NOTE: This article contains graphic content that may be upsetting to some readers. 

Father W. Thomas Faucher will almost surely die in prison.

The retired Boise priest kept his eyes fixed on the judge as the sentence came down: 25 years, no hope of parole. He displayed no shock, no sorrow.

For hours, the horrific testimony uttered during Thursday's sentencing hearing rocked the gallery behind him. People cried and shook and twisted away, covering their faces with their hands. Some got up and left entirely. 

But Faucher was still.

LIVE BLOG: Retired Boise priest sentencing in child porn case

Police had raided his diocese-owned home back in February. Police found Faucher in his underwear in the middle of an online chat, and on his computer, a trove of some of the worst child pornography images and videos investigators had ever seen.

Raped children. Tortured children. Infants and toddlers, young boys and girls, burned and hurt and choked and nearly drowned. 

"All child pornography is terrible, your Honor. All child pornography is gut-wrenching," Prosecutor Kassandra Slaven said. "But when you have videos with sound of infants and toddlers being brutally raped, when you have videos of children being tortured, when you have videos that focus solely on extreme violence to children - that's just on a completely different level." 

RELATED: Faucher pleads guilty in child porn case

Garden City Det. John Brumbaugh, a member of the Idaho Crimes Against Children Task Force, said the magnitude of the abusive images found was staggering. 

"The volume of it is something I hadn't come across," he said. 

Meticulously poring through those images - along with extensive online chat logs, in which Faucher discussed his desire to sexually abuse and murder children - took a toll on Brumbaugh and the other detectives working on the case. The fact that a priest was capable of such depravity increased the blow. 

"Speaking for myself, after the initial onset of this, I made a point of forcing myself to go back to church immediately following, because I didn't know if I would if I didn't go back right then," Brumbaugh said. 

Slaven charged that Faucher has repeatedly tried to minimize and deflect, his conduct, telling friends and supporters that the child pornography had been sent to him against his wishes, or placed on his computer as part of a set-up.

MORE: 'Very dark and very evil things:' Bond reduction denied for Boise priest

But in fact, Faucher was actively seeking those files out, she said.  The retired priest's own words in the chat logs are the proof.

Faucher communicated online with several people, including a man from Brazil named "Bruno," explicitly describing the images both men were looking at and detailing their desires. At one point, according to detectives, the Brazilian sent Faucher a batch of violent child pornography, only for the priest to respond that he had already seen them.

"There is only one of them I really like, the one of the boy being beaten to death," Faucher wrote. "I want you to send me more of young boys and even infants." 

Another time, Faucher and Bruno discussed the priest traveling to Brazil, where the pair planned to find, sexually assault and ultimately murder a little boy. The retired priest also fantasied about raping an altar boy and told the other man that he had violated the sacraments by ejaculating into the communion wine at St. Mary's in Boise.

READ: Prosecutor: Retired Boise priest had porn of sexual abuse of infants, toddlers

A spokesman for the Diocese of Boise said he did not know whether or not that actually happened. 

"While we cannot begin to fathom what brought Faucher to the point that he was able to enter into this evil and dark world, we are thankful for the efforts of the law enforcement community in doing what it can to protect our children from these crimes," the diocese said in a statement. "Since his actions came to light in February, Faucher has been unable, and continues to be unable, to function as a priest in the Catholic Church."

Catholic leadership will conduct its own investigation, and could elect to strip Faucher of the priesthood. 

Faucher ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of possession of LSD as part of a plea deal that dismissed 19 other criminal charges.

Despite his writings, Faucher was never charged with sexually abusing a child. More than one person came forward after his arrest, telling authorities Faucher had molested them decades ago, but no charges were brought and his defense team argued those claims should be dismissed as opportunism.

Slaven argued that viewing and sharing child pornography is not a victimless crime. Each time the graphic images and videos are downloaded for the gratification of someone like Faucher, she argued, those children are victimized again.

MORE: Retired St. Mary's Catholic Church pastor arrested on child sexual exploitation charges

Faucher's actions left a trail of shattered trust in his wake, she said, asking the judge to hand down a long prison sentence.

"When somebody like this defendant, with that status and that position, commits a crime like this, it shakes the community," she said. "It shakes the Catholic church, and it shakes the members of other faiths." 

But Faucher's defense attorney, Mark Manweiler, argued that probation or a suspended prison sentence would be more appropriate in the case. 

He urged the judge to take Faucher's age and health problems into consideration. Faucher had lost 47 pounds in the months he has been in jail, and is expected to live only about five more years, Manweiler said. 

The attorney pointed to a toxic combination of heavy drinking,  dementia, depression and isolation after retiring, and conflicts with higher-ups in the Catholic church as fueling Faucher's actions.

"Given nothing but time on his hands, he started investigating things on the computer he had never gotten into" - like Satanism, Manweiler said.

Multiple people wrote character letters to the judge in support of Faucher, including Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, who wrote that the priest had been a great source of comfort after the death of his parents. 

"I don't know how I'd have made it through without Father Faucher," Bieter wrote in the letter.

Faucher should be judged by his life-long behavior, not just disturbing conduct at the end of his life, Manweiler suggested.

"On balance, this person has done way more good in the world than he has done bad," he says.

Faucher also asked for leniency,  rising laboriously from his wheelchair to deliver his statement. He said he did not recall writing the messages in his online chats, calling them "abhorrent."

"I screwed up big time. I feel so much remorse and anger directed at myself," Faucher said. "My reputation, my good name is gone. My shame, my anger at myself - that is punishment, and that will continue as long as I live."

The priest told the judge he could do far more good out of prison than in it, and vowed to dedicate the remainder of his life to making up for what he had done. 

Faucher said he wanted to meet child sexual abuse victims to hear their stories, and possibly give lectures on "the evils of child pornography." 

"I need to be out there. I need to be out making up for the past," he said.  "I think everybody would be better off with me in a kind of long probation thing, with lots of restrictions."

Judge Jason Scott disagreed, telling Faucher he considered him a legitimate threat to children.

The judge flat rejected the argument that alcohol, drugs or depression pushed the retired priest to seek out the horrifying images of children he amassed. At most, substance use may have removed Faucher's inhibitions, Scott said, but they did not cause his sexual interest in children. 

"It just doesn't make any sense," the judge said. 

Scott added that Faucher "was not remotely honest" with supporters about how the pornographic material ended up on his computer, and questioned whether those who had written letters of support would have done so if they knew the truth about the case. 

"In my mind, a very stiff sentence is appropriate," Scott said. "That doesn't mean Father Faucher has never done any good in his life, it doesn't negate the good he's done for other people. But it does mean that what he's done here is severe and serious enough to warrant a very serious punishment."

The sentenced was pronounced, and the judge called a recess. Lawyers stood and shuffled paper. For just a moment, Faucher glanced back into the rows of the gallery.

Then they wheeled him away.

If you know of a child being abused or sexually exploited, please call the National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD or contact the National Center For Missing or Exploited Children.