Federal prosecutors are pushing for a 15-year prison sentence for James Gordon Meek, a former ABC News reporter, who pleaded guilty to charges related to child pornography. Meek is scheduled to be sentenced this Friday in a Virginia federal court.
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.
James Gordon Meek, 54, is facing serious legal repercussions for his involvement in trading child pornography content.
He pleaded guilty in July to transporting and possessing child sexual abuse material.
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.
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.
Eugene Gorokhov, Meek’s attorney, has argued for the lightest sentence possible, stating that the guideline range is “excessive.”
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.
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.
As Meek awaits his sentencing, federal prosecutors are advocating for a significant prison term to deter him and others from engaging in such conduct in the future. The judge overseeing the case is not bound by federal guidelines but is likely to consider them in the sentencing.