LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – A man convicted of more than 70 counts of sex charges maintained his innocence at his sentencing hearing Monday.

Brian Hough pleaded guilty to 79 charges, including importuning, possessing criminal tools, pandering obscenity involving a minor and illegal use of minor or impaired person in nudity-oriented material or performance.

Despite pleading guilty and admitting to having thousands of sexual images of children on his computer, Hough told the court that he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. He says he was trying to help.

“No one has ever asked me why I had those pictures on my computer,” he said.

When Hough was given the opportunity to give a statement before being sentenced, he went on to speak for roughly 30 minutes. During this time, he explained what he says was his reasoning for having the images.

“They thought I was just some pedophile that got off at looking at younger kids. Well, in fact, that’s totally the opposite,” he said.

Hough told the court that over a number of years, he began collecting sexually explicit images of children with the intention being to “take the site down.”

“I never touched or hurt anyone in my life,” he said.

He said he also told his preacher and counselor that he was collecting the images and that no one ever told him he couldn’t have them.

However, the prosecution argued that not only did Hough have images of children, but he also made an attempt to meet who he believed to be a 14-year-old boy with the intention of engaging in sexual acts.

That 14-year-old boy was actually an undercover officer. The meeting led to Hough’s arrest when the officer arrived at Hough’s home while still on the phone with him posing as a child.

Again, Hough had a reason for the communication, saying he talked to the “boy” over the phone but had no intention of engaging in a sexual relationship with him.

After Hough pleaded his case, Judge Scott Washam addressed him.

“Why would anyone save these images, Mr. Hough, except so that they could be viewed and reviewed over and over and over again?” the judge said.

He stated that Hough minimized his crimes and feels that he would be likely to re-offend if given the opportunity.

Judge Washam decided to accept the prosecution’s recommended sentence of consecutive terms as opposed to concurrent terms.

He sentenced Hough to serve a total of 41 years in prison. He will also have to register as a Tier Two sex offender.