Longtime CNN producer John Griffin slapped with $15M civil suit amid federal child trafficking case

Fox News
Michael Ruiz and Stephanie Pagones
January 11, 2022

John Griffin, the longtime CNN producer fired last month over child trafficking allegations, has been named in a Connecticut civil lawsuit alleging "despicable acts" of "horrific sexual abuse" and exploitation.

"For several years prior to 2020, the defendant solicited young girls, including the minor plaintiff, for the purpose of knowingly persuading, inducing, enticing and coercing them to engage in sexual activity, sexual exploitation, and/or sexual trafficking," the lawsuit, filed last week in Bridgeport, alleges.

Criminally, Griffin faces one trafficking charge along with two counts of attempted trafficking in federal court in Vermont after allegedly soliciting parents with underage children.

Between April and July 2020, Griffin allegedly invited three women and their underage daughters over "for the purposes of sexual training," according to the federal indictment. Only the Nevada woman took him up on his offer, according to prosecutors.

The suit, filed on behalf of a 9-year-old "Jane Doe" and custodial "next best friend" Janet Doe is seeking up to $15 million in damages and fees.

Some allegations likely mirror those in a 2020 Nevada criminal complaint against the victim’s adoptive mother and the federal indictment of Griffin announced last month.

Griffin allegedly paid a Nevada woman more than $3,000 to fly to Boston and then stay at his multimillion-dollar Vermont vacation home for a week of sex crimes that involved her young adopted daughter.

The evidence against Griffin allegedly includes drone video he took showing a "completely naked 9-year-old girl" standing next to him in his underwear, according to court filings.

"When confronted with this video during an interview by FBI agents, Griffin’s first response was merely to suggest he was not looking at the naked girl, despite that she was standing so close to him to be touching," the prosecutor’s pretrial detention memo reads.

Fox News is not using the woman’s name to avoid exposing the child victim’s identity.

Shortly after the woman's arrest in August 2020, federal investigators seized electronics and storage devices belonging to Griffin.

But no charges were announced until mid-December 2021 – prompting criticism from some former investigators who said they saw no legitimate reason for the delay.

CNN fired the former Chris Cuomo producer after his arrest.

"Prior to his arrest and indictment, we had no knowledge about the case," a CNN spokesperson told Fox News Digital. The media outlet also said no CNN-owned devices issued to Griffin went missing or were reported lost in September 2020, when investigators said they seized some of his electronics.

Last year, Griffin moved out of the $4 million Connecticut home he shared with his wife due to marital troubles, sources have told Fox News Digital. He was living alone in Stamford when the FBI arrested him last month.

Griffin’s attorney, David Kirby, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If convicted, the former TV producer could face life in prison.

He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail in Vermont.

Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.