A Sioux Falls man who downloaded tens of thousands of images and videos of child pornography says he wanted to get caught.
52-year-old David Lee Smith was sentenced to 125 years in prison. In court, Smith admitted to being addicted to child pornography and figured the only way to get help was to get arrested.
Smith pled guilty to 15 counts of possessing child pornography. It's a case the Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan says is one of the largest child porn cases he's ever prosecuted.
"It is not a victimless crime. These children are victimized over and over again," McGowan said.
Smith had downloaded over 30,000 images and 3,000 videos, most of which contained child porn. Kids, ranging in age from infants to 13 years old, were depicted in the images having sex with adults.
"There were multiple circumstances in this case with the sheer volume of child porn, the nature of the child porn, the obvious addiction here and the inability to control the impulses," McGowan said.
At Thursday's sentencing, one of the videos Smith had downloaded and found on his computer was played in the court. After watching the video for a short time, judge Pat Riepel interrupted and said, "I think the state has made its point."
McGowan says the harsh sentence shows that anyone caught with such graphic images will be punished to the full extent of the law.
"And even if you're not creating it or not manufacturing it or selling it, you are helping support it as part of the supply and demand in an industry that profits from victimization of young children. That will not be tolerated," McGowan said.
Part of Thursday's sentence was suspended, meaning Smith will spend just 50 of the 125 year sentence in prison. McGowan says he will serve at least 40 percent of that time before he is eligible for parole.