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SK man pleads guilty to molesting toddler

Shortly before his trial was scheduled to start, a 63-year-old South Kitsap man pleaded guilty last week to molesting his step-granddaughter and giving her herpes, according to the Kitsap County Superior Court documents.

Donald Joseph Griffin, 63, was charged with one count of first-degree child molestation last June after it was reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) that he had molested a young family member in his care.

Griffin originally denied the charge and was expected to begin trial this month, but last week he filed what is known as an Alford plea, claiming he was innocent, yet conceding that a jury would likely find him guilty.

Griffin was arrested last June 14 after Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office investigators learned from CPS that the suspect’s step-granddaughter, who had been living with him in his South Kitsap home for several months, had contracted herpes.

The victim, along with two of her siblings, was then removed from the suspect’s home.

When interviewed by sheriff’s investigators, Griffin reportedly admitted to giving the child herpes and said he had sexual contact with her in a locked room while watching TV.

However, he claimed that it was the child who had barricaded the door with her toy box and that she had initiated the sexual contact. He admitted to being “curious,” and that he let it go “too far.”

Griffin faces less than six years in prison at his sentencing Sept. 12.

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