Ex-CNN Producer Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Charge

John Griffin could get life in prison on charge involving 9-year-old girl
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2021 9:00 AM CST
Updated Dec 12, 2022 5:06 PM CST
CNN Staffer Allegedly Groomed Underage Girls
This undated photo provided by the Vermont State Police shows John Griffin of Stamford, Conn.   (Vermont State Police via AP, File)
UPDATE Dec 12, 2022 5:06 PM CST

A former CNN television producer pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to using interstate commerce to entice and coerce a 9-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity. As part of a plea deal, the government will drop two remaining counts of enticement of a minor against John Griffin, 45, the AP reports. According to the plea deal, Griffin met a woman on a website during the summer of 2020 and persuaded the woman to bring her 9-year-old daughter to his Ludlow, Vermont, ski home for illegal sexual activity. Griffin paid the woman and girl to fly from Nevada to Boston, picked them up, and drove them to his Vermont home, where the girl said Griffin sexually assaulted her, court records say. Griffin worked for CNN for about eight years but was fired after he was arrested a year ago. He faces a possible sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison when he is sentenced on March 20, 2023

Dec 12, 2021 9:00 AM CST

A CNN employee has been arrested and charged with "unlawful sexual activity" with minors, per NBC News. The FBI arrested 44-year-old John Griffin on Friday after a federal grand jury charged him with three counts of "using a facility of interstate commerce" to lure minors and their purported guardians to a home in Vermont where the crimes allegedly took place. CNN wrote Saturday that Griffin had been with the network for about eight years. His LinkedIn lists one of his past jobs as lead producer for Chris Cuomo, who was recently fired in a scandal involving his brother and former New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

The US Attorney's Office for the District of Vermont released a statement detailing the charges, some of which stem from June 2020 conversations on the platforms Kik and Google Hangouts in which he told the mother of 9- and 13-year-old daughters that the mother needed to ensure her older daughter was "trained properly." The statement goes on to detail how Griffin allegedly flew the mother and younger daughter to Boston, picked them up, and drove them to his home in Vermont where the girl was directed to engage in sexual activity. The indictment includes two other incidents in which Griffin allegedly tried to entice minors over the internet to engage in sexual activity. "The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing," CNN said in a statement Saturday. "We only learned of his arrest yesterday afternoon and have suspended him pending investigation." (More CNN stories.)

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