Mike Davis sentenced to at least 4 years in prison on child porn charges

Former 10TV meteorologist Mike Davis was sentenced to a minimum of four years in prison Thursday on child pornography charges.

In court, Davis apologized to his friends and family, saying: “I feel terrible I actually victimized children by looking at these images. I didn’t realize it at the time but I definitely realize it now. I also victimized my wife, my kids, my family, my friends and all the good people of central Ohio who trusted me on television for over 30 years. I’m very sorry for all that.”

Davis said there was “no excuse” for his compulsive collection of close to 16,000 images of children being sexually abused.

Prosecutors alleged that Davis downloaded the images and emailed them to himself and that the behavior went on for seven years.

Members of Franklin County’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip last summer from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about activity on Davis’ email account.

Authorities served a search warrant on Davis’ home and also gathered computers and flash drives from 10TV.

In sentencing Davis to at least four years in prison (one of his charges carries an indefinite sentence of 4 to 6 years) Judge Karen Phipps said that Davis has not shown that he has been working towards rehabilitating himself and said that in her view, he was not remorseful and only began therapy after his arrest last fall. She also criticized the type of therapy Davis has been seeking as it was not specifically for sex offenders or involved a sex offender assessment.

Judge Phipps also said Davis - in conversation with the probation office - likened his collecting images to those who collect toys or comic books and referred to children as “its” or “things.”

“It is quite disturbing to me that you would compare the abuse of children to any type of object, and this is the worse type of abuse because it’s recorded and pictures are taken and it’s children – children as young as 4. You engaged in behavior that supports an industry that repeatedly victimizes children,” Judge Phipps said.

Davis pleaded guilty in January to four counts of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor. He faced between 25 to 29.5 years on the charges.

His attorney, Terry Sherman, told reporters Thursday he thought the judge’s sentence was out of the ordinary and said these cases often involve people with mental health issues.

“And by us sentencing these people to long prison terms – is that a deterrent? Wouldn’t we rather send the message out that if you’ve got this problem – self-report and get the help you need,” Sherman said.

It is not yet clear which state prison Davis will be assigned to. 10 Investigates emailed a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Thursday afternoon.

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