Woman pleads guilty to child sex abuse, jury to decide punishment

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A woman who permitted and directed the sexual abuse of a juvenile female pleaded guilty to multiple crimes Tuesday at the Bowie County courthouse.

Della Lou Griffin, 53, is asking that a jury decide what punishment she should face on four counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Six men and six women were selected to serve on Griffin’s jury Tuesday during proceedings before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. The jury must only determine what punishment Griffin serves for her crimes.

Griffin came under scrutiny after investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety found a video recording during a search of John Littleton’s bedroom in April 2018 at his home in New Boston, according to a probable cause affidavit. The video, labeled with a girl’s name, contained recordings of Littleton sexually assaulting an underage girl. Griffin held the camera and can be seen in the recordings.

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Littleton died before he could be brought to trial for human trafficking and sexual assault charges. Littleton’s roommate, Charles Garton, was sentenced to 160 years in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. Another associate of Littleton’s, Kenneth Nelson, is currently serving five life sentences for human trafficking.

Griffin faces two to 20 years on each count of sexual assault of a child and five to 99 years or life for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Griffin is represented by Clayton Haas of the Bowie County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecuting the case are First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards.

Opening statements and testimony in Griffin’s punishment trial are scheduled to start Wednesday morning.

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