A Bozeman man who downloaded hundreds of child pornography images and movies will spend about 10 years in federal prison.

Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull sentenced Daniel Ivan Frantz, 31, to 121 months and ordered 20 years of supervised release Thursday for his guilty plea to receiving child porn. There was no plea agreement.

The term was the low end of a range that went to about 12½ years. Frantz was held responsible for 597 images and 37 movies.

Frantz admitted to receiving child porn from September 2009 to May 2010 in Billings, while he was in a halfway house for substance abuse treatment. He used a neighbor's Internet wireless connection to download child porn images.

Frantz apologized in court, saying he had no excuses and the "deepest-felt sympathy" for those who have suffered.

"Somewhere along the way, I lost my significance. I allowed myself to dance with the devil," he said.

Frantz deserved significant punishment because of his history and the number and nature of the images, Cebull said. The probation officer, he continued, had to stop describing to him the videos "because it was so horrible."

Cebull rejected a defense request for the minimum mandatory term of five years.

Assistant Federal Defender Steve Babcock had argued for a departure based on an increasing number of federal judges sentencing offenders below the guidelines because they think the child porn guidelines are excessive. In 2009, 43 percent of federal judges departed downward in such cases without the government's consent, while the departure rate for other crimes was about 16 percent, he said.

Frantz's guideline range had enhancements common in child porn cases, including the number of images, use of a computer, images showing sadistic, masochistic or violent conduct and pictures of prepubescent children.

Babcock said Frantz has an "amazingly addictive personality." Frantz has been hooked on alcohol and drugs for much of his life, which led to a criminal record, he said. In addition, Frantz was diagnosed with bipolar mental disorder, has relapsed from treatment programs but presents a low risk for committing a hands-on sex offense, he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd argued for a low- to medium-range sentence, saying a child pornography offender can be treated but not cured. Having viewed a lot of child porn because of her job, Hurd said, Frantz's collection contained some of the worst she's seen.

"The movies are horrific," she said. "We're not talking about 14-year-old girls standing naked and posing. We're talking about 2-year-olds being sodomized," she said.

Contact Clair Johnson at cjohnson@billingsgazette.com or 657-1282.

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