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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 14, 2019

North Carolina Man Convicted of Traveling to Nashville Tennessee to Have Sex with 15 Year-Old

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – February 14, 2019 – A federal jury returned guilty verdicts today on all counts against James Frei, 50, of Union Mills, North Carolina, after a trial on child pornography related offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.  Frei was indicted in March 2017 and charged with child pornography offenses, including production and transportation of child pornography, on-line enticement of a minor and traveling to have sex with a minor.

According to evidence and testimony at trial, in July 2016, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a cyber-tip from Facebook regarding an adult male engaging in sexually explicit conversations with a minor female, later identified as a 15 year-old living in Nashville.  The conversations indicated that the adult may have already traveled to Nashville to have sex with the minor female.  This information was relayed to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) for further investigation.

A MNPD detective interviewed the minor and learned that she had met the man, later identified as Frei, in May 2016 through a teen chat room on Facebook and that he had traveled to Nashville multiple times in May 2016 and went to her house after her father had left for work, where they engaged in sexual activity.  The minor female was then driven to a nearby park where they again engaged in sexual activity.  Frei returned to Nashville for a few days in June 2016 and on two occasions, he took the minor to a hotel near the airport and engaged in sexual activity. The detective also learned that Frei had recorded the sexual encounters with his cell phone.

A subsequent search warrant served at Frei’s North Carolina home resulted in the seizure and forensic examination of his cell phone, which was found to contain numerous images and videos of him engaging in sex with the minor female.    

Frei faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced on May 20, 2019.  The production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. 

This case was investigated by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katy Risinger and Christopher Suedekum.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
David Boling Public Information Officer 615-736-5956 david.boling2@usdoj.gov
Updated February 14, 2019