A CNN producer faces multiple charges for allegedly trying to persuade minors to participate in inappropriate and unlawful sexual activity.
The producer, 44-year-old John Griffin of Connecticut, was charged with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity by a grand jury and was subsequently arrested by the FBI on Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont.
Griffin allegedly used Google Hangouts and Kik for several months in 2020 to talk to purported parents of minor daughters, seeking their permission to train their children to be sexually submissive, according to the indictment, prosecutors said.
In one incident described by prosecutors, a mother and her nine-year-old daughter flew to meet Griffin in July 2020 after he allegedly gave the mother more than $3,000 to travel to Boston from Nevada.
“The mother and child flew to Boston in July of 2020, where Griffin picked them up in his Tesla and drove them to his Ludlow house. At the house, the daughter was directed to engage in, and did engage in, unlawful sexual activity,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In another incident, Griffin allegedly suggested a “little mother-daughter trip” involving the sexual training of a 16-year-old girl at his ski house to the girl's purported mother in June 2020, according to the indictment, prosecutors said.
A third incident also included in the indictment alleged that Griffin sought to have a “virtual training session” in which he would tell a 14-year-old girl and her mother to take off their clothing and touch each other.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that each charge holds a 10-year minimum sentence and that Griffin could face lifetime imprisonment as a maximum sentence. The office also noted that the government was seeking to take Griffin’s Tesla, a Mercedes, his Ludlow ski house and other property involved in the crimes.
It was not immediately clear if Griffin had an attorney representing him.
“The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We only learned of his arrest yesterday afternoon and have suspended him pending investigation,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday.
“The allegations are deeply disturbing, and our office is committing to working with our partners at the United States Attorney’s Office District of Vermont to ensure Mr. Griffin is held accountable for his actions,” Janeen Diguiseppi, special agent in charge at the FBI’s Albany field office, said in a statement on Friday.