Longtime CNN producer John Griffin's devices seized 17 months before child sex trafficking arrest

Nevada complaint alleges 9-year-old was left with Griffin alone when mother was hospitalized after BDSM tryst

WARNING: SOME DETAILS MAY BE DISTURBING

FIRST ON FOX: A Nevada criminal complaint against a mom who allegedly pimped out her 9-year-old daughter to longtime CNN producer John Griffin in Vermont discloses disturbing new details about the sick arrangement.

It also reveals that authorities first became aware of Griffin's depraved proclivities 18 months ago – yet the FBI didn't arrest him until Friday in Connecticut for allegedly soliciting three mothers and their underage daughters for "training" on fetish sex. 

The third count in the federal indictment out of Vermont is based on the encounter with the 9-year-old in July 2020, for which Griffin paid the mom $3,500 via Venmo. 

After the woman's arrest in August 2020, federal investigators seized "computers storage media, devices, phones, cameras, MicroSD cards, images, and video" from Griffin on Sept. 2, 2020, according to court documents.

Fox News has chosen not to identify the mother in order to protect the child victim's identity.

CNN senior producer John Griffin was charged by a grand jury in Vermont Friday "with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity." Investigators seized his devices 17 months ago.

CNN senior producer John Griffin was charged by a grand jury in Vermont Friday "with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity." Investigators seized his devices 17 months ago. (Twitter)

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A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Vermont did not immediately return a request for comment on the reason for the delay in charging Griffin. 

"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.

The federal indictment accuses him of trying to entice minors to his Vermont vacation home for sexual encounters last year – and one Nevada mom allegedly took him up on the offer in July 2020.

The criminal complaint filed against the Nevada woman on Aug. 25, 2020 in Henderson Justice Court details the horrific abuse and describes her as the adoptive mother. 

The woman allegedly flew the 9-year-old from Nevada to Boston, Massachusetts, where Griffin is accused of picking them up in a Tesla and driving them to his $2 million vacation house in a Vermont ski town, according to the federal indictment.

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In the Nevada complaint, the 9-year-old described the Vermont house as "a cabin with a garage and three floors." She also told investigators that "a man named John" picked her up from the airport in a red Tesla. 

The revolting allegations include text messages about explicit activities involving the child.

Longtime CNN producer John Griffin was arrested on DUI charges in Vermont in October 2020 after a 6 p.m. car crash. 

Longtime CNN producer John Griffin was arrested on DUI charges in Vermont in October 2020 after a 6 p.m. car crash.  (Vermont State Police)

After the trip, the girl returned to her biological mother, who does not have full custodial rights. When it came time for the adoptive mom to pick her up, she could not be found.

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The victim’s biological mother discovered that the adoptive mother was logged in on her daughter’s smartphone. So she used it to post to the other woman’s social media accounts, asking for help finding her.

Then she discovered appalling text messages discussing sex toys, bondage activities, the girl and Griffin.

The biological mom knew her child had been taken to Vermont, "but did not know anything like this was taking place until after she discovered these messages," the criminal complaint says.

Griffin's sprawling home in the exclusive Wilson Point gated community of Norwalk, Connecticut.

Griffin's sprawling home in the exclusive Wilson Point gated community of Norwalk, Connecticut. (Fox News Digital)

Through the messages, she also learned that the adoptive mom "had gone out to Vermont to visit a [man] named John Griffin who she met on an online porn/sex page."

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She called Griffin, who told her that the other woman had been hospitalized in Boston during their trip, according to the complaint. The discussion left out details about their BDSM-themed encounter, which purportedly included scenarios too explicit to print.

While this woman was in the hospital, the child was allegedly alone with Griffin in his ski-in/ski-out mountainside chalet.

"John claimed nothing happened between him and [the child], and told [the mom] he did not want to talk to police but would if he needed to," the court papers allege.

But the 9-year-old told a social worker who interviewed her that, on separate occasions, she had been forced to watch her adoptive mother engage in sex acts with four different men – including Griffin.

According to the criminal complaint, the Nevada suspect admitted to bringing the child to Vermont to meet "a man named John Griffin or Gifford. She went there with the purpose of engaging in BDSM play with John." She also denied that the child had been in the room for any of the activities.

In a follow-up interview, the 9-year-old told investigators that the "weird" activities began at her adoptive mom’s home after the start of "quarantine" – described as the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown in mid-March 2020.

The Nevada woman faces numerous felony counts including child abuse, sex assault and lewdness with a minor. Many of them are unrelated to the Vermont trip. 

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The charges that do involve Griffin allege that he watched as the child was made to perform lewd acts with the adoptive mother. After three nights of this alleged activity, the child refused to participate further.

Between April and July 2020, John Griffin allegedly invited three women and their underage daughters over "for the purposes of sexual training," according to the federal indictment. The third and final charge pertains to the Nevada child.

Griffin faces three counts of sex trafficking minors, one of which is related to the Vermont visit. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

Griffin is in custody awaiting his next appearance in federal court. U.S. Marshals in Connecticut told Fox News Wednesday that Griffin was in the custody of U.S. Marshals in Vermont. But Fox later learned that he was being held at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island and left the facility Thursday morning.

His attorney David Kirby didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.