OHIO — A meteorologist at a CNN-affiliate station in Ohio was fired after being arrested on one felony charge of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor.
Authorities say they received a tip that WBNS meteorologist Mike Davis had sent and received “a significant number of images of child pornography,” Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said at a press conference Thursday.
Ohio’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force received a tip regarding Davis’s internet activity about two weeks ago, and a week later “that information was confirmed and more evidence was gathered,” Baldwin said.
Davis, 60, made an initial court appearance Friday, his attorney, Terry Sherman told CNN, and posted $50,000 bond.
Sherman said in court that his client was planning to receive counseling and they are “working to try to right some of the things that have happened in this case.”
Conditions for the bond include no unsupervised contact with minors, no internet access — including through a smartphone — that he not leave Franklin County and that he surrender his passport.
The TV station tweeted Friday: “It has been a difficult few days and our team has been shocked by this news. We have decided to end our relationship with Mike Davis due to a violation of certain terms of his employment with WBNS.”
An arrest warrant for Davis was executed Thursday morning at multiple locations, including the TV station in Columbus.
He was arrested at his home and spent the night in the Franklin County Jail, according to police records.
WBNS reported that Davis declined an interview with the station at the jail.
The alleged crimes are punishable by up to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine, Baldwin said at the press conference.
“Mike Davis has been employed at 10TV for 31 years. We will cover this story with the same ethical standards we would any other case,” the station said Thursday in a report on its website.