A week and a half after he swallowed a tissue at his sentencing, causing a judge to delay the hearing with concerns about his competency, Shad Chandler returned to learn his punishment for having sex with a teenager being prostituted by her mother.
"I have regrets over this whole thing," the 42-year-old Lincoln man said first.
He said he's had nightmares about what happened and worries about how the 14-year-old victim will grow up. It was something he never wanted to get involved in, he said.
"I just feel real bad about everything," Chandler said.
But Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Holly Parsley said Chandler has made excuse after excuse, all revolving around him being the victim.
She said Chandler has claimed the victim and her mother -- an Upland woman now doing 75 to 80 years for prostituting her daughters for sex and sending sexually explicit texts to advertise them -- bribed him by saying that if he didn't have sex with the teenager, they would say that he did.
And he called her a sick, warped girl.
"There's enough blame to go around," Parsley said. "None of it goes to the victim. She's a child."
She said Chandler should have picked up the phone and called police.
Parsley said Chandler is not a man sorry he had sex with a 14-year-old. He is a man sorry he got caught.
Chandler's attorney, John Berry, said this was a tragic byproduct of a "very, very strange relationship."
He said Chandler is distraught about what happened, and greatly regrets it.
In the end, District Judge Karen Flowers acknowledged Chandler is remorseful now, but how he got himself in the position he did is difficult to understand.
"You had choices to make, and you made the wrong ones," the judge said.
With that, she sent Chandler to prison for 15 to 45 years. He won't be eligible for parole until after 15 years.
Chandler also will have to register as a sex offender and be subject to possible lifetime parole supervision and a civil commitment.
In a probable cause affidavit for Chandler’s arrest, Nebraska State Patrol Investigator Jeff Ward said he engaged in sex acts with 14-year-old and 7-year-old sisters at his Lincoln apartment during 2011 and the early part of 2012.
Lawmen arrested him April 30, 2012, and he pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual assault of a child in January.
Authorities said Chandler was one of at least seven men the 35-year-old mother allowed to have sex with her 14-year-old daughter and one of at least three who had sex with the younger girl.
The patrol arrested the mother April 26, 2012, after she agreed to prostitute her older daughter for $200 to an undercover investigator in a Kearney motel.