NEW YORK, NY – A producer for CNN has been ordered held without bond by a federal judge on Monday after he was arrested for allegedly attempting to groom underage girls for sex, according to court documents.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Spector stated that the accused, John Griffin, was a possible flight risk, noting that there was “a rebuttable presumption” that he would not appear in court if he was released, and that the CNN employee “has not introduced sufficient evidence” to refute that presumption.
Prosecutors had argued Griffin should be detained because the case involves felonies that involve a minor victim. They also asserted Griffin could not be counted on to appear in court if he were freed pending trial due to the nature of the alleged offenses, a history of alcohol or substance abuse, the evidence against him being “strong,” and the lengthy period of jail time he faces if convicted.
Griffin, 44, was arrested on Saturday at his main address in Connecticut, reports say.
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Charges were unsealed over the weekend against Griffin that allege that he utilized instant messaging applications to correspond with individuals who were purported to be the parents or guardians of underage girls.
Griffin, court documents say, attempted to groom the daughters of these individuals for eventual sexual liaisons by telling their guardians that they should allow him to “train their minor daughters to be sexually subservient.”
In one instance, Griffin is alleged to have actually met up with a 9 year-old girl and engaged in sexual activity, after paying the minor’s mother to fly her from Nevada to Boston; upon their arrival, officials say, Griffin drove them to a residence in Ludlow, Vermont for “training.”
Spector based his decision on the arguments of prosecutors, who said that Griffin should be denied bond for a plethora of reasons, including the underage nature of his victim; the nature of his offences and the strength of the evidence against him; prior alcohol and drug abuse; and the length of the potential sentence if convicted.
The Department of Justice stated that if convicted, Griffin faces up to life in prison, and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, for each of the three counts that have been levied against him.
Currently, there is no record of Griffin having any legal counsel representing him.
Griffin worked “shoulder to shoulder” with disgraced CNN anchor Chris Cuomo for years.
Upon Griffin’s arrest, CNN announced that they had suspended the producer pending an investigation, and that “we take the charges against Mr. Griffin incredibly seriously.”