updated 12/13/2006 10:06:52 PM ET 2006-12-14T03:06:52

A former editor for the company that publishes the children’s newspaper Weekly Reader was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for soliciting sex from a minor.

Noel Neff, 47, of Norwalk, Conn., was arrested in 2005 in a shopping mall parking lot. Investigators said he had arranged to meet with a 14-year-old boy for sex; the boy was actually an FBI agent who had been exchanging instant messages with Neff for two months.

A federal jury in May convicted Neff of using Internet to induce a minor to engage in sexual activity, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 30.

Weekly Reader Corp. is based in Stamford, Conn., and publishes several periodicals for students.

The company fired Neff a few days after his arrest.

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