Former West Chester University Student Sentenced to Six Years for Child Pornography Offense
PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Michael Meacham, 26, of West Chester, PA, was sentenced to six years in prison and five years of supervised release by United States District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe for requesting and receiving images depicting the sexual abuse of young children.
In December 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to a federal Indictment charging him with two counts of receipt of child pornography. The investigation began in February 2018 when the FBI identified another sex offender, Justyn Perez-Colon, who was advertising to trade child pornography and abuse stories online. After the arrest of Perez-Colon, the defendant was identified as a child sex offender who had exchanged online messages with Perez-Colon. For five days in early 2018, the defendant used Kik messenger to chat with Perez-Colon about child pornography, discussing the sexual abuse of children – specifically, Perez-Colon’s sexual abuse and exploitation of two toddler victims. The defendant also requested, received, and accepted images depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of toddlers and prepubescent children. The victims depicted in those images included a child under the age of two identified by the FBI in the Perez-Colon investigation. At the time of the charged offenses, the defendant was a student at West Chester University.
Separately, Perez-Colon was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to charges of production, distribution, attempted distribution, and possession of child pornography. Perez-Colon was sentenced to 55 years in prison in September 2021.
“Child pornography and exploitation offenses are among the most horrific crimes prosecuted by this Office,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “By seeking out these shocking depictions, Meacham only added to the demand for these types of images to be produced and for more children to be victimized. Our Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to holding people like this defendant accountable for these crimes.”
This case was brought as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brittany Jones.