David Andrew Diehl was sentenced after U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel found him guilty in February of 10 counts of exploitation of a child. Yeakel could have sentenced him to up to 20 years in prison for each count related to the 13 videos he made.
Prosecutors say Diehl admitted taking videos of girls, ages 11 and 8, engaged in sex acts inside a camping tent at Star Ranch in Central Texas. Diehl also made videos of himself engaged in sex acts with girls, ages 3 and 8, at his home.
Several family members of Diehl's victims testified at Monday's sentencing hearing in Austin, the Austin American-Statesman (http://bit.ly/udAkcF) reported. The mother of one of the three girls said that when she learned of her daughter's abuse, "basically, I felt a part of my soul die."
The father of another victim read a statement from his daughter, now 18, who said the abuse factored in her drift toward anorexia, drug abuse, an overdose and a death wish, the American-Statesman reported.
"I don't recall the happy young girl I'm told I was," she said in the statement her father read. "I still have fears of David Diehl coming back and hurting my family, hurting myself."
The father concluded by saying, "I pray every day you spend in prison you suffer horribly."
Diehl's attorney has appealed for a more lenient sentence, the American-Statesman reported. Gerry Morris said his client was, himself, abused as a child and that constant pain from a motorcycle accident left him dependent on Oxycontin and alcohol.
"The offenses occurred more than 10 years ago," Morris said. "At the time he committed these offenses, he was living a lifestyle he now readily admits."
According to Morris, Diehl has acknowledged "a terrible lack of judgment" and apologizes for "breaching everyone's trust."
Federal prosecutor Matthew Devlin was unmoved, the newspaper reported. "He's entirely remorseless," he said. "He thinks this is nothing more than a bad roofing job, and he feels bad and it'll never happen again."