Ex-ABC reporter James Gordon Meek is now facing at least five years in prison after a guilty plea to child pornography in Virginia on Friday.
Meek, 53, pled guilty to transporting and possessing child pornography and abuse material. The charge carries a mandatory minimum of five years prison time, and 40 at the top end.
Meek made headlines last year after he supposedly went missing after the FBI raided his home. At the time, he was writing a book on the Biden Administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The announcement of his subsequent arrest in February of 2023 said that the April raid in 2022 was initiated because of a lead obtained by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force on a Dropbox account.
Meek had been a senior investigator for the House and Homeland Security Committee. In the past, Meek often covered terrorism, wars, and other major criminal activity.
After the raid, a report from Rolling Stone appeared to suggest that Meek was raided as a retribution of sorts for his work as a journalist rather than cover the strong allegations against him. Since the subsequent findings, reports have come out about the editor in charge covering up any reference to the charges.
During the search, members of the task force obtained different devices Meek used to store child pornography. Evidence gathered included sexually explicit images of children.
Other evidence obtained from the raid was gathered, and Meek admitted there were "at least eight videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct." According to the Justice Department press release, the images and videos "depicted prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12, including an infant being raped."
Authorities obtained troubling evidence in messages from Meek's phone. In one alleged conversation, Meek asked someone, "Have you ever raped a toddler girl? It’s amazing.” In another message, he wrote about a fantasy of “abducting, drugging, and raping” a 12-year-old girl.
The sentencing hearing for Meek is scheduled to take place on Sept. 29.
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