CHICAGO (CBS) — The Cook County Sheriff announced criminal sexual assault charges against a teacher and pastor’s wife at a Burbank private school Tuesday.
Shannon Griffin, 49, of Oak Lawn, has been charged with five counts of criminal sexual assault, one count solicitation of child pornography, one count of distribution of harmful materials, and one count of grooming. According to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, her alleged conduct involved two juvenile students at Jordan Baptist School.
The Sheriff’s office stated its month-long investigation found Griffin engaged in sexual conduct with a minor enrolled at the school. The investigation found the teacher’s conduct “started in 2013 and continued until March of 2019.”
“The investigation also revealed that Griffin sent nude pictures and videos of herself to and requested nude pictures from the minor and another juvenile victim, also enrolled at the school,” according to a statement from Dart’s office.
Parents at the school said they sent their children to the private school because they trusted the Griffins. Now they are feeling betrayed.
“He said, ‘Dad, you got to see this,'” parent Mike Mollo said. “He pulls his phone out, and it’s a bunch of pornographic videos of her doing things to herself.”
Mollo’s two children went to the school, and his family belonged to the church.
“The second I saw that video, the very next day, I pulled my kids out of that school, and we stopped going to church there immediately,” he said.
He said explicit images of Griffin began circulating among students. Photos were provided to CBS 2 by an adult.
Mollo said he went to police and confronted his pastor, Griffin’s husband.
“I called the pastor, and I said to him, ‘You better get in front of this.’ I said, ‘All these kids are passing videos around of your wife.’ And he said, ‘It’s not my wife. It’s not her. We’re just going to pray about it. Let the lord take care of us,'” Mollo said.
Mollo said he feels beyond betrayed by what happened.
“You pay that kind of money to send your kids to a school to where you can trust these people, and they go and do this?” he said. “Betrayed is an understatement. Violated, betrayed, angry. There’s no words to describe what I was feeling.”
No one was at the church Tuesday. CBS 2’s Charlie DeMar stopped by the family home and left several messages and has not heard back.
Griffin will make her first court appearance Wednesday.
“If there are more victims out there we want you to come forward,” said Sheriff’s Police 1st Deputy Chief Marlon Parks.
Anyone with further information is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s office at 708-865-4720.