CNN fires Connecticut producer accused of offering to train girls to be ‘sexually submissive’

CNN said it has terminated John Griffin, a long-time staffer and producer from Connecticut indicted last week on federal charges alleging he tried to lure women to his Vermont ski home to train their daughters to be “sexually submissive.”

“The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We learned of his arrest Friday afternoon and terminated his employment today,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement Monday to Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

Griffin’s attorney, Joseph Martini, declined to comment when reached on Monday.

Griffin, 44, of Stamford, was arrested Friday by the FBI after a federal grand jury in Vermont charged him with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.

The FBI's office in Albany, N.Y., announced the charges against Griffin Friday in a tweet.

"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," Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany office, said in a statement. "The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively investigate those who victimize the most vulnerable in our communities."

According to his LinkedIn profile, Griffin had been a CNN employee since 2013.

Griffin was once a producer for the Chris Cuomo show and was most recently a producer for CNN senior political analyst John Avlon.

Property records indicate Griffin purchased the Vermont home on the eastern slope of Okemo Mountain through an LLC in February 2020, paying just under $1.8 million.

About two months later, Griffin began using the alternative website, alt.com, to seek women who were “submissive” and “open-minded,” according to his indictment.

Griffin then used messaging features on Kik and Google Hangouts to communicate with some of the women, pretending to be the parents of underage girls. In the communications, Griffin tried to persuade parents to let him “train their daughters to be sexually submissive,” the indictment stated.

In June 2020, Griffin told a mother of 9- and 13-year-old girls that she needed to have her daughters “trained properly,” the indictment stated. Griffin then transferred about $3,000 to the woman for plane tickets so she and her 9-year-old could fly from Nevada to Boston’s Logan airport, the indictment stated.

The mother and child flew to Boston in July 2020. Griffin picked them up and drove them to his home in Ludlow, Vt., where prosecutors said the girl was forced to engage in illegal sexual contact.

The indictment details other allegations that Griffin tried to entice two other children over the internet to participate in sexual activity.

In April 2020, Griffin coordinated a “virtual training session,” where he instructed a woman and her 14-year-old daughter to remove their clothes during the video chat, prosecutors said.

In June 2020, prosecutors said, Griffin offered a trip to a woman and her 16-year-old daughter to his Vermont ski house for sexual “training” involving the child.

In one of the conversations, Griffin told someone claiming to be a father that he “sexually trained girls as young as 7 years old,” the indictment stated.

If convicted on each federal count, Griffin faces 10 years to life in prison.

Prosecutors in Vermont said the federal government intends to have Griffin forfeit his Ludlow home, his Tesla, a Mercedes and any other property used in the commission of the alleged crimes.