COLUMBUS, Ohio - A meteorologist for an Ohio television station has been arrested and charged with pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.
Mike Davis, chief meteorologist for WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, was booked into the Franklin County Jail on Thursday for the second-degree felony.
The alleged offense occurred on Aug. 5, 2019, according to Franklin County Municipal Court Records. The records allege that Davis knowingly advertised for sale or dissemination an image of a young girl participating or engaging in sexual activity, according to WCMH-TV.
Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said in a news conference that two weeks ago, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force received a tip that Davis had allegedly sent and received a “significant” amount of child pornography, the station reported.
“This establishes a pattern of behavior. One week ago that information was confirmed and more evidence was gathered,” Baldwin said.
ICAC executed search warrants Thursday morning at multiple locations that included Davis’ home and the WBNS-TV studios, WCMH-TV reported. ICAC detectives arrested Davis at his home Thursday morning.
“These are kids that are clearly being exploited for sexual appetite,” Chief Deputy Rick Minerd said.
“There’s no question that it was him versus someone else living in that home?” a WCMH-TV reported asked Minerd.
“Yes,” Minerd said.
Davis has been a meteorologist in central Ohio since 1987, according to his biography on WBNS-TV’s website.
“It’s a reminder that these kinds of cases span across all professions, we’ve arrested clergymen, we’ve arrested cops, folks from the media – we’ve arrested everybody,” Minerd said. “It’s a reminder for the community how dangerous the internet is, and how we need to protect our children.”
WBNS-TV’s general manager, John Cardenas issued a statement obtained by WCMH-TV.
“At around 10 a.m. this morning, we learned that Mike Davis was arrested by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. We are currently learning more about the details and we will be reporting more about the story. We have no further comment at this time,” Cardenas said.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.