---- — CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A woman convicted of sexually exploiting her 14-year-old daughter to produce child pornography was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in prison by a federal judge who called her conduct “shocking” and “egregious.”
“The damage you have done to your daughter is incalculable,” Judge Paul Barbadoro told the 43-year-old woman.
The daughter, now 15, said in a videotaped statement played in court that her mother was normal for 13 years.
“I love my mother very much,” the girl said. “My mother is not the monster she is made out to be.”
The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault and is not naming the woman, a Manchester lawyer, to avoid identifying her daughter.
A jury convicted the woman in January of transporting her daughter across state lines to produce child pornography, possessing child pornography and sexually exploiting her daughter to produce child pornography. She had faced up to 100 years in prison, which was the sentence federal prosecutors sought.
Two men testified that the woman made cellphone videos of them having sex with her daughter, and jurors viewed a 7-minute video prosecutors say she made of herself performing oral sex on the girl.
Defense attorney James Moir said Thursday that the woman’s life fell apart when her husband left her in 2011 and she turned to alcohol and drugs after 10 years of being a good Christian.
The judge said the woman, who has been incarcerated since her arrest in November and has been barred from having contact with her daughter, had used her daughter as “bait” to lure younger men for her own sexual gratification.
The woman, wearing a county jail uniform, shook her head and spoke briefly before she was sentenced.
“In July 2011 my world crashed, and I fell apart,” she said. “Being separated from my daughter is the greatest pain I have ever felt. Baby, I’m so sorry.”
Prosecutor Helen Fitzgibbon told the judge the daughter feels guilty and believes she is to blame for her mother’s predicament, a notion the judge said further illustrates the depth of the harm and damage the woman has done to her.
“She is 100 percent victim,” the judge said, calling the mother “100 percent perpetrator.”
The judge said he did not impose a life sentence on the woman to let her daughter know she had been heard.
Moir, the defense attorney, had asked for a 15-year sentence, saying the recordings, one of which shows the daughter having sexual intercourse for the first time in a Canadian motel room three weeks after she’d turned 14, were not made for profit or distribution but were a “sort of warped memento.”
The daughter did not testify and appeared in the courtroom for the first time to hear the verdict, to which she and her mother showed no reaction.
Moir said after court that he will appeal the conviction, and he declined to comment on the sentence.
U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said he was satisfied with the woman’s 40-year sentence.
“It effectively is a life sentence,” Kacavas said. “It removes her from society and eliminates any threat she poses to minors and adolescents.”