YCSO detective discovers additional victim during Investigation
Verde Valley AZ (August 18, 2015) – Recently, YCSO has handled several cases involving suspects luring a known child victim for sex. With early notification to law enforcement by victims and their families, or the discovery of a predator through internet investigations, detectives have been able to intercede before further harm is done to the child.
As reported in prior YCSO media releases, Sheriff Mascher has made the effort to catch child predators a priority for YCSO through special operations that involve enticing predators out of the shadows into custody. These operations range from internet luring investigations to multi-agency efforts that draw predators answering internet ads desiring to meet “children” for sex. In almost every case, this work concludes with the arrest of child sexual predators – who are caught before they can harm, or continue to harm, an actual child.
Additionally, YCSO’s association with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force remains strong. Funded by the US Department of Justice, this program provides critical support and technology to investigators whose goal is to find and save unreported/unknown victims of sexual abuse. Many citizens often believe these stings are not essential and basically trying to catch men who would otherwise not break the law. This case documented below brings home the real reason ICAC detectives run these stings.
On August 5, 2015, a YCSO detective specializing in sex crimes was notified that a father was reporting inappropriate sexual texts between his 12-year-old daughter and an adult family acquaintance – 41-year-old Keith Eugene Griffin from Flagstaff. The detective examined the victim’s cell phone and confirmed several messages from suspect Griffin explaining a need for sexual contact with the 12-year-old.
On occasion, Griffin previously made arrangements for the victim and a young girl, who is a family acquaintance of his, to spend time together. Both girls have been friends in the past.
With consent from the victim’s father, the detective posed as the victim to continue text chats. In the messages, Griffin again suggested they could have sex as the best way to gain “energy” while he helped her along the ‘path.’
The suspect eventually agreed to an arrangement where the two would meet in the Cornville area soon. As the text chats continued, Griffin also disclosed prior sex acts within the last year involving the family acquaintance under 14-years-of-age at the time. Griffin now suggested that the both girls could meet with him and ‘they could all try sex together.’ Griffin outlined specific sex acts and agreed to a meeting on August 9, 2015. Griffin also shared photos he took of a young girl’s genitalia claiming they were taken of the family acquaintance with whom he had sex.
On August 9, 2015, Griffin arrived at a pre-designated location in McGuireville to meet the 12-year-old victim. Instead, Griffin met with YCSO deputies who placed him in-custody.
Griffin was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including 4 counts of Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, 2 Counts of Luring, 3 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor. He remains in-custody and is being held without bond.
The circumstances regarding the abuse of the suspect’s acquaintance has been turned over to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office since the activity occurred in their area.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov