A former CNN senior producer sexually abused a 9-year-old girl, then tried to bribe a family member for their silence, federal prosecutors alleged in a motion on Monday.
The FBI arrested John Griffin, 44, on December 10, amid accusations that he was grooming underage girls for sex. CNN said it learned on Griffin’s arrest the same day, and he was formally fired days later.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Vermont said Griffin, who is from Connecticut, tried to lure four girls, ages 16, 14, 13, and 9, to his ski house in Vermont. At some point, Griffin allegedly also revealed to someone online that he “sexually trained” girls as young as seven and he had sexually abused a baby.
In a motion filed on Monday, federal prosecutors said Griffin paid a woman $30,000 in January 2020 for a meeting with her and her daughter, according to the New York Post. In March 2020, Griffin allegedly offered a different woman $1,200 for sex — and told her he would increase the payment to $5,000 if children were present at the time.
As part of an apparent bribe, the Post reported that Griffin sent $4,000 via Venmo to a relative of a 9-year-old victim.
Griffin was charged with using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity. In the motion filed on Monday, prosecutors asked a federal court to keep Griffin jailed until trial.
Previously, federal prosecutors alleged in a statement that Griffin used the Kik messaging app to convince parents of minor daughters that a “woman is a woman regardless of her age” and women should be sexually submissive to men. He reportedly went on to try to convince these parents to allow him to train their daughters to be sexually submissive.
In June 2020, Griffin allegedly told Heather Carriker, 48, the mother of 9- and 13-year-old girls, that she must ensure the older daughter was “trained properly.” He then gave Carriker $3,000 so she could fly from Nevada to Boston with the younger child, whom Carriker had adopted. Griffin picked them up and took them to his ski home in Ludlow, Vermont, according to prosecutors.
“At the house, the [9-year-old] daughter was directed to engage in, and did engage in, unlawful sexual activity,” the press release stated.
Carriker was arrested in August 2020 on charges of child abuse, sexual assault against a child under 14, and lewdness with a minor under 14. The Post reported that the 9-year-old’s biological mother contacted authorities after discovering explicit text messages involving Carriker and the girl.
Federal prosecutors also accused Griffin of asking a mother to video chat with him during a “virtual training session” which entailed him directing her and her 14-year-old daughter to touch each other sexually. In April 2020, Griffin allegedly requested a mother to bring her 16-year-old daughter to his ski home for a “little mother-daughter trip” that involved sexual training.
Griffin, a producer for “New Day,” was employed by CNN for eight years. He also previously worked for various networks, including ABC, CBS, and Fox News.
Federal prosecutors said they are looking into seizing Griffin’s Ludlow ski home, his Tesla, a Mercedes, and other property they suspect he used to commit his crimes.
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[Featured image: John Griffin/Twitter]