Covington teacher's aide charged with sex crimes, furnishing alcohol to minor

Jeri Ann Griffin

UPDATED: A Covington teacher’s aide charged this week with sex crimes with students and furnishing alcohol to students was arraigned Thursday morning.

Jeri Ann Griffin appeared with her attorney David Henneke before Special District Judge Brian Lovell for arraignment on felony charges of second-degree rape, sodomy and lewd or indecent proposals to a child under 16. She was also arraigned on a misdemeanor count of furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a minor.

Lovell entered a not guilty to the charges on Griffin’s behalf and ordered her to return to court at 1:15 p.m. July 16 for a bond appearance.

A 41-year-old Covington woman was charged Wednesday in Garfield County District Court after a student told sheriff's deputies the woman supplied him with beer and had sex with him on several occasions.

Jeri Ann Griffin was charged with felony counts of second-degree rape, sodomy and making lewd or indecent proposals to a child under 16. She also was charged with a misdemeanor count of furnishing alcoholic beverage to a minor.

Griffin faces one to 15 years in prison on the rape charge, up to 10 years in prison on the sodomy charge and three to 20 years on the indecent proposals charge. She also faces up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $500 on the misdemeanor.

According to an affidavit filed in the case by Garfield County Sheriff's Office Investigator Deputy Laura Roberts, she met at 10:30 a.m. June 6 with an 18-year-old student of Covington High School at the sheriff's office.

The teen came in to talk about Griffin, a teacher's assistant for Covington-Douglas Public Schools, providing beer to students and having sex with him, according to the affidavit. He said a couple of months before school got out he was over at Griffin's house in Covington with her and her husband.

He said he was helping them move from their house to one down the street. The teen said he drank 10 to 15 beers that night, and it was the second or third time he'd been to the couple's and drank, according to the affidavit. He said a 15-year-old freshman, identified only by initials in the affidavit, went to the residence, too.

He told Roberts he got to the Griffin residence about 9 p.m. and left about 1 a.m. He said he received a message via Snapchat from Griffin after he left stating she was going to say she left something at the old house and asking if he wanted to come over, according to the affidavit. The teen told Roberts that Griffin had been flirting over Snapchat with him via messages and emojis.

He said he left his house and went to meet Griffin. He said they went upstairs to a bedroom, began kissing and had sex on the floor, according to the affidavit. He said Griffin sent him 10 to 15 Snapchats saying they should do it again, and one to three Snapchats telling the teen not to tell her husband.

The teen also told Roberts about two other times when Griffin performed oral sex on him and a time they made out in a closet while playing hide and seek, according to the affidavit.

The teen said he drank at the couple's house about  seven to 10 times. He said he normally drank Keystone Light or Bud Light, according to the affidavit. He said the last time he drank at the Griffins' was the weekend of June 2.

He said Griffin, her husband, two sons, the 15-year-old freshman and a junior high school girl, only identified by initials, all were drinking together for the girl's birthday party, according to the affidavit. He told Roberts the Griffins always had beer for them and if they ran out, they would go get more.

The teen provided Roberts with the names of other students who had been drinking at the Griffins' residence and a written statement.

Roberts spoke with the 15-year-old boy about 9:20 a.m. on June 7.

The boy told Roberts he remembered being at the Griffins' residence when they were moving down the road. He said he couldn't remember if he was drinking that night but people told him he did, according to the affidavit. The boy told Roberts all he remembers is leaving and the reason he couldn't remember was because he was intoxicated. The boy said he remembers drinking with Griffin and her husband five to six times, all toward the end of the school year.

The boy told Roberts one night while drinking Griffin asked him if he wanted to kiss or something else, and he told her "No," according to the affidavit. He said Griffin then leaned in to kiss him and he moved away from her. He said later that night he was talking to Griffin in the house and she turned around and tried to kiss him a second time, telling him no one could see them. The boy told Roberts he told Griffin to stop, that he did not like her like that and he then left the residence.

He said on another night, Griffin asked him when he would be ready to hang out again in a Snapchat message. He said he messaged Griffin back stating he did not like her and that he was dating someone, according to the affidavit. He said Griffin messaged back stating his girlfriend could share him and that his girlfriend doesn't have to know.

The boy said he quit hanging out with Griffin because she made him feel uncomfortable, according to the affidavit. He also provided Roberts with a written statement.

Roberts interviewed Griffin at 3 p.m. June 12.

At the beginning of the interview, Griffin denied ever drinking or having any sexual contact with students from Covington, according to the affidavit. She said boys came over because they are friends with her sons, who are the same age.

Griffin told Roberts around spring break she was painting rooms in the house they were preparing to move into and the 18-year-old boy was there, according to the affidavit. She said when they were done painting, everyone at the house, including three minors, drank a few beers.

Griffin said she and the 18-year-old were flirting with one another on Snapchat and that he had left and come back, according to the affidavit. She said they started kissing in the upstairs bedroom, the teen pulled her pants off and they "proceeded to have sex" on the floor.

Griffin said she and the 18-year-old continued to flirt via Snapchat through April, and mainly kissed, according to the affidavit. Griffin said that one time, while at Perry Lake, she performed oral sex on the 18-year-old. She said also had done that at her old house in Covington. Griffin said she also made out with him in a closet one time while they were playing hide and seek. Griffin said all of this occurred before school was let out for the summer.

Griffin also said the 15-year-old boy also would come and hang out at her house and drink, according to the affidavit. She said when the flirting with the 18-year-old began to slow down she started flirting with the 15-year-old on Snapchat.

Griffin told Roberts the boy flirted just as much with her as she did with him, according to the affidavit. She said he never gave her the "vibe" that he was uncomfortable.

She said one night, she and boy were Snapchatting back and forth about wanting to kiss each other. At the end of the evening, he kissed her on the neck. She told Roberts nothing else happened.

The two boys interviewed by Roberts began going to Griffin's about March of this year, according to the affidavit. Griffin said the two came over and drank with her, her husband and two sons about five times each.

Griffin told Roberts the 18-year-old drank about 15 beers a night and stuck mainly to beer, according to the affidavit. She said the 15-year-old could drink about 10 beers and knew when enough was enough. She also said the 15-year-old could drink liquor, if and when, it was present.

Griffin was placed under arrest following her interview with Roberts. She is free on $30,000 bond, with a condition of her bond being she have no contact with either boy.

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