A federal judge heard Leo Christy Condolon described as "a man of the utmost decency" yesterday but sentenced him to a year in prison for defrauding numerous Northern Virginia women by promising them glamorous careers in return for sexual favors.

Condolon admitted in a statement last month that in 1974 and 1975 he placed ads in The Washington Post seeking women to be actresses or models and interviewed about 50 women as a result. He said he required the women to submit to his sexual advances in return for promises - never kept - of roles in television commercials.

Yesterday Roger E. Zuckerman, Gondolon's attorney, maintained that Condolon intended only to meet women and his acts didn't constitute fraud. He said his client has a family and "is a man of the utmost decency."

Condolon, speaking softly, told U.S. District Court Judge Oren R. Lewis, "the last three years have been a nightmare for me." He said he, his friends and family have all been embrassed by the incident. "I didn't know at the time that what I was doing was wrong," he said.

Judge Lewis, sitting in Alexandria, then imposed the sentence, declaring, "this is not a condonable offense. I haven't the alightest idea why you did what you did. I just have a great difficulty conceiving that you did all the things you did . . . just for social or sex life. I can't condone it."

Lewis had convicted Condolon of wire fraud (since Candolon had talked to the women over the telephone), ruling that the women were defrauded of "time, effort and expenses, including time and effort expended by the victims in interviews, memorising commercial scripts, traveling to Arlington, taking leave from jobs, postponing other career decisions, hiring babysitters and submitting to sexual advances."

At the start of yesterday's court proceeding, Lewis said the crime Condolon "is charged with here is not inducing women to come over and go to bed with him. That's been going on since Adam was a little boy, this boy and girl conflict.

"All the women in Northern Virginia who had a dream or desire to be an actress, model, television operator . . . were't they being defrauded about as raucously as they could possibly be?" Lewis asked.

The judge could have sentenced Condolon to as much as five years in prison and a $1,000 fine. He permitted Condolon to remain free under $5,000 bond pending appeal.