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Man who photographed himself having sex with underage girl gets 30 years in prison

Paul Archambault Jr. is not your run of the mill criminal.

Unlike most defendants, he insisted on taking his case to trial – he stood accused of photographing an underage girl while they had sex. And at the trial, he never admitted guilt or showed remorse.

During his trial last year, Archambault represented himself, cross examined the young woman he victimized three years earlier and, at one point, even suggested the government was callous to insist she testify against him.

Even after a jury found him guilty, he wrote letters to the judge, asked for a psychiatric exam and, on the day of his sentencing, refused to appear in court.

But in the end, the Buffalo man couldn't avoid his punishment – 30 years in prison.

"There is no redemption for this defendant," Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango said Friday.

In sentencing Archambault, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara pointed to his well documented desire for nude photographs of underage girls and his prior conviction for child pornography.

Even worse, the judge noted, the more recent incident involving a minor girl occurred just two months after Archambault's release from prison on the other conviction.

Archambault, 29, said little during his court appearance but, for the first time, acknowledged some remorse.

"I would like to apologize to the victim," he said at one point Friday.

Archambault's sentence followed a jury trial at which Mango and prosecutor Scott S. Allen portrayed him as a predator with a lustful desire for young girls. The trial ended with guilty verdicts on each of the four child porn charges against him.

The evidence included photographs of the defendant and the victim, found in Archambault’s cellphone, as well as telephone calls from Archambault to family members in which he apologizes for his actions.

Under the law, Archambault faced a maximum of life in prison, but his lawyer argued that his conduct – a single incident involving a 16-year old girl – did not warrant that long of a prison term. His 30-year sentence will begin after he finishes a seven-year sentence for a violation of his previous child porn sentence.

"He'll be an old man, no matter what his sentence," said defense lawyer John J. Molloy.

As part of that same case in 2011, Archambault's father, Paul Sr., then 73, was convicted of receiving child pornography and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Archambault, who gave his own opening and closing statements during his trial here, argued that the prosecution’s case was full of erroneous assumptions and appearances, or what he called “gray areas.”

The jury disagreed and instead found him guilty of producing, receiving and possessing child pornography.

Over the course of the trial, Mango and Allen used cellphone records and seized photographs and videos to bolster their argument that Archambault took the photos and knew that the girl, a Buffalo high school student, was a minor.

They also relied on the testimony of Archambault’s victims, including a second female photographed having sex with Archambault in 2009 when she was just 15. Archambault spent three years in prison for that crime.

The other victim, the woman at the center of the current prosecution, said Archambault went by the name Noah Miller and claimed to be a teacher at Lafayette High School in Buffalo. Their relationship started on “Meet Me,” a social networking site, and quickly progressed to the point where they exchanged nude photos of each other.

And then, in August 2012, Archambault drove her and a friend to a hotel in Amherst, where he took photos of the victim while having sex with her.

During the trial, the young woman, who was 19 when she testified, told the jury that Archambault once told her to lie about her age if police ever stopped them.

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