The asteroid species Nymphaster radiatus Spencer is redescribed in detail and placed in a new genus, Chrispaulia. Newly collected associated ossicles including ambulacral, adambulacral, marginal, terminal and actinal plates demonstrate that this taxon is a member of the family Goniopectinidae (order Paxillosida, suborder Cribellina), rather than of the Goniasteridae (order Valvatida) as hitherto presumed. This is the first fossil record of the Goniopectinidae, which is a small and rather uncommon family in Recent seas. Living Cribellina are specialized deposit feeders which burrow into muddy substrates in moderately deep marine to abyssal environments. The restriction of C. radiatus to Cretaceous muds and marly chalks, taken in conjunction with morphological evidence, leads to the conclusion that this species had a similar life style. The occurrence of fossil Cribellina is reviewed and the Cretaceous (Campanian) genus Paleoctenodiscus from Mexico is assigned to the Porcellanasteridae.