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Former Florida pastor sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography

by Premier Journalist

A former pastor and college professor was sentenced to two decades in prison after not contesting several charges of possessing child pornography.

John Griffin, age 74, is a former pastor at Riverbend Community Church and a former instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In January, he was arrested after investigators found several illicit images on his electronic devices, alongside evidence that he had sent such pictures to other parties. There was also evidence that Griffin had engaged in an illegal online relationship with a 15-year-old-girl.

While Griffin was initially released on bail following the arrest, law enforcement revoked the release after sending a letter to a child days after.

Local law enforcement had been tipped off to Griffin's conduct after a tip from Snapchat was sent to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Griffin will now spend the next 20 years of his life in prison. 

"The defendant—as a former pastor—was in a position of trust and authority while possessing photos of sexually exploited children. It is amazing how folks like the defendant can deceive people so completely. His arrest has exposed him, and his sentence has held him accountable for his sexually criminal behavior," says State Attorney R.J. Larizza.


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