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Former CNN Producer Pleads Guilty To Federal Child Sex Crime

The U.S. Attorney's Office accused John Griffin, 45, of paying thousands to fly a 9-year-old child and her mother to his residence in order to sexually abuse the child.

By Caitlin Schunn
Disturbing Child Sexual Predator Cases

A former senior producer for CNN pleaded guilty in federal court to a child sex crime, according to the Associated Press. In exchange, the federal government dropped two of three charges against John Griffin.

A federal indictment accused Griffin, 45, of coercing parents to allow him to teach their daughters, some as young as seven years old, how to be sexually submissive, according to previous Oyxgen.com reporting. The U.S. Attorney’s Office accused Griffin of paying $3,000 to fly a 9-year-old victim and her mother from Nevada to Massachusetts in the summer of 2020. Griffin allegedly picked the child and her mother up from Boston’s Logan airport and took them to his Vermont residence to sexually abuse the child, telling the woman it was her responsibility to ensure her daughter was “trained properly.”

The DOJ also alleged that Griffin attempted to lure two other children into sexual activity over the internet. In April 2020, the department said he attempted to lead a “virtual training session,” which would have him instruct a mother and her 14-year-old daughter to remove their clothes and touch one another.

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As Oxygen.com previously reported, in January, a “Janet Doe” filed a civil lawsuit with the Connecticut State Superior court against Griffin. Court records show the suit was filed on behalf of a 9-year-old girl, seeking $15 million in damages and attorney fees.

John Griffin

The lawsuit lists disturbing statements allegedly made by Griffin, including, “One of the big lies of this society is that women are delicate, innocent angels, and they are in actuality, naturally, the dirtiest [expletive] possible, in EVERY metric.”

He also allegedly said, “when handled appropriately, a woman is a woman regardless of her age,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged that “the despicable acts of the defendant have resulted in ascertainable loss to the plaintiff, including personal injuries, bodily invasion, sexual abuse, and emotional distress.” 

According to the AP, Griffin now "must pay full restitution to the victims, an amount which will be determined by the court" and "has agreed to forfeit a Tesla vehicle, and electronic items and to donate half of the proceeds from the sale of his Vermont home and the upcoming sale of a Mercedes vehicle into the court registry."

Griffin was a producer for CNN’s now-canceled morning program, “New Day,” working at the network for eight years, according to Fox News. CNN fired him shortly after his arrest.

Griffin faces a minimum of 10 years to life in prison, and a fine up to $250,000, during his sentencing in March 2023, the AP reported.

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