UPDATE: Wimberley Karate Instructor Sentenced To Life Plus 20 Years In Child Sex Abuse And Pornography Case

UPDATE: Wimberley Karate Instructor Sentenced To Life Plus 20 Years In Child Sex Abuse And Pornography Case

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
CLARIFICATION ON SENTENCING:

We wanted to supply our readers with clarification and an explanation on Mr. Griffin’s sentencing, therefore, we reached out to Hays County District Attorney, Wes Mau for clarification on the amount of time Mr. Griffin was sentenced to by District Court Judge Steel.

According to Mau, the court ordered all of the 10-year sentences (sixty-three counts of Possession of Child Pornography) except two, to be served concurrently, (in a concurrent manner; at the same time) with the life sentence.

The two pornography charges with be served consecutively (following, in succession, without interruption).

As a practical matter, he will begin serving his life sentence for the trafficking and all but two of his pornography sentences immediately. He will be eligible for parole in 30 years (no credit for good conduct), at which time he will have satisfied all of the concurrent porn sentences as well. 

Once he gets parole, he will begin serving the 10-year sentence on the first consecutive porn count. Once he gets parole on that, then he will begin serving the final ten-year sentence. In both of the porn counts, he will be eligible for parole in 2 ½ years, with possible good conduct time.
~Wes Mau, Hays County District Attorney

 


Friday, June 7, 2019
After a two-week trial, Richard Griffin, age 65, of Wimberley, Texas, was convicted by a Hays County jury of Continuous Trafficking of a Person and sixty-three counts of Possession of Child Pornography and sentenced to life in prison plus twenty years.

The evidence, including testimony by the now-21-year-old victim, established that Griffin was arrested in July, 2014, after the child victim disclosed to her parents that Griffin and the child had been engaged in a sexual relationship for about a year and a half starting in late 2012, when the female child was only 14 years old.

Witnesses testified that Griffin and the child had become acquainted while the child was a student at Griffin’s karate studio in Wimberley.

Griffin developed a relationship with the child’s family, then began lavishing attention on the child. Eventually, after the child’s parents had determined to cut off contact with Griffin, he provided the child with cell phones to communicate secretly.

The victim described many secret meetings with Griffin, sneaking out of her house, meeting him after school, and pretending to go to a friend’s house, so that Griffin could pick her up to take her to the places where they would engage in sexual activity.

Following the victim’s revealing the relationship to her family and then to police, detectives from the Comal County and Hays County Sheriff’s Departments began to collect evidence that corroborated the victim’s account, including recovering one of the cell phones, thousands of dollars in cash that Griffin had given to the victim, DNA from the victim on sex toys in Griffin’s home and travel trailer, and dozens of sexually explicit photographs of the victim recovered from Griffin’s cell phones and computers.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours and returned a verdict on Thursday, June 6, finding the defendant guilty of Continuous Trafficking of a Person relating to Griffin’s transporting and enticing the child for the purpose of committing a variety of sexual offenses, and of possessing 63 counts of child pornography of the child victim.

On June 7, 2019, Griffin requested that punishment be assessed by 274th Judicial District Court Judge Gary Steel, who presided over the case.

Judge Steel heard additional punishment evidence, including that when Griffin was arrested, he was texting a 12-year-old girl in a very similar fashion as he had done to entice and seduce the victim in the case. In addition, the State presented victim impact evidence detailing the debilitating impact Griffin’s actions have had on the victim and her physical and emotional well-being.

At the close of the hearing, Judge Steel sentenced Griffin to life in prison for the Trafficking offense, and ten years in prison on each of the possession of child pornography counts, with two of the pornography counts to be stacked on the life sentence.

The prosecution was led by Assistant Criminal District Attorney Benjamin Gillis who was assisted by Criminal District Attorney Wes Mau.

DA Mau said, “I’m pleased with the performance of all the law enforcement personnel who worked on bringing this case to its just conclusion. Not just ADA Gillis, who spent countless hours interviewing witnesses, reviewing evidence, and preparing for trial, but also Comal County Sheriff’s Department Detective Danny Dufur, Hays County Sheriff’s Office Sergeants Lenny Martinez and Mark Opiela, and many other officers, forensic scientists, child advocacy workers, and victims assistance personnel who made a successful prosecution possible. Most of all, I want to recognize the victim’s courage to come forward and face Mr. Griffin in court. Based on the evidence we have, I have little doubt that she saved Mr. Griffin’s next victim from suffering the same fate.”


 

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