AUBURN — A Livermore Falls man who has admitted setting 1,000 fires in his lifetime was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years in prison.

Scott Violette, 39, pleaded guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court to arson and aggravated criminal mischief in a fire on Feb. 16, 2011, at the Treasure Chest, a secondhand store near the apartment where he lived.

The fire caused more than $100,000 damage despite a quick response from firefighters who extinguished the early-morning blaze.

Violette was on probation at the time for a 2003 arson in Norridgewock, where he set fire to a laundromat. It nearly spread to an adjacent building in which two people slept on an upper level.

Violette is a pyromaniac who is sexually aroused by the flames he sets, a prosecutor said.

Justice MaryGay Kennedy called Violette’s actions in 2011 a “serious crime” that, only by luck, didn’t injure anyone.

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Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis was seeking a 20-year prison sentence, citing public safety concerns and Violette’s repeated behavior.

Kennedy revoked the suspended portion of Violette’s sentence for his earlier arson, ordering that he serve all 12 years remaining of that sentence.

On the new arson charge, she sentenced him to 18 years, with all but five years suspended. On a second charge, aggravated criminal mischief, Kennedy sentenced Violette to a fully suspended five years.

Once released, he will serve four years on probation for the arson and two years for aggravated criminal mischief.

Kennedy said she was most concerned about public safety, noting Violette’s medium-to-high likelihood of reoffending, according to a presentencing report.

During that time, Violette will be barred from having and using alcohol, illegal drugs and incendiary devices.

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He must undergo substance abuse evaluation, psychiatric and psychological evaluation, counseling and treatment, including residential treatment, if appropriate, Kennedy said.

He also was ordered to pay a total of $25,658 in restitution.

Kennedy said she reduced the length of Violette’s sentence on the arson charge in large part because of the physical, sexual and emotional abuse he suffered as a child.

Armand Madore, a Mexico therapist who counseled Violette, said his “severe” abuse at the hands of his alcoholic father “ranks right up there with the worst” Madore has documented in his years as a therapist treating clients abused as children.

Violette was bullied as a child and suffered from anxiety as well as post traumatic stress disorder, Madore said.

Fire-setters suffer from a sense of powerlessness, Madore said. They set fires in an effort to empower themselves, he said. Violette’s abuse contributed to his actions, Madore said. Violette acted out by committing arson to reaffirm his self-image as a bad person, Madore said.

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A probation supervisor testified Tuesday that there is no effective counseling for pyromania. Although there is no cure for pyromania, Violette’s attorney, Allan Lobozzo, said the underlying triggers for anxiety can be treated while his client is on probation.

“It’s possible to structure probation that’s tight enough to avoid ratcheting up the anxiety levels and monitoring so we see the red flags,” Lobozzo said. He called his client’s problem a “controllable mental health issue.”

He suggested that Violette be relocated to Augusta, where the support services he needs are nearby.

Violette addressed the judge: “I know this fire was really serious, but I ask you to please let me get the help I need. I can beat this so I never do this again.”

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