Erstwhile CNN producer John Griffin was sentenced to 19 years behind bars on June 20, alongside 15 years of supervised release. The 45-year-old Connecticut native confessed to coercing a woman online into bringing her nine-year-old daughter to Vermont for illicit sexual acts.
Prior to his conviction, Griffin was a producer for CNN senior political analyst John Avlon and had worked for the fake news network for about eight years. Following charges filed by a federal grand jury in the Green Mountain State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Griffin in December 2021. CNN terminated him a day after his arrest.
According to a December 2021 press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Vermont, Griffin allegedly met a mother of two on a website in the summer of 2020. He wired $3,000 for plane tickets for her and her nine-year-old daughter, and the pair then flew from Nevada to Boston in July 2020. Griffin picked up both from the airport and drove them to his home in Ludlow, Vermont and proceeded to conduct unlawful sexual activity with the girl.
Aside from this, Griffin also utilized the Google Hangouts and Kik messaging apps to entice parents of underage daughters. In April 2020, he proposed a "virtual training session" to a mother and her 14-year-old daughter involving incestuous activity. In June of the same year, Griffin proposed to a mother of a 16-year-old daughter that the two take a "little mother-daughter trip" to Vermont so that he could provide "sexual training" to her child.
Federal prosecutors charged Griffin with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity. He had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, but later entered into a plea agreement in December 2021. Because of this plea bargain, the government dropped two additional charges of enticing a minor after he confessed his crimes.
Court filings disclosed that the mother of the girl Griffin sexually assaulted in July 2020 was arrested by authorities a month later. Federal authorities seized the former CNN producer's devices in September 2020. The confiscated equipment include computer storage media, devices, phones, cameras, MicroSD cards, images and video.
Per a June 21 press release, U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III sentenced Griffin to 235 months in prison – more than 19 years. Once Griffin serves his prison term, it will be followed by 15 years of supervised release. The magistrate also ordered the convicted child abuser to pay approximately $1.1 million dollars in restitution to the victim, and to forfeit the Tesla electric vehicle used to pick up the victim and her mother in June 2020.
Sessions defended his decision, describing Griffin's conduct as "outrageous." According to the judge, such conduct warranted a severe penalty – almost 20 years behind bars, in the former CNN producer's case. (Related: Pedophile who raped multiple children avoids prison after he tells 'woke' judge that he’s transgender — Judge rules it would be 'too difficult to cope with.')
According to local Vermont channel WCAX 3, Griffin "cannot have contact with people under the age of 18 – except in the presence of an adult who has been approved by a probation officer." He is also barred from being in areas "where children congregate, such as schools, playgrounds and theme parks – unless approved by the probation office beforehand."
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