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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 18, 2022

Portsmouth Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Minor

NORFOLK, Va. – A Portsmouth man was sentenced today to life in prison for attempted sex trafficking of a minor under 14 years old.

According to court documents, in May, Christafer Douglas Friend, 32, attempted to initiate sexual contact online with someone he believed to be a female minor. Friend detailed the sexual acts that he would engage with the minor in and offered to pay $200 an hour for access to her. Just a few hours after initiating the chat, Friend arrived at a pre-determined location with the supposed minor’s favorite candy and paid the $200 to another individual who he believed had access to the girl.

In the same chats he had earlier, Friend also bragged about having sexually abused an eight-year-old child, on several occasions. Federal agents later located images and videos of that abuse in Friend’s online storage account. Friend also possessed thousands of images of other minors being sexually abused.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Gantt prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc

In 2021, EDVA launched “UnMasked,” a community-based educational outreach and prevention program in Virginia dedicated to raising awareness and educating the community about the prevalence of online sexual exploitation involving children and young adults. UnMasked is a multi-disciplinary partnership of local, state, federal, and non-profit stakeholders. The core curriculum is provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) NetSmartz program. To report an incident involving online sexual exploitation, call 1-800-843-5678 or submit a report at report.cybertip.org. To request an UnMasked event at your school or organization, please contact EDVA’s Community Outreach Coordinator at USAVAE-UnMasked@usdoj.gov.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:22-cr-42.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated November 18, 2022