Former ABC News producer James Gordon Meek was sentenced Friday to six years in prison for transporting and possessing child sexual abuse material.
The ruling comes months after Meek, a former star national security reporter, pleaded guilty to two of the three counts he faced in a federal child pornography investigation. As The Daily Beast reported earlier this week, Meek asked for leniency in his case and blamed his reporting on war and torture in part on his child pornography habits.
He had asked for a five-year prison sentence, while prosecutors had asked for a maximum sentence of nearly 16 years, arguing that Meek had consumed and hoarded several devices of vile material.
According to court documents, in February 2020, Meek used a messaging app on his iPhone to receive images and videos of children engaging in sexual activity and to discuss his interest in child sex.
“Some of the images and videos depicted prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12, including the rape of an infant,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia wrote in a press release on Friday. “Meek brought back the iPhone containing the child sexual abuse material when he returned to Virginia. “In addition, Meek possessed multiple electronic devices that contained images and videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”
Meek was arrested in February on a charge of transporting child pornography and was later charged with additional charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. The distribution count was dropped as part of his plea agreement in July, although the two charges to which he pleaded guilty carried a 20-year prison sentence.
Meek’s six-year prison sentence Friday ends a surreal saga that came into the national spotlight last fall Rolling Stone first reported that the award-winning producer’s home was raided by the FBI in April 2022.
While Meek abruptly left his prominent ABC role on the same day of the raid, Rolling Stones The story raised concerns that the government was targeting Meek because of his national security work as a journalist. However, as Confider reported the following week, the raid was unrelated to Meek’s reporting and he did not contact ABC’s lawyers, suggesting the raid was related to other matters.
Months later, it emerged that Meek was under surveillance not for his intelligence reporting, but for child sexual abuse.