WARNING: SOME DETAILS MAY BE DISTURBING
EXCLUSIVE: Longtime CNN producer John Griffin made a close pal in prison — and he’s a convicted pedophile, Fox News Digital has learned.
Griffin, 44, has been locked up at the Cheshire County Jail in Keene, New Hampshire, since his arrest on federal child sex trafficking charges in December. Griffin has pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Vermont.
A photo combination of mugshots of ex-CNN producer John Griffin and his prison pal Jessy Webster.
(Vermont State Police/Jaffrey Police Depart)
After the allegations emerged, the network axed Griffin and his wife filed for divorce.
The father of three has reportedly struck up a friendship with Jessy Webster, 27, who was convicted of second-degree assault for allegedly giving his 6-year-old daughter herpes, according to court papers and sources.
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“He and Jessy were best friends. They hung out all day and night and played scrabble,” said an ex-inmate, who was sprung April 20 after serving 80 days for assaulting his girlfriend.
The ex-inmate, who requested anonymity, said Griffin first told everyone that he was in jail for possessing 10 kilos of cocaine.
Former CNN senior producer John Griffin was charged by a grand jury in Vermont in December 2021 "with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity."
“I took one look at the guy and realized he was not in there for cocaine,” the inmate said. “He just looks like a pedophile.” A correction officer eventually told him the real reason Griffin was locked up.
The former prisoner added that Griffin was strange. “He’s like really awkwardly weird. He liked to go up to people and fist bump them,” he told Fox News Digital.
“He’d take his headphones out and try to share his music with everybody. He put his headphones in my ear. It was like granola reggae,” the man said. “You could tell he came from money.”
The home of ex-CNN producer John Griffin in Norwalk, Connecticut.
(Fox News Digital)
Griffin and Webster grew so close that Griffin threw his friend a going away party when he got sentenced April 13, according to the ex-inmate.
Webster pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for allegedly repeatedly raping his 6-year-old daughter and giving her herpes in 2021, according to court records. He was sentenced to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison as part of a plea deal.
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In a separate indictment, he pleaded guilty to indecent exposure for allegedly sending a photo of his genitals to a 15-year-old girl on three occasions.
Griffin was so saddened by his buddy’s departure, he prepared an extravagant dinner using the food he’d ordered from the jail canteen.
Former CNN senior producer John Griffin’s Vermont chalet, where he’s accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl.
(Fox News Digital)
While Webster was chowing down on his good-bye meal, his roommate, who’d just found out what he was in for, threw out all his stuff, the ex-inmate said.
After the meal wrapped up, Webster found out what the roommate had done. He allegedly stormed upstairs to his cell to confront him.
EXCLUSIVE: LONGTIME CNN PRODUCER JOHN GRIFFIN HAD MARITAL TROUBLE PRIOR TO SEX TRAFFICKING ARREST
“Griffin comes out of his room and bear hugs Jessy and tries to hold him back and is like ‘Come on, man. It’s not worth it,’” the ex-inmate said. “He was protecting this other pedophile.”
Webster was transferred to another facility to serve out his sentence.
Jessy Webster’s mugshot.
(Jaffrey Police Department)
Griffin is accused of trying to lure three mothers and their daughters on BDSM websites to his Vermont chalet for “sexual subservience” training, according to the federal indictment.
An adoptive mom and her 9-year-old daughter were the only ones to make the trip. The little girl was allegedly forced to perform sex acts with the mom and Griffin during 10 horrific days in July 2020.
In an exchange with another woman, Griffin offered $30,000 for a “mother daughter weekend or week with me” making clear that there would be “sexuality involved,” court papers allege.
LONGTIME CNN PRODUCER JOHN GRIFFIN WAS ‘ASHAMED’ AFTER ARREST FOR CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING: PROSECUTOR
Less than a month later, he allegedly offered a mom $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.
The ex-inmate said Griffin, who worked closely with disgraced CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, stands out for more than the grotesque accusations of child abuse.
“The guy is loaded,” the ex-inmate said. “He got his canteen the first Sunday I was there. It was half the size of a couch.” The canteen items are marked up as much as triple their regular price.
Griffin, who the other inmates call Griff, initially said his dad sent him money but later claimed he had cash in the bank from the sale of his $1.8 million Vermont chalet.
CNN fired senior producer John Griffin over child sex trafficking allegations.
Property records show that he has not sold the vacation property, where he allegedly abused his 9-year-old victim. Before separating from his wife, Griffin and his family lived in a $4 million Connecticut mansion.
Griffin also has a notable bunk mate: Eric Knight, a family doctor who pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a patient, according to jail records and sources. His lawyer, Richard Guerriero, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
As other inmates learned the real allegations against Griffin, he stopped going to the dayroom to play scrabble, the ex-inmate said.
“People were starting to find out what he was really in there for so as of late he’s been shutting his door and keeping it locked and staying in his room,” the former prisoner said.
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Griffin’s lawyer, David Kirby, declined to comment. An attorney for Webster didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a veteran journalist and book author with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and @ReRosenberg.