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Woman indicted in sex trafficking

Woman indicted in sex trafficking

Officers: 53-year-old used relative for money

July 12th, 2019 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News
Della Lou Griffin

A woman accused of arranging the sexual abuse of a young relative for money more than two decades ago was indicted for five felonies Thursday by a Bowie County grand jury.

Della Lou Griffin, 53, was indicted on four counts of sexual assault of a child and a single count of aggravated sexual assault of a child. She faces five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted of aggravated sexual assault and two to 20 years in prison on each of four counts of sexual assault.

Griffin came to the attention of authorities during a human trafficking investigation that led to a court authorized search of a house in April 2018 on Meadow Lane in New Boston, Texas. Texas Department of Public Safety investigators were looking for evidence in a case involving the home's owner, John Littleton.

Littleton died before he could face trial on charges of child sexual abuse and human trafficking. Littleton's roommate, Charles Garton, 40, is currently serving a 160-year term for sexual abuse involving a 12-year-old. Another defendant, Kenneth Nelson, is currently serving five life sentences for human trafficking involving teen girls he traded cash and drugs for sex.

While searching Littleton's home, investigators discovered a video cassette tape labeled with a girl's name. The tape contained multiple recordings of Littleton sexually assaulting an obviously underage girl whom investigators were able to identify and interview.

Officers were able to date one of the recordings because a news report announcing that Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson was playing in the background. That announcement was made in January 1996, more than 23 years ago.

The woman, who was a 14-year-old girl when the recordings were made with Littleton, told investigators Littleton began molesting her when she was 11 after she was introduced to him by Griffin. Griffin is allegedly seen in some of the recordings and was allegedly operating the camera.

The alleged victim told investigators Griffin often drove her to local motels and other locations where Littleton would pay Griffin so he could have sex with the girl. The alleged victim reported that she was often given alcohol and drugs before and during the encounters.

Griffin is currently in Bowie County custody. She was arrested June 28 following a missed court appearance before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell for a pre-indictment hearing in the case. At the time of her arrest, Griffin was allegedly in possession of a controlled substance. She faces a state jail felony charge in connection with that allegation.

A date for Griffin to appear for arraignment on the five felony sex abuse charges has not been set.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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