A former investigative journalist at ABC News and father of two girls has been sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of possessing child pornography.
James Gordon Meek, 53, was sentenced to 72 months in prison after he was caught sending and receiving sexually explicit content involving prepubescent minors during a 2020 visit to South Carolina.
Federal prosecutors had initially pushed for the disgraced journalist to get between 12 and a half and 15 years.
Meek joined ABC News’ Washington bureau in 2013 as an investigative producer based in Virginia and returned to Virginia with an iPhone containing the Child Sex Abuse Material (CSAM).
James Gordon Meek, 53, was sentenced to 72 months in prison after he was caught sending and receiving sexually explicit content involving prepubescent minors
Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia explained how Meek possessed several electronic devices containing images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit content.
Earlier this year, he was charged with possessing and transporting child photography following an FBI raid on his Arlington penthouse in April 2022.
In court documents filed last Friday, prosecutors revealed Meek’s actions in detail.
Prosecutors Zoe Bedell and Whitney Kramer wrote: “He clearly solicited individuals on the Internet for the specific purpose of sharing (and expanding) his collection (of child sexual abuse material) for his sexual gratification.”
Bedell and Kramer noted how Meek both sent and received pornography of “infants and toddlers,” along with content “depicting sadistic and masochistic abuse of prepubescent children.”
Meek, who is divorced, would request obscene images of minors and even pretend to be a minor.
An FBI affidavit detailed how evidence was also seized showing Meek used Snapchat and other apps to pressure minors into sending him sexually explicit images.
In some of those communications, Meek portrayed herself as a girl.
Text messages found by police showed Meek talking to two girls, ages 14 and 15, who sent him pictures of their breasts, according to court documents.
Other posts, including videos, showed him “naked and holding his penis in his hand.”
Meek, 53, received a 72-month prison sentence after being found guilty of sending and receiving sexually explicit content involving prepubescent minors. He is pictured in a photo from his Twitter account, which has been inactive since April 2022
Meek’s apartment complex, where he lived until April 2022, in Arlington, Virginia
In another example, sexual abuse of a baby was shown during a conversation with two other people.
FBI agents discovered that the contents dated back almost a decade, to 2014.
Meek’s attorney, Eugene Gorokhov, said his client should receive no more than the minimum sentence, arguing that prosecutors’ recommendations were “excessive.”
“Meek’s criminal conduct in this case is completely inconsistent with his proven personal values,” Gorokhov added.
He appealed to the defendant’s father, suggesting that Meek’s reporting on the war on terror in the Middle East had affected “his mental health.”
The investigation into Meek began last year when the FBI was tipped off that child sex abuse videos were linked to the embattled former journalist.
His penthouse apartment in Arlington, Virginia was subsequently raided by law enforcement officers.
Agents found dozens of images of child pornography that he had collected since 2014.
After the dawn raid, he resigned from ABC News and went into hiding, taking refuge in his elderly mother’s mansion in McLean, Virginia, 15 minutes outside Washington, DC.
Meek was arrested in January on charges of transporting child abuse images.
Until his career ended abruptly, Meek served as a senior counterterrorism adviser and investigator for the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security.
Meek had built a reputation for groundbreaking journalism, exposing shocking military cover-ups, friendly fire deaths and foiled terror plots.
DailyMail.com finally spotted ABC journalist James Gordon Meek at his elderly mother’s mansion in McLean, Virginia, in October, where he refused to answer questions
His reporting on the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando received an Emmy Award in 2017. He had previously worked for the New York Daily News.
He was last seen in late October, when DailyMail.com finally spotted him at his mother’s home in Virginia.
The divorced father of two appeared to keep a low profile, parking his Chevy SUV a few blocks from the property and ignoring questions as he slipped in through a back door.
He still wore his typical military-style gear, including an Army field jacket with an Afghan flag patch, a backpack, aviator glasses and a keffiyeh scarf – a nod to Meek’s celebrated dispatches from the front lines in Afghanistan.