Federal prosecutors said a 70-year prison sentence for a LaFayette man convicted of making and distributing child pornography is justified and reflects the “immense and inexplicable suffering” of the victim.

Attorneys for James “Bart” Huskey appealed the sentencing, handed down in March, calling the term “unreasonably harsh.”

The appeal, filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asked that the three sentences be run concurrently — effectively reducing the sentence to 30 years.

W. Matthew Dodge, Huskey’s attorney, said the reduction would be more in line with what the legislature intended when outlining criminal penalties for child pornography cases.

In the response, Assistant U.S. Attorney Francey Hakes stated because the sentencing guideline recommendation exceeded the outlined maxmum sentence for each individual crime, the presentence report recommended that the three sentences be served consecutively.

Vining concurred and sentenced Huskey to 70 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release.

Hakes stated in the brief that the defendant cannot show his sentence, which was within the sentencing guidelines range, is an abuse of the judge’s discretion.

Huskey video-recorded himself as he sexually molested a young child throughout a period of four years and posted footage of the activity on an encrypted Web site.

The series of videos and photos was internationally known and continues to be circulated, according to prosecutors.

At the sentencing U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Vining acknowledged that the sentence “in effect appears to be a life sentence” but also stated “the the public needs to be protected from Mr. Huskey.”

Judges, when sentencing a defendant, must consider factors such as the nature of the offense, criminal history of the defendant, just punishment, adequate deterrence, need to protect the public and federal sentencing guidelines.

Walker County Messenger