The foster father of a young girl has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail for raping the child and filming explicit videos of her.

The Cairns District Court heard the six-year-old victim had entered into the man's care because of prior sexual abuse.

The 42-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted on Friday of two counts of rape, filming explicit videos and possessing more than 6,000 images depicting child exploitation.

During sentencing, Judge Brian Harrison said the case was one of the most serious breaches of trust he had ever seen, especially considering the prior abuse of the child.

He labelled the man's behaviour as despicable and said the situation had been compounded by his extensive involvement with child exploitation material.

"When you were interviewed by the police in relation to this matter, you told them you had been sexually attracted to young girls aged between six and 10 [years old] since you were 14 years old," Judge Harrison said.

"Despite that, and knowing that, you made yourself available for, and became, a registered foster carer.

"And you were told by the authorities that one of the reasons this girl was entering your care was because of prior sexual abuse.

"This was a callous and cruel abuse of trust for the purpose of your own sexual gratification."

The man was also sentenced for accessing child pornography online, drug offences and failing to comply with police orders.

Taking into account time already served, the man will be eligible for parole in November 2018.

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