His marriage is over, and so, too, a career in the insurance business, the result of having agreed to pay $300 to have sex with a child.

On Wednesday, Gary W. Brown, 59, learned he will serve six months in the Ramsey County jail as part of his sentence for the felony offense.

But despite being snared in a sting operation to which he brought candy and a video camera, Brown insisted later he was no pedophile.

As he stood outside a 13th-floor courtroom, he said he simply wanted to make life difficult for an informant who acted as a go-between in the staged sex-for-money deal. He never intended to have sex with a child -- if, in fact, a girl was waiting at the hotel where they were supposed to meet.

So he did this to get an informant in trouble?

Brown nodded, but added: "No one's going to believe that."

District Judge Gary Bastian, faced with prosecutor Jill Gerber's request for the workhouse sentence and defense attorney Gary Wolf's argument that any jail or prison time should be stayed, took the unusual step of calling for a 15-minute recess to think over the decision.

In the end, he sided with Gerber on the jail time, and referred to Brown as having a "pedophile issue." The judge wondered aloud if the three years of probation that Brown also will serve would provide enough time for him to get the treatment he needs.

"There is no doubt that you lost a lot," Bastian told him. "But you did it to yourself."

According to the charges, a confidential informant told an agent with the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that she knew of a man who wanted to have sex with a child.

A meeting was arranged during which Brown was asked if he wanted to have sex with a 5-year-old, 8-year-old or 12-year-old girl, and he picked an 8-year-old. He was told to go to a hotel in St. Paul and to bring candy for the girl.

He showed up on Aug. 29 carrying a bag that contained a video camera, tape, bags of candy and lubricant. After going back to his car for the cash, and then plugging in his video camera, he was arrested.

Brown pleaded guilty in January to soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct.

On Wednesday, he asked Bastian if he could work in another state, and was told that was an issue for the probation department. Outside the courtroom, Brown said his life was "a dead life. I'm 60 years old [in October]. What am I going to do now?"

Anthony Lonetree • 612-875-0041