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story.lead_photo.caption Amelia Spiotto - Photo by Sebastian County sheriff's office

FORT SMITH -- A Fort Smith woman was sentenced Wednesday to 60 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to performing sex acts on a 3-month-old boy and providing an 11-month-old girl for her lover to molest.

"This is the worst of the worst," Deputy U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts told Western Arkansas Chief U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III in the sentencing of Amelia Spiotto.

Spiotto, 32, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of producing child pornography. She and James Spiotto, 29, were accused of performing sex acts on the babies that Amelia Spiotto was baby-sitting for friends. Court records showed they videotaped the acts to watch while they were having sex.

James Spiotto was sentenced to 60 years in prison last month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to produce child pornography and one count of producing child pornography.

The father of one of the victim children said in court that Amelia Spiotto betrayed him and his wife after they had tried to help Spiotto through hard times. He said he and his wife also were devastated by the thought that the videos of their child being molested would be viewed by people online.

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In sentencing Spiotto, Holmes also addressed the suffering that she put the victims' families through.

Holmes sentenced Spiotto to 30 years in prison on each of the two counts of producing child pornography and ordered both sentences to run consecutively for a total of 60 years.

"The government maintains such a disposition because the offense herein amounts to the single most depraved child exploitation case ever presented to this court," Roberts wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Jeff Rosenzweig of Little Rock and Kimberly Weber of Rogers, attorneys for Spiotto, asked Holmes to sentence their client to 15 years in prison, the minimum sentence for the crimes, and that she receive treatment for borderline personality disorder so she could someday become reunited with her children.

Relying on a psychological evaluation by Little Rock forensic psychologist Benjamin Silber, Spiotto's attorneys argued that James Spiotto used Amelia Spiotto's mental instability to force her to perform sexual acts on the infants. That she said she enjoyed herself while performing them was a symptom of her fear of abandonment and her need to remain attached to James Spiotto emotionally, they said.

In a statement before sentencing, Spiotto apologized for the suffering she caused the victims and their families and blamed James Spiotto for forcing her to commit the sex acts on the infants.

"I never wanted to be what I've become," she said.

She said James Spiotto kept her away from her three children from a previous marriage to James Spiotto's uncle and used that isolation to control her. He also physically and psychologically abused her and subjected her to rough sex to the point that it made her physically ill, she said.

She said she tried to commit suicide twice and thought about suicide often.

Roberts conceded that anyone who would sexually assault a 3-month-old boy had to be mentally ill, but said it did not overshadow that Spiotto knew what she was doing was wrong.

State Desk on 08/24/2017

Print Headline: Fort Smith woman sentenced to 60 years in child pornography case

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