NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — 50-year-old James Frei of Union Mills, North Carolina was sentenced yesterday to 26 and a half years in prison for traveling to Nashville to have sex with a 15-year-old, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee said. Frei was found guilty in February 2019 of four counts of production of child pornography, one count of enticing a minor to engage in sexual conduct, two counts of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and one count of transporting child pornography.
Evidence and testimony at trial indicated that, in July 2016, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from Facebook that an adult male was having sexually explicit conversations with a minor female. The conversations implied the adult had already traveled to Nashville to have sex with the minor. The information from the tip was sent to Metro Nashville police (MNPD) for investigation.
An MNPD detective interviewed the minor, learning she had met Frei in May 2016 through a chat room on Facebook and that he had traveled to Nashville multiple times the same month to meet her at her house after her father had left for work. The minor was also taken to a nearby park where they engaged in sexual activity. Frei returned to Nashville for a few days in June 2016, where he twice took the minor to his hotel room for further sexual activity.
After the MNPD detective interviewed the minor, a search warrant was obtained to search Frei's home in North Carolina, resulting in the seizure of his cell phone. His phone had numerous photos and videos of him in sexual activity with the minor and over 500 photos and videos of child pornography. Further investigation determined that Frei had been downloading the pornography for 10 years and had participated in hundreds of sexual conversations with minors.
Frei had previously been convicted of criminal offenses involving minors in North Carolina and Michigan.