My Sentence Is Too Harsh: Molester

Words of apology from an east county photographer who molested young girls who posed for him.

Gary Whiteside, 66, pleaded guilty in October 2009 to four counts of lewd acts with a minor.

"I would do anything if I could undo what I've done. To the victims and their families I say I'm truly sorry and I ask your forgiveness,"  Whiteside at his sentencing Nov. 16.

Then he learned his fate.

Judge Louis Hanoian sentenced Whiteside to 60 years to life in prison.

"You will be spending the rest of your life in prison for the despicable acts that you have committed against young children," the judge told Whiteside in court.

Even though Whiteside apologized in court to the victims and their families, saying he betrayed their trust, he questioned the length of his sentence.

"When my crime which in several instances involved no physical contact with me whatsoever carries the same penalty as the brutal forcible rape of someone much younger than any of my victims, I don't understand that," Whiteside told the judge.

The judge said that statement showed Whiteside still doesn't understand the ramifications of his actions.

A 21-year old female co-defendant, pleaded guilty to committing a lewd act on a child and is serving a year in jail.

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