Mom of child allegedly abused by CNN producer John Griffin is outraged by delayed arrest

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EXCLUSIVE: The biological mother of a 9-year-old girl who was allegedly sexually abused by longtime CNN producer John Griffin spoke out for the first time and questioned why the FBI waited over 15 months to make an arrest.

“I have lost hope in the system completely,” said Catherine, 38, in an exclusive interview with Fox News. “The fact that they knew this man, what he was, and what he did to her, and they did nothing for a year and a half, is mind-blowing.”

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)

She lost custody of her daughter to her stepdad and his new wife in 2017 after she was locked up on felony charges stemming from gun and drug possession. “I want to know why they waited. Why did they put my little girl on the back burner?” she said.

The 9-year-old told police what her adoptive mom and longtime CNN senior producer did to her during 10 horrific days in July 2020 – but Griffin wasn’t arrested until Dec. 10, 2021.

Fox News is withholding the full names of the child’s relatives to protect her privacy.

It was Catherine who first uncovered the abuse. After she had an overnight visit with her daughter in August of last year, she tried to reach the adoptive mom to drop off the child but couldn’t locate her.

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

She used her daughter’s phone to log into the adoptive mom’s social media accounts and found alarming messages — including evidence of the alleged depraved trip the two had taken to meet Griffin, 44, at his $2 million ski chalet in Ludlow, Vermont.

She called Griffin, she said, and he kept referring to her daughter as “very mature for her age” and said if she needed anything he would help. “I said don’t ever call this f—king phone again,” said Catherine, who allegedly found several inappropriate texts between Griffin and her daughter.

When Catherine refused to return her daughter, the adoptive mom called the cops on her in a move that backfired. “The police called me and I said, ‘You’re going to want to come over and see this’ and they did,” Catherine recalled.

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

Griffin had met the adoptive mom on a BDSM website and paid her $3,500 to fly with the 9-year-old girl to Vermont for 10 days starting July 14.

The child was allegedly forced to perform sex acts with Griffin and the adoptive mom, who was hospitalized twice on the trip, leaving the little girl alone with the twisted father of three.

The adoptive mom was arrested Aug. 21, 2020, on five counts of child abuse, eight counts of lewdness with a minor under 14 and two counts of sexual assault of a minor under 14.

She was released on a $25,000 bond to house arrest but allegedly violated her bail terms and landed back in jail, court records show. The child was turned over to her grandmother, Catherine’s mom.

Former CNN star Chris Cuomo and now-former CNN senior producer John Griffin were both terminated by the network this month. 
(John Griffin @JGriffNYC)

The Henderson Police Department in Nevada alerted federal authorities in Vermont to Griffin’s role in the abuse, Catherine said.

She gave a thumb drive with all the incriminating evidence from social media to her mom who gave it to the FBI.

Days after the adoptive mom’s arrest, federal authorities seized Griffin’s electronic devices, including computers, phones, cameras and microSD cards, court papers show.

The feds also sent a forensic psychologist to interview the child.

“They never contacted me,” Catherine said. “I gave them the case on a silver platter.” 

Catherine said her stepdad died in Oct. 2019, leaving her little girl in the hands of his sick widow. After learning of the abuse, Catherine’s biggest concern was that there might be explicit photos of her daughter online.

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."

She was stunned to learn from press reports about drone footage Griffin had taken of her daughter naked.

Federal prosecutors wrote in a memo arguing for detention that on July 20, 2020, Griffin operated a drone that captured footage of “the completely naked 9-year-old girl, standing immediately next to Griffin in his underwear.”

“I can’t believe they didn’t tell me or my mom about this first,” she said. “It’s ridiculous that I have to read about what happened to my daughter in the news.”

Catherine sees her daughter as often as she can and says that the young girl, who has since turned 10, is still as innocent and sweet as ever.

“She’s always collecting her change to give to the homeless,” the mom said. “She wants to start a foundation to help children like her.”

But she said her daughter will have to testify against her adoptive mom and Griffin, if his case goes to trial, and she worries this will make it hard for her to heal.

The adoptive mom wasn’t the only family member paid by Griffin, who had boasted that he commands an estate worth more than $35 million, court records show.

CNN fired senior producer John Griffin on Monday. (LinkedIn)
(Linked In)

A relative who suspected inappropriate conduct between Griffin and the 9-year-old during the Vermont trip texted him, “U lmk if yr feeling helpful within the hour or so.” Griffin allegedly insisted, “I didn’t do anything wrong,” before sending the relative $4,000 via Venmo. The detention memo did not name the relative and Catherine said she didn’t take money from Griffin.

Griffin tried to lure three mothers and their daughters on BDSM websites to his chalet for “sexual subservience” training, according to the federal indictment. But the adoptive mom and the 9-year-old girl were the only ones to make the trip.

He claimed to have trained girls as young as 7 and said, “a woman is a woman regardless of her age.”

In addition, Griffin offered $30,000 for a “mother daughter weekend or week with me” on Feb. 21, 2020, making clear that there would be “sexuality involved,” court papers alleged.

Less than a month later, he offered another woman $1,200 for sex, adding, “There is a better deal to be had though…5k if the kids are in the room,” according to the filing.

Griffin pleaded not guilty last week to one count of child sex trafficking and two counts of attempted child sex trafficking in U.S. District Court in Vermont. He is being held without bail.

Griffin’s lawyer, David Kirby, declined to comment. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont didn’t return a request for comment. 

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