A judge handed down the sentence Friday to Noel Bertrand, a former U.S. Marine embassy guard.
The victim of the assault told the court Friday "I have a large fear of not being safe anymore."
Bertrand was convicted in September of sexually assaulting the woman he had met at an airport bar.
The prosecution told the court Bertrand was a danger to the community and "probation would be a disgrace in this case."
The woman testified that after having drinks with Bertrand, the two moved to a concourse, where he attacked her after she refused a kiss.
She told jurors she didn't scream because she was being choked. Two airline mechanics intervened when they saw her struggling.
The woman talked to reporters after the hearing and said she has not quite left the memory of that night behind.
"[The community] has been a strong influence on my ability to travel from victim to victor. I'm not there yet and I won't be there for a little while," the woman said.
Bertrand served on Marine security details at U.S. embassies in Dublin, Ireland; Caracas, Venezuela; and Doha, Qatar.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)