officially charged over an alleged affair with a student.

Eli Thomas Godbolt, 33, was arrested Oct. 1 after a 17-year-old female student revealed that the two had a sexual relationship.

Prosecutors charged Godbolt with two counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor. The state has requested a bail of $25,000, and Godbolt’s arraignment is set for Nov. 14 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent. The state has also requested that Godbolt not be permitted to have any contact with minors.

Godbolt was initially arraigned Oct. 2 and released on his own recognizance. The teacher is on administrative leave from Federal Way Public Schools.

Since the initial arrest, investigators obtained a copy of a phone call that was recorded between Godbolt and his wife while he was in jail. According to charging documents, Godbolt apologized for his behavior and said, “I’m guilty.” The documents said Godbolt wrote in a letter to a pen pal in Florida that "I did have a relationship with a student."

According to a Federal Way police report, the victim was enrolled in algebra and English classes that were taught by Godbolt. During her freshman year (2009-2010), the victim began to spend time in his classroom before and after school because she was having problems in math, the report said.

In May 2011, they admitted their feelings for each other, according to the report, and the next month he kissed her in the classroom. The teacher and victim allegedly met several times at the tide flats in Northeast Tacoma and would kiss in her car, according to the report. On one occasion, a police officer shined his light into the car and told them they had to leave, the report said.

In September 2011, they allegedly had sexual intercourse for the first time at his home, then the next evening at the tide flats, according to charging documents. They continued to meet in his high school classroom and at local parking lots to kiss in the car.

Charging documents say the teacher and victim had sex at her home when her parents were out of town in October 2011, and again in February 2012 while her parents were at work.

In October 2011, Godbolt chaperoned the Todd Beamer homecoming dance so that he could see the victim dressed in her formal attire, according to the report. After the dance, the two met at the tide flats and were again caught kissing by a police officer who told them to leave, according to the report.

According to charging documents, Godbolt did not use protection during the alleged incidents of sexual intercourse with the victim.

The victim allegedly broke off the relationship in April. On Sept. 30, the victim's mother contacted police. The victim gave police a pair of underwear that she allegedly wore during one of the sexual encounters that had not been washed. Police obtained a warrant for a mouth swab from Godbolt, and the underwear was tested for his DNA. Test results were not available at press time.

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