Former CNN television producer John Griffin has been sentenced to 19 years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge William K. Sessions III for luring and sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl in Vermont. Griffin, originally from Stamford, Connecticut, pleaded guilty to the charges of child sexual abuse last year, leading to his sentencing on Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Burlington.
The disturbing case unfolded in 2020 when pedophile CNN producer John Griffin convinced a woman and her daughter to travel from Nevada to Massachusetts. He then transported them to Ludlow, Vermont, in his Tesla, where he engaged in sexual activities with both victims, including the 9-year-old girl.
During the hearing, the young girl’s grandmother appeared via video and expressed her outrage at Griffin’s actions, directly addressing him by stating, “The child that you raped was my granddaughter. You forever damaged a 9-year-old.” The emotional impact of the abuse was evident as the girl shared her difficulties in trusting others and expressed her anger towards Griffin.
Griffin’s defense attorney, David Kirby, requested a minimum sentence of 10 years, citing his client’s mental health issues, substance abuse problems, and marital difficulties at the time of the crimes. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Drescher argued for a sentence of nearly 21 years, highlighting the sustained nature of Griffin’s abusive behaviors.
In the end, Judge Sessions imposed a 19.5-year prison sentence on Griffin. Additionally, he will serve 15 years on supervised release and pay $1.1 million in restitution.
Griffin, previously recognized as an award-winning CNN producer, was terminated from his position after his arrest. Further investigation revealed that he had attempted to persuade other parents online to bring their daughters to Vermont.
Drescher characterized Griffin as a skilled manipulator, emphasizing his privileged background, which included graduating from Princeton University, owning multiple properties, and working on the Chris Cuomo show as a CNN producer.
This case serves as a stark reminder of the critical need to protect children from exploitation and the severe consequences that await those who perpetrate such crimes.