5 Quick Facts About CNN Senior Producer John Griffin, Who Has Been Suspended
At his home in Vermont, CNN senior producer John Griffin was arrested on federal charges of attempting to persuade minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
A federal grand jury indicted the Connecticut resident on December 10,2021, and he was arrested the same day.
Griffin, 44, has been suspended by CNN after the news organization learned of the charges leveled against him.
Federal prosecutors charged him with three counts of attempting to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity by using an interstate commerce facility, according to a press release.
"According to the indictment, from April to July of 2020, Griffin used the messaging apps Kik and Google Hangouts to communicate with people claiming to be parents of minor daughters, conveying to them, among other ideas, that a 'woman is a woman regardless of her age,' and that women should be sexually subservient and inferior to men."
"In June of 2020, Griffin advised a mother of 9- and 13-year-old daughters that the mother's responsibility was to see that her older daughter was 'trained properly.' Griffin later transferred over dollar3,000 to the mother for plane tickets so the mother and her 9-year-old daughter could fly from Nevada to Boston's Logan airport.
"The indictment also includes specific allegations that Griffin attempted to entice two other children to engage in sexual activity over the internet," according to the US Attorney's Office. "In April of 2020, Griffin proposed to engage in a 'virtual training session' over a video chat that would include him instructing the mother and her 14-year-old daughter to remove their clothing and touch each other at his direction.
"We take the charges against Mr. Griffin incredibly seriously," CNN said in a statement on December 10. "We only learned of his arrest this afternoon and have suspended him pending investigation." Griffin could not be reached for comment by Heavy.
Attorney David Kirby, who is listed as Griffin's attorney in court records, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Heavy and has not made a public statement about Griffin's case.
According to court documents obtained by Heavy, prosecutors seized items from Griffin in September 2020 as part of a search warrant.
What you need to know about John Griffin is as follows:
According to the indictment, John Griffin had a profile on alt.com that described itself as a "BDSM dating, fetish, and kink site" where "members find alternative, BDSM, bondage, and fetish partners."
Griffin allegedly used the website to find women who were sexually "submissive" and "open-minded," according to prosecutors.
According to court documents, he had the profile for several years before the investigation began in July 2020, and he used the handle "Admit_It."
Griffin communicated with people he met on alternative communication platforms such as Kik and Google Hangouts on several occasions in 2019 and 2020, according to the indictment.
On Kik, he went by the name "Reflection55," and on Hangouts, he went by his real name.
During chats in 2020, Griffin said he believes there is a "wanton whore" at the "core of any" woman and that "a woman is a woman regardless of her age," according to court documents. He also said he believes in a "'way of life' in which women are sexually subservient and inferior to men," according to prosecutors.
Griffin told a woman he was chatting with that he had "sexually trained girls as young as 7 years old," and that he thought the woman's daughter "would be a good candidate for such training alongside her mother," according to court documents. He told her they would start with a video chat in which Griffin would instruct the 14-year-old girl and her mother to remove their clothing and touch each other, prosecutors said in the indictment.
Prosecutors said he also said "sexual training would eventually include in-person meetings featuring'spanking' and'c*** worship.'"
According to the indictment, during a June 2020 chat with a woman on Kik who claimed to be the mother of two daughters, ages 9 and 13, Griffin told the mother, "One of the big lies of this society is that women are delicate innocent angels and they are in actuality, naturally, the dirtiest s**** in EVERY metric."
Griffin allegedly sent the woman $2,000 in June 2020 and $1,350 in July 2020 to cover the costs of her and her daughter's flights from Nevada to Boston, according to investigators.
Griffin then drove his 2019 Red Tesla Model X from Vermont to Boston's Logan Airport to pick up the woman and drive her to his ski house, prosecutors said, "where the child was directed to engage in and did engage in illegal sexual activity."
Griffin and his wife used an LLC to purchase the $1.8 million Vermont home in February 2020, according to federal prosecutors.
Griffin and his wife founded GriffSkis LLC the same month, according to public records.
According to Vermont records, the business is registered to their $4.3 million Norwalk home.
According to the indictment, on February 21, 2020, Griffin "acquired a ski house located at 126 Grouse Lane in Ludlow, Vermont, acting through a Vermont limited liability company, and communicated in furtherance of the crimes alleged herein while in or near this ski house, and offered to host mothers and their minor daughters at this location for purposes of sexual training."
Griffin and his wife, according to public records, live in Norwalk's Rowayton village.
His and his wife's social media pages reveal that they have three young children, including a daughter and two sons.
Heavy could not reach Griffin's wife for comment.
Griffin does not appear to have a prior criminal record, according to court records, with the exception of a 2015 citation in Connecticut for driving while texting or using a handheld device.
According to records, he was stopped by local police during a traffic stop and fined as a result of the violation.
Griffin has a history of alcohol or substance abuse, according to prosecutors in a motion for pretrial detention.
According to his LinkedIn profile, John Griffin has worked at CNN since April 2013.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he worked at CNN's offices in the Time Warner Center in New York City.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Griffin was the lead anchor's senior producer on the morning show "New Day" at one point.
"Shoulder to shoulder with lead anchor Chris Cuomo, seeing him through each show and producing live breaking news across the country and around the world," he said.
CNN fired Cuomo on December 5, 2021, following an investigation into his actions in assisting his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as he faced a sexual harassment and sexual misconduct investigation, according to CNN.
Griffin describes himself as an "entrepreneurial producer who combines uncommon technical skills with exceptional, experience-honed editorial judgment, always with an eye toward 'how can we do it better,' 'how can we move it forward,' and 'how can we add value for the audience?'" on LinkedIn.
Griffin's Instagram page features several photos from his time at CNN, including one of him with Cuomo.
He shared a number of photos from Pope Francis' 2015 trip to the United States and Cuba.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Griffin graduated from the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, in 1995.
He went on to Princeton University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1999, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Griffin began his career in media and journalism as an assistant assignment editor at CBS News' "The Early Show" in New York City in 1999, where he, "Produced numerous live shots across the country, booked guests, and pitched / assigned segments." From 2000 to 2002, he worked as an associate producer for CBS "Morning News" and CBS News' "The Early Show," where she "Produced the 4;30am news and The Early Show's newsblocks. Cut all tape daily, updating both
He then worked for Fox News Channel from 2002 to 2005, first as a founding producer and chief news writer for "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren," where he "wrote the primetime broadcast, booked guests, and produced segments," and then as a founding producer and chief news writer for Fox News Radio, where he "helped found Fox News Channel's syndicated radio network with a staff of four. Produced hourly newscasts, managed the technical plant."
Griffin spent nearly eight years at ABC News before joining CNN, from 2005 to 2013.
He was a chief news writer and line producer for ABC News Now, as well as the founding producer for ABC News on MTVu, "a unique partnership between ABC News and MTV's college network designed to reach a demographic previously untapped by traditional news outlets. The project's 'one-man-band' nature required daily design, writing, and Avid editing, as well as managing the staff."
Griffin was arrested on the morning of December 10 in New Haven, Connecticut, by Vermont-based FBI Special Agent Antoine Waite, and he made his first court appearance later that day in federal court in New Haven.
According to court documents, he was ordered held in the custody of the United States Marshals and will be taken to Vermont for a court hearing tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, December 15,2021.
Griffin faces 10 years to life in prison on each of the three counts against him, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors have also stated in court documents that they want to seize property Griffin allegedly used while committing his crimes.
According to court records, they will seek forfeiture of his Vermont home, his ownership interest in the LLC that purchased it, a red Tesla Model X, a 2018 Mercedes-Benz GTA, and "computers, computer storage media, devices, phones, cameras, MicroSD cards, images and videos seizes from the defendant on or about September 2, 2020."
"Acting United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation's investigative efforts, as well as the vital assistance of both the Ludlow, Vermont Police Department and the Henderson, Nevada Police Department," his office said in a press release.
"The United States Attorney's Office emphasizes that an indictment contains allegations only," according to the release, "and that Griffin remains presumed innocent until and unless he is convicted of a crime." Ophardt's office did not immediately respond to questions about whether anyone else could be charged in the case or if the investigation is still ongoing.