Senior television producer John Griffin was fired from CNN Monday following his arrest by the FBI on charges that he enticed minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
Griffin, 44, was taken into custody Friday after a federal grand jury in Vermont indicted him on “three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.
The cable network announced it had suspended Griffin following his Friday arrest. On Monday, CNN canned the veteran journalist, saying in a statement, “The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We learned of his arrest Friday afternoon and terminated his employment Monday.”
Griffin had worked at CNN since April 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was previously employed by ABC News, Fox News and CBS News.
His attorney, David Kirby, declined comment Monday when contacted by Inside Edition Digital.
Griffin’s arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday in a Vermont federal court. He remains in federal custody.
He worked “shoulder to shoulder” with Chris Cuomo, according to his social media posts, when the on-air talent was assigned to the CNN morning show “New Day,” helping Cuomo by “seeing him through each show and producing live breaking news across the country and around the world,” according to Griffin’s LinkedIn bio.
Cuomo was fired by CNN on Dec. 4, after the New York Attorney General’s Office released new information about the extent of his role advising and assisting his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was being investigated on sexual harassment allegations.
Griffin allegedly used “the messaging applications Kik and Google Hangouts to communicate with people purporting to be parents of minor daughters, conveying to them, among other ideas, that a ‘woman is a woman regardless of her age,’ and that women should be sexually subservient and inferior to men,” federal officials said.
He allegedly tried to “persuade parents to allow him to train their daughters to be sexually submissive,” prosecutors said.
Griffin is accused of flying a mother and her 9-year-old daughter to Boston in June 2020, and taking them to his Vermont vacation home, where “the daughter was directed to engage in, and did engage in, unlawful sexual activity,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The indictment also includes allegations that Griffin tried to entice two other children over the internet to engage in sexual activity, prosecutors said. In April 2020, he allegedly encouraged a mother to engage in a “virtual training session” over a video chat that would include him instructing the mother and her 14-year-old daughter to remove their clothing and touch each other at his direction, prosecutors said.
The indictment alleges that he also said he had trained girls as young as 7 “to be sexually submissive.”
If convicted, Griffin faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, federal authorities said. According to the indictment, the federal government intends to seek the forfeiture of Griffin’s Vermont house, his Tesla, a Mercedes, and other property that was used in the commission of the alleged offenses.