Griffin's home searched

By Michael Davis

The Stockbridge man accused of molesting at least two girls over a three-year period will remain in jail this weekend after a Henry County magistrate found cause to turn the case over to a grand jury.

David Eugene Griffin, 46, was arrested Thursday on charges he molested one girl over a period of three years and forced another to perform sexual acts on himself and another child. He is being held without bond until a hearing in front of a Henry County Superior Court judge can be arranged.

On Friday, Henry County detectives searched his Lamp Post Court home as neighbors on the quiet cul-de-sac were left shaken by the allegations.

"Dave's yard was just a hang-out for all these kids," said Joanne Mulvaney, who lives just a few doors from the Griffin home with her husband and two sons, ages 10 and 12.

Mulvaney said the Griffin home was a gathering place for neighborhood children and adults and the Griffins' pool and barbecue were often used to host cookouts.

"Whenever I wanted to find my kids, I just walked down the hill," she said, adding she was "unnerved" by the charges against her neighbor.

Police say Griffin came into contact and befriended the family of one of the victims, who was 13 at the time of the first incident, through his activities at church.

Henry County Police Detective Wayne Bender testified at a hearing Friday that Griffin brought the girl gifts and did "things (for the family) that they were not accustomed to doing because they could not afford to."

"He told her these things would stop if she ever told anyone," Bender said.

Bender said the girl was no longer allowed to see Griffin after she reported one 2003 incident to her parents, but her parents did not report the incident to police.

"They felt the child (then 15) was starting to have emotional trouble at the time, was looking for attention and making it up," Bender said.

But in August of this year, Bender said, the girl's parents allowed Griffin to see the girl, apparently under the false impression Griffin's wife and son would be at the home.

It was on a trip to a video rental store that Griffin allegedly forced the girl to perform oral sex on him.

In August of last year, police allege that it was at Griffin's home he "coerced" a 7-year-old girl into performing various sexual acts on himself and another juvenile. The three, including Griffin, had been swimming in pool behind the home before the incident occurred, Bender said.

Bender testified the incident came to light after a third, younger juvenile, led parents to question the 7-year-old victim.

Friday afternoon, police searched the home and were seen removing a desktop computer and combing through a Dodge pickup truck parked in the driveway.

Henry Police spokesman Lt. Ken Turner said detectives were looking for items "of particular interest they were made aware of during the course of their investigation," but were not conducting an in-depth "forensic" search.

Turner encouraged the parents of any children who may have had contact with Griffin to speak to their children and contact police if they have knowledge that their child may have been a victim.