ATLANTA - The night before his July arrest, William "Carter" Gorman knelt down and asked God to cure him of his affinity for child pornography, he told a federal judge Tuesday.
The problematic urge, Gorman said, had trailed him for years, and though he'd "corrected it" for a time, he backslid last summer. Gorman's issues have cost him his role as a respected pharmacy owner, his position as a Lawrenceville city leader and - for the next 10 years - his freedom.
"You can put me in jail," Gorman told the judge, "but a much more severe punishment will follow me the rest of my life."
U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten Sr. showed little sympathy Tuesday morning in Atlanta, sentencing Gorman to 10 years in federal prison without parole, followed by a lifetime of supervised release - a greater sentence than prosecutors had asked for.
Gorman pleaded guilty in January to one count of receiving eight videos featuring child pornography at his Lawrenceville home. Authorities also found "a large collection" of child porn on computers at Gorman's home and family pharmacy.
Batten said the nature of the videos - which carried titles such as "Little Ones in Love" and "Pre-Teen Trio" - is "disgusting and of an unspeakable evil."
Gorman's mother, father and sister hardly flinched as Batten handed down the sentence.
"I've done my best to bring him up a fair and honest person," William Gorman Sr. told the judge. "I have forgiven him. I pray every day the Lord will forgive him."
Outside the courtroom, Gorman's father scorned the media for bringing his son's legal woes to light, but declined further comment.
Gorman's attorney, Mark Sallee, called the sentence "unduly harsh." He plans to appeal.
Gorman, who appeared sullen in a baggy orange jumpsuit and unkempt gray hair, listened as a woman who claimed he fondled her in 1987 asked the judge for stern punishment.
The alleged victim came forward to police when Gorman was arrested. She caught him trying to molest her during a sleepover at his home when she was 10 years old, she said.
"I rolled over, terrified, thinking 'What's this man doing to me?'" she said.
Batten called the woman's statements "extremely compelling." She filed a police report at the time, but the case was never prosecuted, she said.
Gorman owned Monfort Drugs in Lawrenceville since 1980, a business his daughters now operate. In the wake of the accusations, he resigned as treasurer of the Lawrenceville Downtown Development Authority.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBurney said Gorman will be housed at a medium-security prison in the Southeast, possibly in Talladega, Ala. Toward the end of his sentence, he could qualify for a transfer to a sex offender treatment compound in Massachusetts.
But Gorman's legal woes don't end with the federal case.
Gwinnett police have charged him with two counts of child molestation for alleged misconduct with a 13-year-old female acquaintance at his 725 James Ridge Drive home, just prior to his arrest last July.
Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter is reviewing that case for presentation to a grand jury. If convicted of the state charges, it's possible Gorman may be allowed to serve a prison sentence concurrent with the federal sentence, Porter said.
Gorman denied all allegations of child molestation Tuesday.