Columbus Meteorologist Mike Davis fired after child porn charge

Ohio

The judge ordered Davis to no unsupervised contact with minors and no access to the internet

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Mike Davis is no longer employed by WBNS 10TV, the station announced Friday.

10TV issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

“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.  We have no further comment.”

JOHN CARDENAS, WBNS-10TV GENERAL MANAGER

Davis was arraigned in a Franklin County courtroom Friday morning after being charged with pandering child pornography.

Davis’ arraignment began shortly after 9 a.m. in a Franklin County Municipal courtroom.  

Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Eileen Paley issued a $25,000 cash surety bond and a $25,000 cash recognizance bond, after initially making each $50,000.

Paley lowered the bond after Davis’ lawyer, Terry Sherman, argued that his client had been a pillar of the community for many years and wasn’t a risk to anyone.

“Production is not an issue in this case,” Sherman told the judge.  “We have him under control, we are getting him counseling, we are trying to right some of the things that have happened.”

The judge also ordered Davis to no unsupervised contact with minors, no access to the internet, including on his phone, and he must turn in his passport.

Davis was booked into the Franklin County Jail Thursday morning, charged with pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

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 sent and received a “significant” amount of child pornography.

“This establishes a pattern of behavior. One week ago that information was confirmed and more evidence was gathered,” Baldwin explained.

NBC4 has confirmed with multiple sources that this investigation involves “thousands of images.”

ICAC executed search warrants Thursday morning to multiple locations, including Davis’ home and the WBNS 10TV studios. Davis was arrested at his Upper Arlington home Thursday morning by ICAC detectives.

“These are kids that are clearly being exploited for sexual appetite,” chief deputy Rick Minerd said.

Minerd, who supervises the investigations division that oversees ICAC, said they seized cell phones and computers — “standard stuff” they take in a child porn investigation.

“There’s no question that it was him versus someone else living in that home?” NBC4’s Ted Hart asked Minerd.

“Yes,” he confirmed.

Officials said more charges may be coming as they continue the investigation, and that they will work with the prosecutor’s office to figure out what charges will be levied and what Davis will be indicted on.

Court documents allege on August 5, Davis knowingly advertised for sale or dissemination, sell, distribute, transport, an image of a young girl participating or engaging in sexual activity.  

“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.”

The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is a federal anti-crime initiative. Their website provides information to help keep you, your family and your friends safe from the dangers of Internet child sexual exploitation, and a direct link to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children where you can immediately report suspected online child sexual exploitation.

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