MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A former high school photographer has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for Internet stalking.
Christian Trey Ashcraft, 42, of Pine Bluff pleaded guilty to a single count in February with lying to a federal agent and one count of internet stalking.
In addition to prison time, Craft will have three years of supervised release and must pay a $1,000 fine.
Judge Kristine Baker sentenced Ashcraft's actions as "despicable," a press release said. He got a sentence at the high end of the federal sentencing guideline range for his crimes. Ashcraft admitted to using the email email@example.com to send sexually explicit photographs of an adult woman he was pretending to be. After the investigation, agents learned the identity of the woman and subsequently interviewed her.
The victim said she met with an individual who identified himself as "Chad Reynolds" when she was 15 and had an online "catfish" relationship for seven years. During the time of the on-line relationship, she told investigators she sent explicit photos of herself when she was a minor. It wasn't until she was 18 that she agreed to participate in a hotel photo shoot with "Reynolds."
Upon arrival at the hotel, "Chad Reynolds" was not there, but Ashcraft, posing as a photographer friend of "Reynolds" told the woman that "Chad" wanted her to start posing for sexually explicit photographs. She was later able to identify Ashcraft as the photographer/
After the photo shoot, the woman ended the online relationship with "Reynolds." Photographs from the hotel shoot surfaced later when the pictures were sent to multiple acquaintances of the woman from the email account firstname.lastname@example.org
A search of Ashcraft's computer found around 800 images of the woman. The news release said investigators determined Ashcraft used the e-mail account to communicate with multiple people while he posed as a teenage girl.