A woman accused of introducing a young female relative to prostitution and drugs more than two decades ago is back in custody after failing to show for a court appearance last month in Bowie County.
Della Lou Griffin, 52, was arrested Friday on a warrant issued by 202nd District Judge John Tidwell following a missed pre-indictment court appearance June 18. Griffin was also charged Friday with possession of a controlled substance under one gram and possession of marijuana under two ounces.
Griffin’s sexual abuse of a child charge stems from a larger investigation into human trafficking by the Texas Department of Public Safety in Bowie County that has already led to hefty prison sentences for two men.
Kenneth Nelson was convicted last year of multiple counts of human trafficking and is serving five life sentences. Charles Garton was found guilty of sexually abusing a 12-year-old earlier this year and sentenced to 160 years in prison. A third man, John Littleton, in whose home Garton resided for more than a decade, died before he could be brought to trial.
Littleton allegedly paid Griffin so he could have sex with her young relative beginning when the girl was 11, according to a probable cause affidavit. When investigators searched Littleton’s home on Meadow Road in New Boston, Texas, in April 2018 they discovered a VHS tape labled with a girl’s name.
The tape contained three separate recordings of Littleton having sex with an underage girl. Investigators were able to date one of the recordings because a newscaster could be heard in the background on a television announcing that Lisa Marie Presley filed for a divorce from Michael Jackson. The news broke Jan. 18, 1996.
Investigators were able to find the woman who was just 14 when the video recordings were made. She identified herself and Griffin in the video with Littleton and reported that Griffin operated the camera equipment.
Griffin and Littleton allegedly gave the victim drugs and alchol before and during the sexual assaults. The alleged victim told investigators that Griffin was a prostitute who was paid to have sex with Littleton and who was paid by Littleton to have sex with her underaged relative on numerous occasions over a period of years.
While Griffin is currently charged only with one count of sexual assault of a child, her case has not been presented to a grand jury. A grand jury could choose to indict Griffin on additional charges. Sexual assault of a child is punishable by two to 20 years in prison.