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210-year sentence upheld for child sex offender, US attorneys say

US Court of Appeals upholds sentence for Matthew Graziotti

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a 210-year sentence of imprisonment Friday for a former elementary school teacher, summer camp director and youth pastor for producing, distributing and possessing child pornography, U.S. attorneys said.

Matthew Graziotti had distributed images and videos depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of children to an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, according to court documents.

During the execution of a search warrant, agents had found a large collection of photographs and videos showing the rape and exploitation of thousands of children, U.S. attorneys said.

One computer folder that was titled "personally known" had contained sexually explicit photographs and videos of 29 children whom Graziotti personally had sexually abused when they were under the age of 12 and had been entrusted to him in his various positions of authority, according to U.S. attorneys.

Graziotti had stored the sexually explicit photographs and videos in subfolders, bearing each child-victim's name. U.S. attorneys said he had produced these images from 2010 through 2014.

Graziotti argued that his 210-year sentence is unreasonable because it is several times greater than his remaining life expectancy and therefore is, by definition, greater than necessary to serve any legitimate sentencing purpose, according to U.S. attorneys.

The Court of Appeals said that the sentence is not unreasonable simply because it is physically impossible for Graziotti to serve it, observing that child-sex offenses are among the most "egregious and despicable of societal and criminal offenses."