TAMPA — A 43-year-old Brooksville man was sentenced Thursday to 6½ years in prison for possessing and transporting child pornography.
Paul Thorpe entered a guilty plea in federal court earlier this year to one count and faced a mandatory minimum term of five years. Prosecutors agreed to drop a second count as part of a plea agreement.
U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara denied a request by Thorpe's attorney to depart from the mandatory term but levied a punishment on the low end of sentencing guidelines that called for between 78 and 97 months.
Once released, Thorpe will be under court supervision for the rest of his life.
Court records show Thorpe admitted to using a peer-to-peer file-sharing network to search for and download images of children engaging in sexually explicit acts. Investigators found 155 images on Thorpe's laptop.
Defense attorney Joe Caimano told the court that Thorpe knew using the network would allow other users to view the files but that he didn't intend to distribute them. His wife and parents spoke on his behalf Thursday.