Longtime CNN producer John Griffin pleads not guilty to child sex trafficking charges

Griffin is being held in a Cheshire County, New Hampshire, prison

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Longtime CNN producer John Griffin on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to child sex trafficking charges during his arraignment in a U.S. District Court in Vermont.

Griffin, 44, pleaded not guilty to three counts of child sex trafficking and faces anywhere from 10 years behind bars to life imprisonment if convicted. 

Judge William Sessions III granted Vermont Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Drescher's motion for Griffin's pretrial detention. He will be held at a Cheshire County, New Hampshire, prison without bail.

Griffin entered the Burlington courtroom in an orange jumpsuit. He was shackled from behind as two marshals led him inside and sat him beside his lawyer. The entire arraignment lasted about 15 minutes.

Earlier this month, longtime CNN senior producer John Griffin was arrested by the FBI after being charged with shocking sex crimes with girls as young as nine years old. 

Earlier this month, longtime CNN senior producer John Griffin was arrested by the FBI after being charged with shocking sex crimes with girls as young as nine years old.  (Vermont State Police)

"[Griffin] has a history of mental illness and substance abuse, and he recently admitted to continuing to use intoxicants," Drescher wrote in the motion. "He faces not only a significant loss of liberty, but also extraordinary reputational damage. He has dishonestly tried to talk his way out of being held accountable. He has tried to buy his way out of trouble. There is no set of conditions that can assure the Court of his continued appearance or address the danger he presents if released."

Griffin confirmed during Wednesday's arraignment that he was "hospitalized for drug or alcohol treatment" in "early 2020."

LONGTIME CNN PRODUCER JOHN GRIFFIN WAS ‘ASHAMED’ AFTER ARREST FOR CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING: PROSECUTOR

Griffin's defense team did not oppose his detention, according to court filings.

The Federal Court House in Burlington, Vermont

The Federal Court House in Burlington, Vermont (Fox News Digital)

The longtime producer and friend of fellow fallen former CNN newsman Chris Cuomo is accused of paying a woman $30,000 for a "mother daughter weekend" with him and told authorities that he was "ashamed" when he was arrested for allegedly abusing a 9-year-old girl and enticing other minors, U.S. wrote in the Drescher motion for detention. 

Last year, Griffin sought out women who identified as sexually submissive and tried to persuade them to allow him to "train" their minor daughters, ages 9 and 13, according to a federal indictment. He told one parent that he "had trained girls as young as seven years of age," the motion states.

EXCLUSIVE: LONGTIME CNN PRODUCER JOHN GRIFFIN HAD MARITAL TROUBLE PRIOR TO SEX TRAFFICKING ARREST

One woman, who was the mother of a 9-year-old girl, flew from Nevada to Boston to stay at Griffin's Vermont ski house in July 2020, according to authorities. While the woman and her minor daughter were at the home, Griffin viewed "web-pages featuring pornographic videos about sex with mothers and daughters."

Former CNN senior producer John Griffin's Vermont chalet, where he's accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl. 

Former CNN senior producer John Griffin's Vermont chalet, where he's accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl.  (Fox News Digital)

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He is also accused of attempting to entice minors over the internet and allegedly stated "on several occasions" last year that "a woman is a woman regardless of her age," according to prosecutors, who are seeking the forfeiture of the Vermont house, his interest in the LLC that owns it, the Model X, electronic devices and a 2019 Mercedes-Benz GTA.

FBI officials arrested the former producer on Dec. 10 after a federal grand jury issued charges against him.