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Total Debauchery: Ex-CNN Producer Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes Involving 9-Year-Old

AP Photo/Ron Harris

It’s been a while since we discussed the sexual escapades behind the scenes at CNN. Not all of it was illegal, however. Inappropriate, perhaps, concerning some of the consenting relationships, but that was not the case with a now-ex-producer for Chris Cuomo’s show. 


Last December, CNN producer John Griffin was arrested for sex crimes involving a minor and fired from the network shortly afterward. He’s now pleading guilty and facing up to a decade behind bars. Griffin allegedly tried to lure women and their daughters to his Vermont ski home for “sexual training,” some of which reportedly involved BDSM activity. 

The crime occurred during the summer of 2020, when Griffin picked up a woman and her adopted daughter, then nine years old, and sexually assaulted the minor. The attack occurred on July 15, 2020, though Griffin and the mother had been messaging each other since June. During these communications, he reportedly said, “when handled appropriately, a woman is a woman regardless of her age” (via CT Insider):

John Griffin, a former CNN producer accused of trying to lure women and their young daughters to his Vermont ski home for "sexual training"  accepted a plea deal on Monday. 


Griffin, 45, is scheduled to be sentenced on March 20. U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III said Griffin faces a minimum of 10 years in prison that could go up to a life sentence. Sessions noted that he could impose a sentence more or less severe than the suggested guidelines.


In his guilty plea, Griffin admitted to sending a Nevada mother money in the summer of 2020 to fly her and her 9-year-old adopted daughter to Boston. On July 15, 2020, Griffin picked up the mother and her daughter from the airport and drove them to his ski home in Ludlow, Vt. While at the home, Griffin sexually assaulted the child, Drescher said Monday in court as he read the facts of the case. 


Federal authorities accused Griffin of trying to lure women and their daughters to his Vermont home to provide "sexual training" and how to be "submissive" to men, according to his indictment. At one point, Griffin boasted in web chats that he had trained girls as young as 7 years old, according to federal authorities. 

Griffin originally pleaded not guilty to the three charges in December 2021. As part of the plea agreement, the government is dismissing the other two counts in the indictment, according to Sessions. 

The Nevada adoptive mother, whose name Hearst Connecticut Media Group is withholding to protect her daughter’s identity, was arrested about 18 months before Griffin was charged. She later pleaded guilty to attempted lewdness with a child under the age of 14, attempted sexual assault and child abuse. In April, she was sentenced to eight to 20 years in prison on each count in Nevada, court records show. The woman is also required to register as a sex offender and have lifetime supervision, according to court records. 


Within weeks of his arrest, Griffin's wife filed for divorce and federal authorities placed a lien on his Vermont home to guarantee that he gave the court his half of the proceeds from the sale to make sure any federal fines or payments to the victim would be paid.


CT Insider added that the mother's name and the minor were sealed. However, The New York Post identified the parent as Heather Carriker, who was arrested on August 21, 2020, “for 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.” Griffin allegedly paid Carriker $ 3,950 for the flight from Nevada to Boston. 

Authorities also allege that Griffin tried to pay off the young girl's family, offering $4,000 for their silence.

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