NORFOLK, Va. – A Portsmouth man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for attempted sex trafficking of a minor under the age of 14, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District.

Senior U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. handed down the sentence to Christafer Douglas Friend, 32, who had attempted to initiate sexual contact online with someone he thought was a minor girl, according to court documents.

Friend, according to the documents, outlined in detail the sexual acts he would engage with the person and offered to pay $200 per hour for access to her.

A few hours after initiating the chat, Friend, according to the documents, arrived at a pre-determined location with the supposed minor’s favorite candy and paid the $200 to another person who he thought had access to the girl.

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

The case was brought as part of the national Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to deal with growing child sexual exploitation and abuse cases.

The Eastern District of Virginia launched “UnMasked,” a community-based educational outreach and prevention program in Virginia, in 2021, designed to raise awareness and educate about the prevalence of online sexual exploitation involving children and young adults.