Former State Senator Marc Panepinto has been sentenced to two months in prison for attempting to cover up unwanted sexual advances toward a former legislative staffer.

Federal judge Michael Roemer also gave the Democrat one year supervised release and a $9,500 fine. In June, Panepinto pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of making a promise of employment, compensation or other benefit for political activity.

He admitted to making a series of unwanted advances toward the female staffer in her hotel room while the two were in New York City for a fundraiser for him. After the young woman resigned and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics opened up an investigation into the situation, Panepinto sent another staffer to offer money and/or another government job in order to buy her silence.

Panepinto called a sudden press conference to resign his post after that attempt apparently fell through. During that March 2016 press conference, he gave several reasons for his decision including an unspecified situation with staff turnover but denied any ethics investigation.

The judge said he received 80 letters as part of the pre-sentencing process; one from the defendant, one from the victim, and 78 on behalf of the defendant. He said many of the people wrote that they were disappointed with Panepinto’s behavior but felt it was out of character and discussed the many charitable things he did for friends, family and the community.

Both Panepinto and his attorney addressed the judge directly, saying he was remorseful and took full responsibility for his actions. In asking for only a fine, they asked the judge not to minimize the action but to weigh the defendant’s other good deeds and the potential impact on his family and the people he employs.

The court room was nearly full with Panepinto’s family and colleagues, many of them teary-eyed. Panepinto got emotional himself as he discussed how the case has affected his three daughters.

However, the U.S. Attorney’s office said the way the defendant described his conduct led it to believe he still didn’t fully appreciate the “wrongfulness” of his actions. In particular, prosecutor Paul Bonanno noted Panepinto called his offer to the former staffer a “settlement” when in fact it was an illegal quid pro quo.

He also said Panepinto already attempted to use monetary payment to avoid consequences and a simple fine would not be sufficient.

“The defendant essentially sought to purchase this young woman’s silence,” U.S. Attorney J.P. Kennedy said in a statement. “In so doing, he placed his own interests above those of his staff and his constituents; he sought to use his position to benefit himself above all others. His abuse of power cost him his office and bought him a federal criminal conviction.”

The judge said he gave long consideration to not incarcerating Panepinto and believed he was, in fact, remorseful. Still, Roemer called the actions “wholly inappropriate” and a “flagrant abuse” and worried that no prison time would be seen as a slap on the wrist by the public.

In one of the more poignant moments, the judge said he understood Panepinto’s concern for his own daughters but said “every woman is someone’s daughter.” He also noted that Panepinto has been convicted of two previous misdemeanors, the most recent an election law violation.

“He should have learned his lesson that time,” Roemer said.

The victim herself was not in the courtroom. The prosecutor said he spoke with her this week and she felt it would be very difficult and painful to appear and she also wanted to protect her anonymity.

Bonanno said she did not want anybody to think that meant she didn’t care what happened to Panepinto. The attorney repeatedly pointed out the devastating effect the situation had on her life and that she has since moved out of state and no longer works in politics.

The judge initially recommended Panepinto voluntarily surrender himself after the New Year but the defense asked for 60 days in order for him to take care of things with his law firm. Roemer granted that request.

It’s unclear at this point if Panepinto will be able to continue to practice law in New York State moving forward.