Burlington, VT – A federal grand jury indicted CNN producer John Griffin in a plot federal authorities said involved luring mothers and their juvenile daughter to his Ludlow ski home for sexual training.
CNN announced the network had fired Griffin on Wednesday, the New York Post reported.
Court records showed the grand jury in Burlington handed down a three-count indictment on Dec. 9 against the 44-year-old Griffin that charged him with attempting to entice minors to cross state lines to engage in unlawful sexual activity, the Rutland Herald reported.
Griffin had an online profile on a “BDSM dating, Fetish, and Kink Site” for several years leading up to July of 2020, according to the indictment.
His profile said that he was looking for women who were sexually “submissive” and “open-minded,” according to CNN.
The indictment said that Griffin preached “a way of life” in which “women are sexually subservient and inferior to men” during conversations on multiple online platforms where he sought parents “who would allow him to train their minor daughters to be sexually subservient.”
He bought a ski home in Vermont in February of 2020 for the purpose of hosting mothers and their young daughters for “sexual training” sessions, according to the indictment.
The indictment said that that Griffin spent a lot of time online trying to convince fathers and mothers of underage children that they needed to have him train their daughters to be subservient to men, the Daily Mail reported.
From April of 2020 to July of 2020, Griffin used the messaging app Kik and Google Hangouts to convince parents of minor daughters that a “woman is a woman regardless of her age” and “women should be sexually subservient and inferior to men,” the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement.
DOJ also said that Griffin had “attempted to entice two other children over the internet to engage in sexual activity,” according to the Daily Mail.
Prosecutors alleged that between April of 2020 and June of 2020, he was also talking to the purported father of a 14-year-old girl and, separately, the mother of a 16-year-old girl, and had proposed they begin “sexual training” their daughters, CNN reported.
The indictment said that in June and July of 2020, Griffin talked online and on the phone with a woman who claimed to be the mother of nine-year-old and 13-year-old girls.
Prosecutors accused Griffin of having paid the woman $3,000 to fly to Boston with the nine-year-old daughter in July, CNN reported.
Charging documents said that Griffin picked the mother and daughter up at the airport in his Tesla and drove them up to the ski house.
Once there, “the child was directed to engage in and did engage in illegal sexual activity,” according to the indictment.
The mother, Heather Carriker, was arrested in August of 2020 and charged with 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, the New York Post reported.
Court records showed Carriker said she brought several sex toys along on the trip and allegedly forced her daughter to join in BDSM sex play with herself and Griffin.
BDSM stands for sexual practices that include bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, and sadism, according to WebMD.
Charging documents said Carriker told police she made her daughter take pictures “to document the progress of bruising [Carriker] received during consensual play with her boyfriend,” the New York Post reported.
“The allegations are deeply disturbing, and our office is committed to working with our partners at the United States Attorney’s Office District of Vermont to ensure Mr. Griffin is held accountable for his actions,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tweeted on Friday. “The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively investigate those who victimize the most vulnerable in our communities.”
Griffin was charged with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity, CNN reported.
If convicted, the now-former television producer is facing at least 10 years-to-life in prison on each count.
Griffin’s indictment seeks the forfeiture of items seized from the defendant on Sept. 2, 2020, including the Ludlow ski house, a Tesla, a 2018 Mercedes Benz, various computers, phones, cameras and videos used in the commission of his crimes, the Rutland Herald reported.
Officials said Griffin was arrested on Friday morning in New Haven, Connecticut, the Rutland Herald reported.
In a Zoom hearing hours later, U.S. District Court Judge Robert M. Spector ordered Griffin detained by the U.S. Marshals Service and sent to Vermont to face trial.
Griffin was scheduled for arraignment in Burlington.
CNN suspended Griffin the day he was arrested, the New York Post reported.
The network announced he had been terminated on Dec. 15.
Griffin has been a producer at CNN for eight years, according to the network.
He most recently produced for CNN senior political analyst John Avlon, but earlier in his career, Griffin was the producer of CNN’s “New Day” when the recently-disgraced Chris Cuomo was the host, the Daily Mail reported.
Cuomo was fired by CNN a week before Griffin was arrested following a suspension earlier in the week for his role in aiding his brother in a sexual harassment scandal.
Before CNN, Griffin worked for ABC News for 12 years, for FOX News for three years, and for CBS News for three years, the Rutland Herald reported.