CNN producer John Griffin has entered a plea of not guilty to the accusation of child sex trafficking in a U.S. District Court in Vermont, according to Fox News.
The 44-year-old Griffin was charged with three counts of child sex trafficking and could face as little as 10 years in prison or as much as life imprisonment if convicted.
Griffin’s roughly 15 minuet arraignment began with him entering the courtroom shackled from behind and ended with Judge William Sessions III granting Vermont Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Drescher’s motion for Griffin’s pretrial detention
“[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.”
During Wednesday’s appearance, Griffin confirmed that he was “hospitalized for drug or alcohol treatment” in “early 2020,” and his defense team did not oppose his detention.
Griffin was a longtime producer for CNN and a friend of former CNN newsman Chris Cuomo. He is accused of paying a woman $30,000 for a “mother daughter weekend.”
He admitted to authorities that he was “ashamed” of his actions when he was arrested for allegedly abusing a 9-year-old girl and enticing other minors, according to Drescher motion for detention.