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Woman charged with sex crimes after trip with child to visit CNN producer

A Henderson woman is at the center of a federal criminal case filed against a CNN producer accused of attempting to lure children online, police and court records show.

On Friday, the U.S. attorney’s office of Vermont said CNN producer John Griffin, 44, of Stamford, Connecticut, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors. CNN said Griffin has worked for the network for nearly eight years.

Federal prosecutors said in a news release that Griffin used the messaging apps Kik and Google Hangouts to communicate with parents of girls, conveying the ideas that a “woman is a woman regardless of her age” and that parents should allow him to train their daughters to be sexually submissive.

Griffin’s arrest, according to federal prosecutors, was due in part to his payment of more than $3,000 to a Nevada woman who traveled with a 9-year-old girl to his Ludlow, Vermont, home in 2020.

“At the house, (the child) was directed to engage in, and did engage in, unlawful sexual activity,” federal prosecutors said in the news release.

Now, Henderson police and court records show that the woman accused of traveling with a child to Vermont is Heather Carriker, 48. Carriker was charged in Henderson Justice Court in August 2020 with child abuse, sexual assault against a child under 14, and lewdness with a minor.

An attorney representing Carriker could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Henderson police said an investigation of Carriker started when a witness found concerning text messages and photos on the woman’s cellphone.

“(The witness said) Heather had gone out to Vermont to visit a man named John Griffin who she met on an online porn/sex page,” police said in an arrest report for Carriker.

The witness also told police about the child going on the trip and said she was concerned, because it was her understanding that the child had been left alone with Griffin.

Henderson police said their investigation ultimately showed that Carriker went to Griffin’s home to engage in bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism, and that the child was forced to participate.

Carriker, police said, at first denied wrongdoing in an interview with police, but she later admitted that the child photographed her “to document the progress of bruising (Carriker) received during consensual play with her boyfriend.”

Charges are pending against Carriker in Henderson Justice Court. Her next court date is scheduled for Dec. 22.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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