LITTLE ROCK — A Pine Bluff man was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Little Rock to two years in prison and fined $1,000 for internet stalking, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Christian Trey Ashcraft, 42, owner of Ashven Photography and a former high school photographer in the Pine Bluff area, pleaded guilty Feb. 22 to one count of internet stalking, acting U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Harris said in the release.
Harris said Ashcraft admitted sending sexually explicit photographs of an adult female he was pretending to be — referred to in the indictment as J.D. — to several individuals. Ashcraft’s conduct spanned from January 2005 to December 2014.
Investigators contacted the real J.D., who told them she met a person who identified himself as “Chad Reynolds” online when she was 15. She said she and “Chad Reynolds” engaged in an online relationship that lasted until she was 22 and that she sent him sexually explicit photographs of herself while she was a minor.
J.D. told investigators that after she turned 18, “Chad Reynolds” asked her to take part in a photo shoot at a local hotel. When she arrived at the hotel, “Chad Reynolds” was not there, but Ashcraft told her he was a friend of “Chad” and proceeded to have J.D. pose for multiple sexually explicit photographs.
J.D. identified Christian Trey Ashcraft from a photo as the photographer, according to the release.
Soon after the photo shoot, J.D. ended her online relationship with “Chad Reynolds.” The sexually explicit photographs taken in the hotel room were later sent to multiple acquaintances of J.D., supposedly from J.D. although Ashcraft later admitted to sending the photos while pretending to be her.
A search of Ashcraft’s computer revealed about 800 images of J.D., many of which were sexually explicit, according to the release.