CNN producer John Griffin was arrested by the FBI on Friday after a federal grand jury charged him with enticing minors to engage in “unlawful sexual activity” at his Vermont property.
Griffin, 44 of Stamford, Connecticut, was charged with three counts of “using a facility of interstate commerce” to lure minors and people claiming to be their parents to train them to be sexually subservient, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont said in a statement.
Court documents did not list an attorney for Griffin, who has worked at CNN for about eight years, according to a story posted by the network.
“The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We only learned of his arrest yesterday afternoon and have suspended him pending investigation,” CNN said in a statement.
According to his Linkedin profile, Griffin said he worked “shoulder to shoulder” with ex-CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who was fired earlier this month after an investigation by the New York attorney general showed how he helped his brother, the former New York governor, defend himself against sexual misconduct allegations.
Griffin used messaging apps Kik and Google Hangouts to communicate with parents of underage girls and convince them to allow him to train their daughters to be subservient to men because they are “inferior,” the federal indictment said. He believed that a “woman is a woman regardless of her age,” officials claim.
In June 2020, Griffin texted with the mother of two girls, ages 9 and 13, telling the mother that it was her responsibility to ensure the elder girl was “trained properly,” according to the indictment.
Griffin transferred $3,000 to the mother for plane tickets from Nevada to Boston. In July 2020, the woman and her 9-year-old daughter flew to Boston where they met Griffin and drove to his Vermont home. There, the girl was “directed to engage in and did engage in illegal sexual activity,” according to the indictment.
Griffin faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and up to life in prison for each charge if convicted, federal officials said.
Janhvi Bhojwani contributed.