Warning: This story contains descriptions of violence and sexual abuse against minors that may be disturbing to some readers.
A former producer with ABC News is facing a federal criminal charge for allegedly sending, receiving, and possessing more than 100 images and videos depicting children being sexually abused.
James Gordon Meek, who resigned from his post with ABC News, faces one count of transportation of child pornography, according to newly unsealed court records reviewed by Law&Crime.
The investigation into Meek began in March 2021, when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a tip regarding five videos of child pornography being uploaded by a Dropbox account user, states an affidavit of probable cause filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. That tip was forwarded to the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force in Washington, D.C.
The username associated with the Dropbox user was “James Meek,” and the IP addresses in question were determined to be associated with Meek’s address in Arlington, Virginia, authorities say.
Investigators in April 2022 obtained and executed a search warrant on Meek’s residence during which authorities seized an iPhone 8 with a phone number and SIM card allegedly associated with Meek’s Dropbox and Gmail accounts. Authorities say the device had been named “Bone Machine.”
The phone allegedly contained three conversations in which someone with the username “Pawny4” – who authorities believe to be Meek – was “engaging in sexually explicit conversations where the participants expressed enthusiasm for the sexual abuse of children.”
“In two of those conversations, Pawny4 received and distributed child pornography image and video files through Kik, an internet-based messaging platform,” the affidavit states.
Authorities say that in February 2020 Pawny4 and another user “exchanged child pornography and messaged on Kik about their mutual interest in the sexual exploitation of children.”
At one point in the exchange, Pawny4 asked, “Love kids?” The other user responded, “Yesss.”
Court records include graphic and violent texts.
Approximately 100 other images depicting “children engaged in sexually explicit conduct” were also recovered from the iPhone, the affidavit said.
A review of Meek’s external hard drive and other devices allegedly “resulted in significant evidence that MEEK has engaged directly, and attempted to engage, with minors online on platforms and applications other than Snapchat,” the document states.
In one such exchange, Meek allegedly sought and received multiple explicit photographs from an unidentified minor female. Investigators say they spoke to the minor female who “confirmed that Meek and other men had approached her through Snapchat and had pressured her” to provide the photos.
Meek is currently scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
An attorney for Meek did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Law&Crime.
(image via Military Times/YouTube screenshot)
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