The U.S. attorney's office said this afternoon that Christian Trey Ashcraft
, 42, of Pine Bluff, whose photography business including high school photography, had been sentenced to 24 months in prison for Internet stalking.
Ashcraft had pleaded guilty to a single count in February following an indictment for both stalking and lying to a grand jury. In addition to prison time, he'll have three years of supervised release and must pay a $1,000 fine.
Judge Kristine Baker in sentencing described Ashcraft's actions as "despicable," a news release said. He got a sentence at the high end of sentencing guidelines.
Ashcraft admitted using an email account to send sexually explicit photos of an adult female he was pretending to be. Agents learned the identify
of the woman. They subsequently learned that she'd met a man who identified himself as "Chad Reynolds" when she was 15 and had an on-line relationship with him for seven years that included sending sexually explicit photos of herself when she was a minor. After she turned 18, 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 “Chad Reynolds,” told the woman that “Chad” wanted her to start pose
for multiple sexually explicit photographs. She later identified the photographer as Ashcraft.
After the photo shoot, the woman ended her online relationship with “Chad Reynolds.” Then, photographs from the hotel shoot were sent to multiple acquaintances of the woman from the e-mail account email@example.com.
Ashcraft later admitted to being the user of firstname.lastname@example.org and sending the sexually explicit images. A search of his computer found 800 images of the woman. Investigators, the news release said, determined that Ashcraft used the e-mail account to communicate with multiple people while he posed as a teenage girl.
Ashcraft is a former Jefferson County clerk and election commission chair who served six terms as county Democratic Party chair.