Fox News reported Saturday that CNN had suspended one of its senior producers after he was arrested and charged for what federal authorities described as efforts “to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.”
Forty-four-year-old John Griffin could spend the rest of his life in federal prison if convicted, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.
The mandatory minimum for each charge he’s facing is 10 years behind bars.
According to the DOJ’s release, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont has charged Griffin, a Connecticut resident, with “three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.”
The statement detailed allegations including that Griffin allegedly used online messaging platforms to “persuade parents to allow him to train their daughters to be sexually submissive.” The crimes are said to have taken place between April and July 2020.
In one instance, according to the DOJ, the CNN producer allegedly gave $3,000 to the mother of a 9-year-old girl so they could travel from Nevada to Massachusetts, where he picked them up and took them to his home in Ludlow, Connecticut. “At the house, the daughter was directed to engage in, and did engage in, unlawful sexual activity,” the DOJ said.
The DOJ also mentioned an online chat Griffin allegedly engaged in with a mother and her 14-year-old daughter in which he instructed them to “remove their clothing and touch each other at his direction.”
In addition to the federal indictment, the DOJ said they intend to “seek the forfeiture of Griffin’s Ludlow house, his Tesla, a Mercedes, and other property that was used in the commission of the charged offenses.”
CNN keeps its distance
According to Fox, Griffin was a producer for CNN’s New Day before his recent suspension. He had worked with the network since 2013.
“We take the charges against Mr. Griffin incredibly seriously,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement, as Fox reported.
“We only learned of his arrest this afternoon,” the spokesperson added, “and have suspended him pending investigation.”
Griffin’s first court date was slated for Friday in New Haven, Connecticut, the DOJ said.