ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former investigative journalist for ABC News was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison for possessing and transporting child sexual abuse images.
James Gordon Meek, of Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty in July, admitting in a plea agreement that he used an iPhone to exchange illicit materials during a chat session with two other people, including a video showing the sexual abuse of an infant.
Court documents say an investigation began when the FBI received a tip from Dropbox about videos showing the sexual abuse of children in an account associated with Meek. An FBI affidavit said agents found dozens of child sexual abuse images and videos when they searched Meek’s home last year, going back to at least 2014.
Meek joined ABC News’ Washington bureau as an investigative producer in 2013 and covered national security issues until he resigned last year. He previously worked for the New York Daily News and also served as a senior counterterrorism adviser and investigator for the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security.
Prosecutors sought a sentence of between 12 1/2 years and nearly 16 years, a range calculated in a pre-sentence investigation report. Meek’s attorney, Eugene Gorokhov, asked for the mandatory minimum sentence of five years. Gorokhov said the six-year sentence imposed by Judge Claude Hilton recognizes “that Mr. Meek’s worst moments do not define him.”
Meek read a lengthy statement in court in which he apologized for his crimes.
“To those whose victimization I have contributed to with each click online, I beg you to forgive me. I am sincerely sorry for all I have done so egregiously wrong, which has caused so much harm to you,” he said.
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