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Second CNN Producer Under Investigation, Accused Of Crimes With Juvenile Victims

By Holly Matkin and Sandy Malone

Fairfax County, VA – A second CNN producer is the subject of a criminal investigation due to allegations involving “potential juvenile victims,” according to police.

Rick Saleeby, who worked as a senior producer for CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” up until earlier this month, is currently under investigation for “serious allegations involving potential juvenile victims, the Fairfax County Police Department (FCOD) confirmed Thursday, according to FOX News.

Detectives with the FCPD’s Major Crime’s Bureau Child Exploitation Squad is leading the investigation into Saleeby, the department said.

Police said they have been in contact with Project Veritas, a guerilla journalism outlet, as part of the investigation into Saleeby, FOX News reported.

A FCPD spokesperson said investigators seized “numerous items” from the producer’s Virginia home, but details regarding those items have not been released.

“While we will eventually be transparent about our findings, safeguarding the personal privacy and safety of victims and witnesses as well as maintaining the integrity of our criminal investigation are of paramount importance,” the police spokesperson told FOX News.

Saleeby resigned from CNN earlier in December, according to a CNN spokesperson.

“The person in question no longer works for CNN,” a network spokesperson told FOX News Thursday.

Saleeby’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment, according to FOX News.

The investigation comes just weeks after another CNN producer, John Griffin, was indicted in a plot federal authorities said involved luring mothers and their juvenile daughter to his Ludlow, Vermont ski home for sexual training.

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.

CNN announced the network had fired Griffin on Dec. 15, the New York Post 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 Dec. 10. “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 Dec. 10 in New Haven, Connecticut, the Rutland Herald reported.

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.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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