Graphic Content Warning: Graphic References To Child Sexual Abuse As Detailed In Court Documents.
A high-profile investigative journalist who worked with ABC News and the New York Daily News has just pleaded guilty to the possession of horrific child sexual abuse materials. James Gordon Meek, 53, once held a position as a senior counterterrorism adviser and investigator for the US House Committee on Homeland Security.
Meek, an Emmy award-winning journalist, was found to have been in possession of thousands of pieces of child sexual abuse media dating back to 2014, one being a sick video of an infant girl being raped. Meek also sent abuse materials to other pedophiles, and engaged in graphic conversations fantasizing about the rape of children.
According to Virginia court records reviewed by The Publica, Meek was arrested at the end of January after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was alerted to disturbing videos that had been uploaded by Meek.
Dropbox, a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, contacted CyberTip in March of 2021 because an account containing Meek’s full name had uploaded five videos that concerned Dropbox staff. By the end of April of that year, a search warrant was obtained and executed at Meek’s Arlington-area apartment by members of the Washington Field Office Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.
Court transcripts reveal that after the search warrant was executed by FBI agents, Meek reportedly declared “my life is over.”
Two iPhones, a hard drive, and a laptop were seized by law enforcement, and digital forensics revealed that the devices cumulatively contained hundreds of photos and videos of extreme child sexual abuse material.
The devices also revealed that Meek posed as a minor and had used several social media apps and online platforms to find minors, extract their usernames for other platforms, engage in sexual conversations, and attempt to solicit nude photos from them.
Meek was found to have been participating in one chat titled “Cocks, Cunts, and Kids” on Telegram. The group had 13 members and the profile picture depicted a child eating a popsicle. At least one clip sent in the chat showed a young girl engaged in oral sex on an adult man.
One video found on Meek’s devices contained footage of an adult female sexually abusing a female child using her mouth and other footage where an adult male rapes a female child.
Another image in Meek’s possession depicted a naked male child whose hands were bound to his feet. The child had a bondage device on his face that forced his mouth to stay open.
In addition to illicit photos, Meek had collected hundreds of images of “softcore” child erotica from social media platforms, many of which depicted young girls doing gymnastics. He also had a folder of women breastfeeding and used the images for sexual gratification.
Meek utilized apps such as Snapchat and Instagram to obtain explicit photos from multiple young girls.
One minor female sent him several nude photos on Snapchat, which he screenshotted and saved. The girl has been identified and, in an interview with law enforcement, confirmed that Meek did approach her through Snapchat and pressured her to send the photos. Posing on Instagram as a minor female, Meek convinced another girl, who appears to be a minor, to send nude and illicit photos of herself.
Most disturbingly, Meek used Kik, a messaging application notoriously popular amongst pedophiles, to discuss his fantasies about the abuse of women and children in graphic detail with other men. Meek was known by the username “Pawny4” on the platform.
In one Kik conversation, Meek exchanged photos of his penis with another user identified as a 25-year-old male. The two men expressed interest in raping a “toddler girl” together while they were engaged in sexual acts with each other.
“Have you ever raped a toddler girl? It’s amazing,” Meek asked the other man.
The user, who Meek called “sexy,” replied: “I want you with me fucking her together while we kiss and use her.” He then sent Meek a sexually explicit video of a young girl, later stating: “I’d give anything to rape toddlers with you.”
Meek responded “I think I’m in love with you,” and sent the other pedophile a video of an adult male raping a female infant. The video was over a minute long and became increasingly violent as it progressed. The infant could be heard crying and screaming throughout the duration.
After sending the video, Meek expressed a desire to consume the rapist’s ejaculate off of the child in the video.
In another Kik exchange with a user identified as a 22-year-old male, the two exchanged child sexual abuse images as well as fantasies about raping and impregnating a woman.
Meek disclosed to the other man he wanted to impregnate a woman so she would give birth to a child for the sole purpose of sexually abusing the infant.
In the months following the search, Meek left his job with ABC News and allegedly moved in with his mother, apparently becoming “divorced … from society to great degree.” He later relinquished his passport to the FBI and firearms.
During a motion hearing in February, the court weighed allowing Meek to stay at liberty during the course of the trial.
Meek’s lawyer presented letters of recommendation about Meek from people in law enforcement who wrote kindly him and asserted that he deserved to maintain his freedom.
The presiding Judge told Meek’s lawyers that “these kinds of cases… start out with a little something [and] evolve into something else, and then there’s a grooming…and then you get the meeting, and then you get the act [of harming a child],” and that the allegations against Meek “suggest that continuum.”
“I think we can all agree the things that Mr. Meek has done are heroic, no doubt about it. But even heroic people can lose their way, and that’s, I believe, what the government is suggesting here,” the judge stated.
Meek’s sentencing date is scheduled for September 29. Transportation and possession of child sexual abuse material can result in a maximum prison term of 40 years.