LA PLATA, Md.—Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy Bragunier sentenced a Waldorf man to 55 years imprisonment for crimes associated with raping a 15-year-old family member. Earlier this year on May 15 a Charles County jury deliberated for five hours before finding Clayton Calvin Griffin, Jr., 43, guilty of Sexual Child Abuse, Sexual Solicitation of a Minor, Incest and Third Degree Sex Offense.
Griffin, a Federal Protective Services police officer, did not speak on his own behalf at the sentencing hearing but, through his attorney, did maintain his innocence. Charles County State's Attorney Tony Covington, however, reminded the Court of the text messages introduced at trial which included messages where Griffin told the girl that he "always" used contraception when he had sex with her and messages where Griffin asked if he could perform a specific sex act on the victim. Covington also pointed out that the Defendant through text messages told the victim to erase the text messages about the sex and contraception.
In his remarks to the Court, Covington urged the Judge to impose a sentence that "will punish Griffin for his despicable acts and that will send this message to would be abusers: In Charles County if you have sex with a child you will go to prison for a long time".
While the victim did not address the Court, she did provide a letter that was read out loud by Covington. In part, the victim wrote, "You know what you did and I feel that if you weren't afraid to abuse me, you shouldn't be afraid to speak up and admit what you did to me." She also indicated that despite Griffin's actions she was determined not to let this "break [her] down" and that she is determined to "be the successful girl [she] was meant to be".
Facing the Judge with his head hung low, Griffin began to quietly cry when he heard the Judge announce the imposition of the maximum sentence allowed by law for his crimes. He was given consecutive sentences of 25 years for Sexual Child Abuse, 10 years for Sexual Solicitation of a Minor, 10 years for Incest and 10 years for Third Degree Sex Offense.
Source: Office of State's Attorney for Charles County, Maryland; Anthony B. "Tony" Covington