Former ABC reporter James Gordon Meek is facing a minimum of five years in prison after he pled guilty to child pornography in Virginia.
Meek pled guilty to using his iPhone to transport and possess child sexual abuse material, including a video which shows the sexual abuse of an infant, with two other individuals during a chat session, which carries with it a sentence ranging from five to 40 years in prison.
The 53-year-old was charged in February, around 10 months after the FBI raided his home in Arlington, Virginia in April, 2022. After the raid, during which the FBI had seized all electronics from his home, he had resigned from ABC News and kept his life private.
Court documents showed that the investigation into Meek had began after Dropbox had alerted authorities that he had been keeping child pornography material on his account.
Federal prosecutors say that they had found three different conversations on his phone, in which he had allegedly expressed the desire to sexually abuse children. They also discovered photos and videos of child pornography that were sent and received on his phone.
An FBI affidavit indicated that agents had found dozens of child sexual abuse images and videos in Meek’s home that dated back to 2014. The affidavit also showed evidence that he had used Snapchat and other apps, sometimes portraying himself as a young girl, to pressure minors into sending him explicit photos.
In one conversation on his phone, Meek had asked someone “Have you every raped a toddler girl? It’s amazing,” he also shared his perverted fantasy of “abducting, drugging, and raping” a 12-year-old girl.
Meek was hired by ABC News in 2013 after his tenure at the New York Daily News. Meek had led the investigation, and produced Hulu’s 2021 documentary “3212 Un-redacted” about a Special Forces operation in Niger which resulted in four soldiers dead in 2017. Meek had also served as a senior counterterrorism advisor and investigator for the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security starting in 2011.
Meek will be sentenced in September and faces up to 40 years in prison, although as part of his plea deal a maximum sentence is unlikely.