A federal judge in Central Islip on Tuesday sentenced a Smithtown man to 60 years in prison — the equivalent of a life sentence — for producing child pornography and exploiting young girls, despite the man’s plea for leniency.

Joseph Valerio said he was sorry for the harm he inflicted on his victims, who were 2 and 6 at the time, but U.S. District Court Judge Joseph F. Bianco in U.S. District Court still deemed him a menace to society.

“I think his risk of recidivism is extremely high,” Bianco said before imposing one of the toughest sentences, typically reserved for convicted murderers and gangsters.

Valerio, 50, a father of two who is a real estate investor, will spend the remainder of life behind bars. He was convicted after trial of producing child pornography and other related charges.

Earlier, Valerio had pleaded for mercy, blaming his conduct, which he described as “horrible” and “heinous”, on alcohol and substance abuse and an abusive father.

“I plan, your honor, to become a better rehabilitated man,” said Valerio.

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He and members of his family who were in court Tuesday, including his mother and sister, showed no visible reaction as Bianco handed down the sentence.

In 2014, Valerio was arrested after federal authorities said he “scripted” sexual acts he wanted his then-girlfriend, Olena Kalichenko, who was living in Ukraine, to engage in with her own 2-year-old daughter. He then told her to film the acts and send him the videos. In all, Valerio received more than 30 videos, prosecutors said.

Valerio, who had sent her $8,000 and $12,000, threatened to stop sending her money if she stopped producing the videos, authorities said.

When FBI agents searched Valerio’s computer, they found pornographic images of the 6-year-old girl, a relative of Valerio. The photos, authorities said, were taken in the basement of Valerio’s home in 2010. He was subsequently arrested and charged.

Kalichenko, 29, of Kiev, had pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.