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Case of man charged with child abuse and porn is put on inactive docket

Thomas Leroy Griffin Jr. has been indicted on federal child pornography charges

August 16, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Griffin
Griffin

The case of a Hagerstown man charged with child sexual abuse and producing child pornography was placed on the inactive docket Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court because he has been indicted on federal child pornography charges.

Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson requested Judge Daniel P. Dwyer place the case of Thomas Leroy Griffin Jr. on the inactive docket because of the indictment, to give federal authorities the first opportunity to prosecute.

A case in the inactive docket can be recalled by the state within a year without reason, and for two years following that if the state can show good cause, Wilson said afterward.

A federal detainer has been issued for Griffin to be arraigned on the federal charge, Wilson told Dwyer.

Griffin has been held on $1 million bond since he was charged in November 2010 with sexually abusing a girl between 2003 and August 2010, according to court records. He was charged at that time with second-degree rape, second- and third-degree sex offenses, child sex abuse, child sex abuse as a continuing course of conduct and other offenses, court records said.

Griffin was indicted by a county grand jury in June on allegations that he abused the girl; that the girl was engaged in a sex act for the purpose of creating child pornography; that the sexual activity was filmed; and that Griffin retained possession of the pornography.

A federal conviction for manufacturing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, Wilson said after Griffin's court appearance.

Regardless of the outcome of the federal prosecution, Wilson told Dwyer that the state does not rule out prosecuting Griffin on the state charges at a later date. The federal case deals with the child pornography allegation, not the child sexual abuse, he said.

Additionally, the outcome of the federal child pornography charge would not preclude Griffin being prosecuted by the state on its pornography charges, Wilson told Dwyer. Double jeopardy would not apply because one case is federal and the other is at the state level, he said.

Griffin allegedly began abusing the girl when she was about 6 years old and lived in the Hancock area, according to the application for statement of charges filed last year by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

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