Clark Griffith scolded by judge during his sentencing: "You're just pissing me off"

Categories: Crime
clark griffith mug rect.jpg
Griffith was sentenced to sex offender treatment, a $500 fine, and no contact with his victim.
SEE ALSO:
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Clark Griffith, son of former Twins owner Calvin Griffith and an accomplished Twin Cities attorney, allegedly made disturbing sexual advances toward a 24-year-old William Mitchell student he was mentoring -- including, most notoriously, a January 24 incident on St. Paul's Grand Avenue where he unzipped his pants and told the woman to squeeze his penis.

But in a statement he gave to a probation officer, Griffith, 70, tried to turn the narrative on its head, alleging that he, not she, was the victim of a sexual assault. During Griffith's sentencing hearing yesterday, Ramsey County District Judge George Stephenson made it clear that he was having none of it.

According to Griffith, following the January 24 meeting with the student at Axel's Bonfire, she actually tried to seduce him. She followed him to his car, then put her hand on his sweet spot, saying, "We've got to go slow." Here's a couple more tidbits from the statement Griffith gave to the probation officer, as read in court by Stephenson:
The defendant stated that he was the victim of a sexual assault and described this experience as very traumatizing... women want sexual power over men...
The student denies the allegations, and in a scene that sounds reminiscent of Judge Judy, Stephenson made it clear that he doesn't buy it either.
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The scene of the crime.

Characterizing Griffith's version of events as "possibly delusional," Stephenson asked the defendant: "Are you kidding me?"

When Griffith tried to chime in, the judge stopped him in his tracks. "Don't say another word, because you're just pissing me off," Stephenson said.

Griffith, who entered an Alford plea last month in response to the misdemeanor indecent exposure charge, was ultimately sentenced to sex offender treatment, a $500 fine, and no contact with his victim, who he repeatedly called and texted in the days following January 24. At one point, he left her a message and said, "Any hint of anything here and I get shot. You don't want that, do you?"

If he abides by those conditions, the charge will be scrubbed from his record in a year.

During yesterday's hearing, the prosecutor read a statement from the victim, who said she lost confidence at school and enthusiasm for the legal profession following the incident with Griffith. Here are some excerpts:
I would not go out with friends after the incident, and my life was consumed with having to let the police know each time a new communication was received. I did not want to leave my apartment, and I was constantly checking out the window to make sure there were no new cars in the parking lot. I was held hostage by the anxiety that he created in my life...

[Griffith] used his power and influence over me to position himself as a trusted mentor, which in the end, he used only to attempt sexual gains.
Said Griffith: "I have a habit of making amends, even when I'm not guilty sometimes... The effect of this event in my life has been absolutely devastating. What she accounts as the effect on her has also been the effect on me."

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3 comments
WVGRYBRD
WVGRYBRD

As a cronological peer of Mr Griffith I can appreciate his dilemma in facing this charge.  Why hardly a day goes by that I, myself, am not accosted by one or more women a third my age seeking access to the potential pleasures afforded by a slightly(?) overweight septuagenarian.

In a more serious vein, why the Judge's sentence was not stonger confounds my sense of justice.  If Mr Griffith behaves himself for one year he will no longer be a sex offender.  Are you ..........ing me!  Thank the good lord Mr Griffith doesn't have access to my granddaughters.

TheBigAl
TheBigAl

This article is scant. He has his story, she has her story. It sounds from the article like a classic he said - she said standoff, but he took an Alford plea, so there must be more to it. Or did he plea to a misdemeanor so that he could move on? An additional paragraph should explain why he took the plea, given the story he told at the sentencing. 

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