LOGAN, Utah, Aug. 27, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Providence man is jailed without bail after police arrested him on suspicion of six felony and 12 misdemeanor charges related to inappropriate behavior with minors.
Cache County Sheriff officials say Jason William Griffin, 44, hosted sleepovers and other gatherings with several girls, ages 12 and 13, at his residence, and provided alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes and drugs.
In at least one case, he allegedly picked up a child without the guardian’s permission, and took the girl to his residence, deputies say.
Griffin has been jailed on suspicion of:
- Child kidnapping, a first-degree felony
- Five counts of causing/permitting a child or vulnerable adult to be exposed to controlled substances, a third-degree felony
- Four counts of offering or furnishing alcoholic products to a minor knowingly, a class A misdemeanor
- Five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a class B misdemeanor
- Two counts of providing cigar, cigarette, e-cigarette or tobacco to a minor, a class C misdemeanor
- Two counts of providing tobacco paraphernalia to a minor, a class C misdemeanor
The case was investigated after one child’s mother discovered Snapchat messages on her daughter’s cellphone, the probable cause statement says.
“This mother spoke with the mothers of two of the other girls who had been sleeping over at Jason’s house. These other mothers reviewed their daughter’s Snapchats and also discovered messages from Jason.”
According to the statement, Griffin said in some messages that “I’m OK. Kinda sad and lonely but I’ll be OK. Just thought I’d say hi. Hope you’re having a fun summer vacation. I’m trying to figure out this snap crap so I said hi because I realized I hadn’t snapped you yet. I need more practice.”
In another message, Griffin allegedly said, “If I could adopt you all I would be the luckiest dad in the world.”
“One of the mothers saw these messages and told her daughter that it was not appropriate for Jason to be texting her and saying those types of things,” the statement says. “The child blocked Jason on her Snapchat, but then a couple of weeks later the child received a message through her Instagram account from Jason that said, ‘Hey how are you?’
“We interviewed all three mothers and all three children separately and individually at the Children’s Justice Center. We were told that between the months of April through mid-June 2019, Jason had given (four children ages 12 and 13, alcohol, e-cigarettes, and marijuana.”
One child said that after her parents took away her cellphone as a punishment, Griffin gave her his cellphone “so that he could stay in contact with her, check on her and tell her that he loves her.”
Officials also obtained videos of some of the children smoking and consuming alcohol, the statement says.
Upon Griffin’s arrest, officials with a search warrant obtained several cellphones from which files on key dates, related to one or more sleepovers, had been deleted, the probable cause statement says.