FORT MYERS, Fla.- A former Lee County Sheriff's deputy is sentenced to six and a half years in prison for molesting a 14 year-old girl.
Joshua Payne told the victim he was sorry in court today just before his sentence was handed down.
Payne cried through most of the sentencing today, begging the judge not to give him jail time.
"Mom and Dad, I'm sorry for the heartache. Try not to be sad because you've raised me right," said Payne.
Payne struggled as he read a prepared statement in open court.
" I have spent every hour for the past few months thinking about all that I have hurt," said Payne.
In 2009, Payne was arrested for giving the then 14 year-old victim alcohol, and then fondling her on three separate occasions. She told the judge today the incident has changed her life forever.
"I'm very embarassed that this happened. I want to move on with my life," she said.
The victim's mother, who we're not identifying to protect the young girl's identity, says her daughter will never be the same.
"He was a friend and a deputy, someone who should have been upholding the law," she said.
Paynes wife took the stand to ask a judge for no jail time. She said she needs her husband home to help her raise their two young children.
"We were the all American family until we were faced by Joshua's mistake," said Pam Payne.
The judge sentenced Payne according to state guidelines: six and a half years. He'll also be labeled as a sex offender for life.