Fired CNN producer from CT sued for allegedly sexually abusing girl, 9

CT Insider
Daniel Tepfer
January 10, 2022

A 9-year-old girl claims in a lawsuit that former CNN producer John Griffin repeatedly sexually abused her at his Vermont ski house.

The girl, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, filed the complaint in state Superior Court in Bridgeport through a custodian listed in the filing as Janet Doe. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

“This action is brought for personal injuries, including emotional distress and all other attendant consequences, caused by the horrific sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and sexual assault of the plaintiff,” the lawsuit stated.

Joel Faxon, the New Haven lawyer who filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of the girl, said the child is living with the custodian in Connecticut after moving from Nevada.

Griffin, 44, of Stamford, a long-time staffer and producer for CNN, was fired last month following his arrest by the FBI on federal charges, alleging he tried to lure women to his Vermont ski home to train their daughters to be “sexually submissive.”

Griffin’s attorney did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.

Faxon confirmed that his client in the lawsuit is the same victim alleged to have been sexually abused by Griffin in the federal indictment.

“We are seeking to restrain his assets so he doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to abuse another child,” Faxon told Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

Griffin has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Vermont and has pleaded not guilty to three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.

According to the indictment, Griffin began using the alternative website,, to seek women who were “submissive” and “open-minded.”

Griffin, who moved to Stamford from Norwalk after separating from his wife about two years ago, then used messaging features on Kik and Google Hangouts to communicate with some of the women, pretending to be the parents of underage girls, according to the indictment.

In the communications, Griffin tried to persuade parents to let him “train their daughters to be sexually submissive,” the indictment stated.

In June 2020, Griffin told a mother of 9- and 13-year-old girls that she needed to have her daughters “trained properly,” the indictment stated. Griffin then transferred about $3,000 to the woman for plane tickets so she and her 9-year-old could fly from Nevada to Boston’s Logan airport, the indictment stated.

The mother and child flew to Boston in July 2020. Griffin picked them up and drove them to his home in Ludlow, Vt., where prosecutors said the girl was forced to engage in illegal sexual contact.

After the trip, prosecutors said Griffin tried to bribe a family member of the girl who confronted him about the accusations.

The girl’s adoptive mother, whose name Hearst Connecticut Media is withholding to protect the child’s identity, was charged in August 2020 with two counts of child abuse, two counts of sexual assault against a child under 14 and lewdness with a minor under 14. Her case remains pending in the Henderson Justice Court in Nevada.

Griffin’s indictment details allegations that he tried to entice two other children over the internet to participate in sexual activity.

In April 2020, Griffin coordinated a “virtual training session,” where he instructed a woman and her 14-year-old daughter to remove their clothes during the video chat, prosecutors said.

In June 2020, prosecutors said, Griffin offered a trip to a woman and her 16-year-old daughter to his Vermont ski house for sexual “training” involving the child.

In one of the conversations, Griffin told someone claiming to be the father of a child that he “sexually trained girls as young as 7 years old,” the indictment stated.