A former airman at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base was sentenced Thursday to 100 years in prison on child pornography charges.

Jesse Ryan Swaffar, 34, was convicted by a jury in Pima County Superior Court of 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after Tucson police found thousands of videos and images of child pornography on his computer.

Swaffar’s girlfriend called police in April 2015 after she found the child pornography on his computer, court documents show. Police seized his computers and found the images and videos organized into folders on various devices, including an encrypted hard drive.

The images and videos depicted “pre-pubescent children, many of which were sexually abused by adult men,” court records show.

Swaffar was discharged from the Air Force when police began investigating him.

Two officers who investigated the case testified the images and videos, which Saffar downloaded between 2009 and 2015, amounted to one of the largest quantities of child pornography they had seen in their careers, Assistant Attorney General Jared Kreamer Hope said at the sentencing hearing.

Defense lawyer Paul Palmisano asked for the minimum sentence, noting his client did not have any prior felony convictions, he was a decorated member of the Air Force, and he did not assist in the manufacture or dissemination of the videos and photos.

Judge Jane Eikleberry cited all of those factors, as well as the family support for Swaffar, when she handed down the minimum sentence of 100 years. Swaffar faced a presumptive term of 170 years. He will have to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.

In his remarks to the judge, Swaffar said people likely will think of him as a “monster,” but he could still count on the love of his family and friends.

Two of Swaffar’s friends attended the sentencing hearing and said Swaffar inadvertently acquired the files when he downloaded a server full of mainstream movies, as he and many others in the military do before deployments.

Swaffar’s family hired a computer specialist to testify to that fact, but he died in an ATV wreck two months before the trial began, said Swaffar’s friend Joshua Ballesteros.

Kreamer Hope called the case a “poignant reminder of the impact of sexual abuse on children.”

One of the victims included in the files found on Swaffar’s computer was repeatedly raped by her father starting when she was 9 years old.

The videos were made by the victim’s father to be posted online, the victim’s attorney wrote in court documents. The victim was raped in scripted scenarios and forced to hold up signs inviting viewers to “come and play.”

Due to the widespread sharing of the videos, the victim’s trauma continues despite the fact the sexual abuse ended years ago.

“I live every day with the horrible knowledge that many people somewhere are watching the most terrifying moments of my life and taking grotesque pleasure in them,” the victim wrote in a statement to the court.

Her exploitation is “never ending” and frequently causes her to get “stuck,” she wrote.

“When this happens, I sit in the same spot motionless for a long time,” she wrote. “My mind will come back at some point later in the day, maybe 30 minutes later or maybe six hours later.”

She said she is “hurt every time I hear about another criminal case that involves my images. With each additional case that I hear about, I know that many more copies of my images are spread around the internet; I know that there is a lesser and lesser chance that the horror I feel about people seeing me in this way will ever end.”

The victim’s mother wrote: “These viewers made the choice to descend to the lowest degree and rape her with their eyes, and with their minds, as she was being robbed of her innocence at 9 years old.”

A psychologist who treated her wrote to the court that her father, the perpetrator of the abuse, also was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. The father is serving a 50-year term in federal prison.

The dissemination of the images is a source of ongoing trauma for the victim, the psychologist wrote, calling it a “chronic, toxic condition” that “works like a corrosive acid on the psyche of the individual.”

The victim found out the videos were being disseminated online when she was 17, which she described as the day “my world came crashing down.” Her real name is attached to some of the videos.

She has legally changed her name since then and has married.

She remains “hyper-vigilant” that men she meets may have watched the videos and she frequently suffers panic attacks, the attorney wrote.

“For her, this has meant a split between the normal facade she projects, and the insomnia, nightmares, dissociative episodes, and panic attacks she faces within,” the attorney wrote.

Pedophiles stalk the victim and infiltrate her social media accounts, the attorney wrote. She has seen recent photos of herself and her family, as well as news about her wedding date and other aspects of her personal life, posted in online bulletin boards used by pedophiles. One person said he had taken a class with her.

Eikleberry ordered Swaffar to pay $2,500 to the known victim.

Contact Curt Prendergast at 573-4224 or cprendergast@tucson.com. On Twitter @CurtTucsonStar.

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