Lopicola sentenced Friday

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A Palm Beach County judge has sentenced former WPTV NewsChannel 5 meteorologist Rob Lopicola to 56 months in prison.

He faced up to 20 years in prison after a jury convicted him on lewd and lascivious conduct and computer pornography charges.

After being given credit for time served, Lopicola will remain in prison for an additional three years.

In October, Lopicola testified during his trial that he had met a teenager through an advertisement on Craigslist, but he wouldn't have pursued a relationship if he had known the teenager was 15-years-old.

Lopicola said he never met the teenager in person, but the jury felt crude text messages exchanged between them were enough to convict him.

During the sentencing hearing on Friday, Lopicola apologized to the teenager and asked for forgiveness.

The teenager testified during the hearing and told Lopicola, "You need help".

Earlier, a psychologist told Judge Barry Cohen treatment was more important for Lopicola than incarceration.

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