Dad pleads to sexual assault and shooting of son

Sexual Assault Discovered by Nurse

Dustin Edward Griffin, a resident of Flint, has pled no contest to a number of charges after police allege that he sexually assaulted his 15-month-old son and then shot him in the face with a pellet gun.

 
According to police records, the little boy was taken to Hurley Medical Center after being shot in the face with a pellet gun. The hospital listed his condition as critical due to the fact that the pellet had lodged against the child’s spine. But it was while he was there, during a physical examination, that a nurse uncovered evidence of sexual assault.

 
When officers from the Flint Township Police Department questioned Griffin, he initially told then that the gun had gone off accidentally when his dog knocked it to the ground during a feeding. Later, however, he recanted that story and admitted that he had been playing with his son and pointed it at the child to make him laugh. He pulled the trigger, thinking the gun was unloaded, because he wanted to make the loud bang that would make the little boy laugh.

 
He also admitted to sexually assaulting the boy, although details of what that entailed have not been released. Griffin is said to have told officers that he needed therapy, not jail, in order to address his issues. “I don’t need to be in my own little cell for eight hours a day. I’m not that kind of person,” he said to officers. “I’m not a monster.”

 
Griffin has since pled guilty to numerous charges, including two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and single counts of first-degree child abuse and assault with intent to murder. All of these charges are felonies under Michigan law, and are punishable by up to life in prison.

 
However, Griffin’s plea included a Cobb’s proposal, which means that in this instance, Genesee Circuit Judge Geoffrey Neithercut could not sentence him to more than 25 years in prison. If the Judge sets a sentence that is longer than 25 years, Griffin retains the right to withdraw his plea.

 
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton has gone on record saying that the prosecutor’s office will oppose a sentence as low as 25 years. “This was an unspeakable crime.” he said, when explaining why he opposed a 25 year maximum. He had also said that the prosecutor’s office intends to take the case to trial if they are given the chance.

 
Griffin’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 9th in the Genesee County Circuit Court before Judge Neithercut.