Woman charged with child sex abuse no-shows for court

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A woman charged with sexual assault of a child in connection with a larger human trafficking investigation failed to appear for a court hearing Monday afternoon in Bowie County.

Della Lou Griffin’s failure to appear led 202nd District Judge John Tidwell to issue a warrant. Griffin, 52, could face an additional charge for failing to appear.

Griffin’s sexual assault charge stems from an investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety which has already resulted in 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 130 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.

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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. Griffin could also face a new charge for failing to appear in court Monday.

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