A Great Neck man who possessed more than 1,000 videos and 4,000 still images of child pornography was sentenced Friday to 24 months in prison and five years probation.
Paul Hyman, 67, of Great Neck had faced between 78 months and 97 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, said U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler in Central Islip.
Wexler said it was "a tough case" on which to reach a decision. He did not explain why he was imposing the lesser sentence, saying the severity of the crime prevented him from imposing a nonprison sentence, as requested by the defense.
Hyman was a video-gaming industry consultant and writer who called himself "The Game Master." In November 2013, investigators raided his home and carted off the pornographic material, which he had cataloged by the age of the children.
He surrendered March 21, 2014, to face five charges, including four counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possession. He pleaded guilty that day to a single possession count, which carried a maximum 10-year sentence, but no mandatory minimum sentence.
Conviction on the other four counts, which were formally dismissed Friday, would have called for a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years.
Hyman remains free on $500,000 bond pending his surrender Jan. 12 to begin his sentence. Defense attorney Charles Ross asked the judge to send him to a low-security prison, such as Allenwood in Pennsylvania, and the judge did.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode asked for a "significant" prison term, though it could be less than the guidelines sentence.
Bode said in a letter to the judge in May that a prison sentence was appropriate for someone convicted of "violent child rape pornography" involving victims as young as 4 and 5 years old.
The judge read part of a letter from one of the victims in a video. The victim said they "lived every day with the horrible knowledge" that their image was still being viewed by others.
Defense attorney Charles Ross of Manhattan said later outside court that law enforcement should devote more resources to tracking down the people who produce child pornography.
"There is no proof, no evidence, of any contact whatsoever," between Hyman and the children on the video, Ross said. "The people who knew these victims are the people who ought to be caught and prosecuted."