Credit: Dreamstime | TNS

A father of four from the western Maine town of Mexico was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to 25 years in prison on one count of sexual exploitation of a minor.

David Donahue, 48, pleaded guilty on Feb. 19. He had been held without bail since then.

Donahue last year took photos of a girl under the age of 6 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty.

His phone, where the images were found, was seized on Sept. 21 from his home, according to court documents. How police were alerted to Donahue’s crime was not included in court documents.

He faced between 25 and 50 years in prison due to a 2000 conviction on his record for three counts of sexual abuse of a minor, a misdemeanor crime. He was sentenced to 364 days, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by his attorney, Federal Defender David Beneman. After serving his sentence, Donahue married the victim, who was a teenager in 2000.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Donahue would have faced a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison if he had not previously been convicted of a sex crime, Beneman said.

In letters to U.S. District Judge Jon Levy, family and neighbors described Donahue as “helpful,” assisting with lawn work and mechanical repairs for cars, trucks or boats. He was described as a devoted family man.

In addition to prison time, Levy sentenced Donahue to a lifetime of supervised release.