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Man gets 15 years for porn photos of teen

TAMPA — A Valrico man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison for taking sexually explicit photographs of a relative.

"I don't even like waking up anymore," Robert D. Paige, 37, said in federal court, apologizing for what he called the stupidity that landed him behind bars. "If I was told by a doctor that I wouldn't live anymore, I wouldn't care."

Paige was found guilty during a nonjury trial of producing child pornography and possessing child pornography. U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew sentenced him to a concurrent 10-year term on the possession charge.

He also must register as a sex offender and be placed on supervised release for life once he's out of prison.

Paige later admitted taking sexually explicit pictures of the 16-year-old girl, which she told investigators were to be sold online to pay off her $2,000 cell phone bill.

"I was absolutely repulsed by what you did," Bucklew told Paige, saying details of the case enraged her.

Paige denied that he planned to post the images on the Web to make money and said he deleted them from his digital camera.

"I'm thinking, 'Oh, my God. That's worse,' " Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Murphy-Davis told the judge. "What did he do it for? Some perverted reason? That's the only thing that's left to believe."

Court records say Paige conducted three photo shoots between August and September 2008. An FBI analysis of his computer recovered more than a dozen graphic images of the girl.

He told detectives that he and another adult talked about making money through a porn site and that the girl must have overheard the conversations. Paige told investigators that the girl approached him the next day and offered to let him take nude pictures to help pay her cell phone bill. Paige said he never forced her to participate.

The girl told authorities about the pictures when she was taken into custody under the state's Baker Act. She had told law enforcement that she wanted to run away from home and hurt herself.

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Man gets 15 years for porn photos of teen 06/02/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:24pm]
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