LaGrange man who sent child porn to undercover officer gets six years in prison

Posted Sept. 16, 2011, at 5:36 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 16, 2011, at 6:11 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A LaGrange man who used the screen name “studman634” when he sent child pornography to an undercover police officer in 2009 was sentenced Friday to 72 months in prison for the federal crime.

Lawrence J. Labbe, 46, pleaded guilty in February to unlawful transportation of child pornography using his computer and has been held without bail since then.

“The defendant told the officer he liked children 5 and up and also transferred 20 images of child pornography to the detective,” U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said while delivering his sentence.

Labbe also had about 400 images of child porn on his computer that he downloaded or received through Internet chat rooms, the federal judge said. Those and similar images “will forever be traded — like baseball cards — on the Internet,” Woodcock said.

The undercover officer to whom Labbe sent the images was a Macomb County sheriff’s deputy in Detroit, Mich.

At least one of the images found on Labbe’s computer showed an adult male having sex with a girl about the age of 10, and others depicted sadistic or violent images of child pornography, but none featured infants, the judge said.

Labbe told detectives he had been viewing child pornography for years, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Moore told the court, describing the crime as “illegal, immoral and repugnant.”

Virginia Villa, the federal public defender who represented Labbe, requested leniency for her client. She said “there is no evidence Mr. Labbe has committed a hands-on offense” and added that there is a very low recidivism rate for those who commit similar crimes and get counselling.

“The unanswered question here is: Why did the defendant spend four or five years looking at child pornography?” Woodcock said.

The judge said that federal sentencing guidelines would have placed Labbe, who had no prior criminal record, behind bars for a period of 11 to 14 years.

“I have concluded you do not deserve a guideline sentence,” Woodcock said. “I think a guideline sentence is too harsh for you.”

In addition to the six-year prison sentence, Labbe was given 10 years of supervised release after he gets out, was barred from using a computer with Internet access and must also register as a sex offender.

Woodcock also ordered Labbe to enter treatment and barred him from possessing guns, ammunition or explosives.

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