James Gordon Meek, a former investigative journalist with far-left ABC News, has been sentenced to only six years in prison in a child porn case, a crime with a maximum penalty of 20 years or more.
James Gordon Meek, 54, was sentenced to 72 months in prison after being found guilty of sending and receiving sexually explicit content involving prepubescent minors. Federal prosecutors had initially pushed for a sentence ranging between 12 and a half to 15 years for the disgraced journalist.
As reported last year, Emmy-winning investigative journalist James Meek went missing after the FBI raided his Virginia home and seized classified information from his laptop in April 2022.
According to DOJ citing court documents, “while visiting South Carolina in February 2020, James Gordon Meek, 53, used an online messaging platform on his iPhone to send and receive images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and to discuss his sexual interest in children. Some of the images and videos depicted prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12, including an infant being raped. Meek brought the iPhone containing the child sexual abuse material back with him when he returned to Virginia. Additionally, Meek possessed multiple electronic devices containing images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
He pleaded guilty in July to transporting and possessing child sexual abuse material.
Federal prosecutors Zoe Bedell and Whitney Kramer have presented a strong case against Meek, detailing his disturbing activities.
According to court filings, Meek actively sought out individuals online to share and expand his collection of child sexual abuse material for his own sexual gratification. The material he traded involved infants and toddlers and depicted “sadistic and masochistic abuse of prepubescent children.”
Meek also participated in a chat group with a disturbing name and used the affection of an underage girl for a public figure to manipulate her into sending explicit images. His phone contained screenshots of messages exchanged with minors, and he was seen on video in compromising positions.
Federal prosecutors emphasized the long-lasting impact of Meek’s actions on victims, stating that victims of child pornography suffer even more than regular abuse victims. This is because the material can exist on the internet indefinitely, continually victimizing them.
However, Meek has requested the judge for a minimum sentence of five years, but federal guidelines suggest a range between 12.5 and 15 years, New York Post reported.
Eugene Gorokhov, Meek’s attorney, has argued for the lightest sentence possible, stating that the guideline range is “excessive.”
Gorokhov, argued that his client should receive no more than the minimum sentence, stating that Meek’s criminal conduct was completely at odds with his proven personal values. He also suggested that Meek’s coverage of the war on terror in the Middle East had affected ‘his mental health.’
The Post reported:
Meanwhile, Meek’s lawyer, Eugene Gorokhov, asked for the lightest sentence possible, calling the guideline range “excessive,” according to partially redacted court papers filed Monday.
Meek’s lack of criminal history, the good deeds in his life and his remorse and total acceptance of responsibility all warrant leniency, Gorokhov wrote.
“Meek’s criminal conduct in this case is completely at odds with his proven personal values,” the lawyer wrote.
Meek — who is divorced — is the “doting father” of two daughters, ages 16 and 20, who have suffered “pain and embarrassment” from his actions.
He “has lost nearly everything,” with his reputation and financial well-being destroyed, his family being subjected to the scandal and many of his friends cutting ties with him, Gorokhov wrote.
Images of child pornography are not protected under First Amendment rights, and are illegal contraband under federal law.
According to DOJ, “certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors (Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography), faces fines and a statutory minimum of 5 years to 20 years maximum in prison. Convicted offenders may face harsher penalties if the offender has prior convictions or if the child pornography offense occurred in aggravated situations defined as (i) the images are violent, sadistic, or masochistic in nature, (ii) the minor was sexually abused, or (iii) the offender has prior convictions for child sexual exploitation. In these circumstances, a convicted offender may face up to life imprisonment.”