A woman facing child sexual abuse charges in connection with a larger Texas Department of Public Safety investigation into human trafficking pleaded not guilty Wednesday at a hearing in Bowie County.
Della Lou Griffin, 53, allegedly arranged for a female relative to engage in sex with an adult. Griffin was allegedly paid by the man for sex with the girl, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Griffin became a suspect in the case when investigators executed a search warrant on the home of John Littleton in New Boston, Texas, in April 2018. Littleton was the target of a human trafficking investigation but died before he could be brought to trial.
When searching Littleton’s home, investigators discovered a video tape labeled with a girl’s name. The video included multiple recordings of Littleton having sex with Griffin’s relative when the girl was 14. Because of a news announcement playing in the background, investigators were able to date the recording to January 1996. The news program discussed Lisa Marie Pressley filing for a divorce from Michael Jackson.
Griffin can allegedly be seen in some of the recordings and was allegedly operating the camera equipment while they were filmed. Griffin and Littleton allegedly plied the girl with drugs and alcohol.
Littleton’s roommate, Charles Garton, is serving a 160-year prison term he received for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. Another of Littleton’s associates, Kenneth Nelson, is serving five life terms for human trafficking. Nelson traded cash and drugs with teen girls in exchange for sex.
Griffin faces two to 20 years in prison on each of four counts of sexual assault of a child. She faces five to 99 years or life in prison on one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Griffin is currently being held in the Bowie County jail. The case is assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are prosecuting. Griffin is represented by the Bowie County Public Defender’s Office.
Tidwell scheduled the case for a pretrial hearing Aug. 26.