CNN Producer Charged With Attempting to Entice Minors for Sexual Activity

Longtime CNN producer John Griffin has been charged with enticing minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity, according to a report by PEOPLE. The 44-year-old came under scrutiny because he worked closely with former anchor Chris Cuomo, who has also been fired in the midst of separate sexual misconduct scandals. Griffin's case got him arrested by the FBI on Friday.

Griffin was taken into custody by FBI agents and charged with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity. The Vermont Department of Justice announced the details of the case after he was indicted there on Friday. Investigators say Griffin used messaging applications like Kik and Google Hangouts to contact parents of underage girls and persuade them to "allow him to train their daughters to be sexually submissive."

In the messages obtained by DOJ investigators, Griffin explained his philosophy that a "woman is a woman regardless of her age" – apparently meaning that women are inherently inferior to men, and that they should be sexually subservient. In one message in June of 2020, Griffin allegedly advised a mother to make sure that her 13-year-old daughter was "trained properly." He then gave that woman $3,000 to travel from Nevada to Boston with her 9-year-old daughter, the DOJ claims.

That woman eventually did meet Griffin at Logan International Airport with her daughter, the indictment. They traveled with him to his house in Ludlow, Massachusetts where "he engaged the daughter in unlawful sexual activity." The indictment describes two other attempts to pull off a similar scheme with two other children. In one, Griffin tried to convince a mother and her 14-year-old daughter to engage in a "virtual training session" with him via video chat, where he asked them to take their clothes off and touch each other.

CNN issued a statement saying: "The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We only learned of his arrest yesterday afternoon and have suspended him pending investigation." The network did not remark on Griffin's history with Cuomo. Griffin's LinkedIn page says that he worked "shoulder-to-shoulder" with Cuomo, though his case is completely unrelated to Cuomo's firing and his own sexual misconduct lawsuit.

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Griffin lives mainly in Stamford, Connecticut, but his Ludlow home will reportedly be confiscated as a part of this investigation. According to The New York Post, authorities will also confiscate Griffin's Mercedes-Benz and his Tesla, which were allegedly used to transport minors. The outlet adds that each of the three charges against Griffin carries a minimum of 10 years in prison. After his indictment, Griffin was arraigned in a federal courthouse in New Haven, Connecticut on Friday.