Longtime CNN producer John Griffin interacted with kids while feds investigated child sex abuse allegations

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EXCLUSIVE: A Connecticut man expressed disbelief that former longtime CNN producer John Griffin was free to interact with young children while authorities spent 17 months investigating him for allegedly abusing a 9-year-old girl.  

The man, who knows Griffin’s family, said Griffin, 44, and his wife, Allyson, 46, have three young children and hosted sleepovers and pool parties at their sprawling $4 million property overlooking Long Island Sound in Wilson Point, Connecticut.

John Griffin’s October 2020 mug shot for drunk driving arrest.
(Vermont State Police)

“The Griffins have young children, and those young children have friends,” the resident told Fox News. “I know someone who is friends with their daughter and went to a pool party at their house last summer, and he [Griffin] was there.”


Griffin and his wife separated some time last year but were trying to mend their marriage last summer, sources told Fox News.

The local man said that it was common knowledge in the community that Griffin was a heavy drinker and is rumored to have spent time in rehab. He was charged in Vermont in October 2020 for driving while under the influence and smashing his vehicle into another car.

An unidentified woman at the home of CNN producer John Griffin in Norwalk
(Fox News Digital)

Griffin was arrested Dec. 10 in Connecticut on a federal indictment out of Vermont for allegedly soliciting three mothers and their underage daughters for “training” in fetish sex.  

The most recent incident involved disturbing allegations that he flew a mother and her adopted 9-year-old daughter to his $2 million Vermont mountainside chalet in July 2020 to engage in illicit sex acts. He allegedly paid the mother $3,500 for the encounter.

Nevada authorities arrested the mom a month later and specifically named Griffin in the complaint against her, although he was not charged at the time. 

CNN fired senior producer John Griffin.

Federal authorities became aware of the child abuse allegations and, on Sept. 2, 2020, just days after the woman’s arrest, seized “computers, storage media, devices, phones, cameras, MicroSD cards, images and video,” according to court papers.

But federal authorities waited 16 months to arrest Griffin, who continued to have regular contact with his children and interact with the community without anyone knowing he was suspected of the crimes, sources told Fox News.

Attorney Michael Bachner, who has represented dozens of high-profile defendants in federal court, was surprised authorities didn’t act sooner.

Ex-CNN producer John Griffin’s $2 million Vermont chalet where he’s accused of abusing a 9-year-old girl.
(Fox News Digital)

“If the FBI did a search in September and was aware of the underlying conduct against Griffin in the Nevada case, it’s kind of remarkable that steps were not taken to get Griffin off the streets,” he said. “To leave someone free when you’re aware or have probable cause to believe he’s a predator to me is a wrong decision.”

The resident questioned whether the family’s connections in the community shielded Griffin. 

He described the Griffin family as having a “nouveau riche vibe” and “splashing money all over town.”

Allyson Griffin on the phone Tuesday at her home in Norwalk, Conn. 
(Fox News Digital)

Griffin had been living in Stamford, Connecticut, at the time of his arrest, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

During his initial court appearance via Zoom in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, where he agreed to be extradited to Vermont, he admitted he was still hitting the bottle.

Magistrate Judge Robert Spector asked if he had taken any drugs or alcohol in the last 24 hours.

“Yes, Your Honor,” he replied. “I am confident it was long enough ago that I am bone-dry sober at this point.”

CNN promptly fired the former Chris Cuomo producer after his arrest, and a spokesman said the company had no knowledge of the staffer’s alleged misconduct.

Griffin is currently on his way to Vermont to be arraigned on the sex trafficking indictment that could land him behind bars for life. 

His lawyer, David Kirby, declined to comment. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont did not return several requests for comment.

Mike Ruiz and Brian Flood contributed to this report.

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