CNN Producer Charged With Sex Crimes Against Minors
13:04 GMT 14.12.2021 (Updated: 19:56 GMT 18.10.2022)
This is the second scandal to have recently hit a high-ranking employee at the US network. The company previously fired prime time anchor Chris Cuomo for his involvement in helping his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, respond to sexual harassment allegations.
A grand jury in Vermont, US, has charged 44-year-old John Griffin, a CNN producer, with three counts of sexual crimes against minors, Fox News has reported, citing an unsealed indictment. The man was taken into custody and the news network said it had suspended the producer, who was working on the morning show "New Day", while not revealing plans about his future employment with the organisation.
"We take the charges against Mr Griffin incredibly seriously. We only learned of his arrest this afternoon and have suspended him pending investigation", CNN stated.
According to the US Attorney's Office in Vermont, Griffin "sought to persuade parents to allow him to train their daughters to be sexually submissive" on several occasions. All the more surprising was the finding of a 2010 tweet by Griffin, who worked at ABC News then, that lamented the small number of minor sexual abuse pieces the network was doing daily.
"Just did the math. We have, count 'em, FOUR stories about people abusing kids today. 3 up now. If we're society's mirror, you people suck", Griffin tweeted.
The man now faces at least 10 years in prison, which might jump to a life sentence if Griffin is found guilty of the crimes he is accused of, the US Department of Justice said.
'Sexual Training' for Minors
Griffin was contacting the mothers of underage girls himself, trying to convince the former to submit their daughters to sexual training under his guidance, the indictment revealed, citing numerous text messages and other evidence against the TV producer.
Some readers might find the details of his crimes mentioned in the indictment disturbing.
The court documents show that Griffin contacted the mothers of minors aged between 7 and 14 years old. He paid $3,000 to a mother of a 9-year-old in 2020 so that she would fly from Nevada to Boston, where he would take her and her daughter to his Ludlow house, the indictment said. There Griffin allegedly convinced the mother to direct the daughter to "engage in unlawful sexual activity".
The producer proposed that some mothers start sexual training via video chat only to eventually convince them to show up with their children for a session in person that would include "spanking" and "c*ck worship".
6 December 2021, 04:45 GMT
Griffin was also trying to convince the mothers of his views, the indictment shows. He allegedly told them in online messages that "a woman is a woman regardless of her age" and attempted to persuade the parents that at "the core of any" female there allegedly is a "wanton whore".
The producer also allegedly gaslighted the parents of the underage children, convincing them that their daughters needed to be trained to be "sexually submissive". Griffin assured them that they had been lied to by society about the nature of women, insisting that they are "in actuality, naturally, the dirtiest sluts possible, in every metric", the indictment documents said, citing his messages.