RENO, Nev. — A former children’s ski instructor at a Lake Tahoe resort has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually exploiting a minor.

U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben also said during the sentencing hearing in Reno Wednesday that Stephan DeGraffenreid must be supervised for life upon his release.

The 26-year-old Gardnerville man pleaded guilty in September to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation. He could have faced up to 45 years in prison.

DeGraffenreid was fired from his job as an assistant at the Heavenly Ski Resort before his arrest in March.

Prosecutors said his cellphone found on the resort’s slopes was filled with nude photos of prepubescent females he apparently downloaded from the internet. They said he also photographed toddlers in a bathroom at a rural daycare center.