Fired CNN producer John Griffin tried to “deceive, delete, and spend his way out of being held accountable” for his alleged sex crimes against a minor, new court documents allege.
Griffin, 44, was indicted this month by a federal grand jury in Vermont for attempting to “induce minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity,” and allegedly bragged about luring girls as young as 7 to his home for “sexual subservience” training.
The former producer who boasted about working “shoulder to shoulder” with Chris Cuomo was fired by CNN following his arrest and is facing up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts he is facing in charges involving a 9-year-old girl.
In a motion to keep him in jail until his trial, US Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest said Griffin’s detention is crucial to community safety. He is “a wealthy man who is desperate to avoid facing justice” with a history of mental illness, substance abuse and alleged sexual assault of minor, Kerest said, who cited Jeffrey Epstein court docs in the motion.
The motion, filed Monday, offers more details about Griffin’s alleged actions, including that he offered a woman $30,000 in January 2020 for a mother-and-daughter getaway. In March 2020, he offered another woman $1,200 for sex, saying he would up the payment to $5,000 “if the kids are in the room,” the feds said.
When chatting with someone online who admitted to sexually assaulting a baby, Griffin reassured the assailant, saying, “You need to promise me that you will always understand what you’re doing is right, OK?” Chats show him calling young girls and babies explicit names like “little slut,” “little whore,” and “little b—h.”
He also sent $4,000 via Venmo to a family member of the 9-year-old he is accused of assaulting as part of an “apparent pay-off,” according to the feds.
Prosecutors said in their complaint that Griffin, of Stamford, Connecticut, attempted to lure at least four girls, ages 16, 14, 13 and 9, to his Vermont ski house for “training sessions” on such things as “spanking” and “c–k worship,” reportedly saying a “woman is a woman regardless of her age.”
Griffin allegedly told Heather Carriker, a mother of two daughters, that she needed to ensure her girls were “trained properly,” the DOJ said. Then, in July 2020, he allegedly gave Carriker $3,000 to fly with her 9-year-old from their home in Henderson, Nevada, to Boston, where he picked the two up and brought them to his $2.5 million Vermont mansion. During the visit, “the daughter was directed to engage in, and did engage in, unlawful sexual activity,” the DOJ said, that Carriker, 48, was also a part of.
Carriker, 48, was arrested on August 21, 2020, on two counts of child abuse, two counts of sexual assault against a child under 14 and one count of lewdness with a minor under 14.
The allegations came to light when the child’s biological mother, Catherine O’Sullivan, who sometimes took care of her daughter, discovered explicit text messages of Carriker’s involving the young girl.
Feds said in the Monday filing that “there is no set of conditions that can assure the Court of [Griffin’s] continued appearance or address the danger he presents if released.”
“He has dishonestly tried to talk his way out of being held accountable. He has tried to buy his way out of trouble,” they wrote.
Griffin is married with three children under the age of 18. His wife rescinded her letter of support of him in August 2021. He told feds he has estate worth $35 million to $40 million and used to own a 44-foot yacht.
“Unlike the overwhelming majority of criminal defendants who come before the Court, Griffin has enjoyed rarified privilege and a place in wealthy society. He faces not only a substantial loss of liberty, but also extraordinary reputational loss. It appears he has no law-abiding community to return to,” the motion said. “Griffin not only has an incentive to flee, he also has the means to.”