Co-defendant in sex abuse case allegedly received money from coach
Kristian Griffin was allegedly involved in targeting underage girls.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -
A Huntsville woman accused of human trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex abuse had her case bound over to a Madison County grand jury.
Judge Alison Austin bound the case over after hearing more than 30 minutes of testimony against Kristian Griffin on Wednesday. The case also involves Guntersville girls’ soccer coach David Barrow. Barrow is accused of multiple sex abuse and child porn charges in both Marshall County and Madison County.
Huntsville police investigator William McDonald testified authorities first learned about Griffin after a concerned grandmother contacted them.
The grandmother of a victim told him she was approached by Griffin. Griffin asked if her granddaughter, who was under 12-years-old, would take pictures for a summer catalog in a summer dress. She agreed, but when the victim returned home, she told her grandmother she was taken to a location with another girl under 12-years-old, their clothes were removed, and they were sexually abused by a man named David.
The victims told investigators the sex abuse also involved oil and a bubble bath. Prosecutors said that man was David Barrow.
Investigator McDonald testified Huntsville police determined the sex abuse occurred at Griffin’s house off of South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville. One of the victims is reportedly connected to Griffin.
Investigator McDonald testified the sex abuse wasn't a one-time thing. He said the victims told him the abuse happened at Griffin’s home, at Barrow’s south Huntsville home off Craigmont Drive, and at the Kings Inn motel in Huntsville. McDonald said Barrow would use a handheld camera during some of the encounters.
A forensics search of Barrow’s computer also turned up a video of one of the victims taking a shower at Griffin’s house. Investigator McDonald said he didn't believe the victim was aware she was being recorded.
Griffin was brought in for at least two interviews with investigators. McDonald said she broke down during her final interview after denying the allegations for around an hour. He said Griffin admitted to catching Barrow with both girls as he sexually abused them, admitted to receiving money from Barrow, and said she told the victims they were going to meet with Barrow for modeling. Griffin received between $1,000 and $1,500 from Barrow every time she brought him the victims.
Investigator McDonald told the court that the forensics search also turned up at least 26 victims that had been recorded and all appeared to be underage. He said when Huntsville police arrested Barrow, he denied the charges and told them he thought it had something to do with modeling in Dothan.
Investigator McDonald testified he brought Barrow to the Craigmont Drive house and asked him for the keys. McDonald said Huntsville police already obtained a search warrant but didn’t want to kick in the door if Barrow had they keys. He said Barrow told him he didn’t own that house and that it belonged to his son.
Barrow’s son denied he owned that house, did bring over keys for this house, and said his father owned it. Once inside, the investigator said the house was mostly vacant other than a bed, mini-fridge, and bar.
Investigator McDonald testified Barrow denied that the victims were ever there, but the victims were able to identify specific items inside the house including a detailed fireplace.
The investigator testified that he interviewed an owner of a local business where the victims hung out. The business owner thought it was strange girls under 12-years-old were carrying around between $200 and $400, sometimes in hundred dollar bills, all the time.
Investigator McDonald told the court that his investigation had also led him to a connection between a Huntsville city school sports team, Barrow and a female stripper trying to solicit underage girls during a practice. McDonald said recently, the south Huntsville YMCA caught Barrow and a stripper trying to talk to members of the Grissom High School girls’ swim team about modeling.
The YMCA staff kicked the duo out before they were able to corner any of the swim team members. McDonald said Kristian Griffin previously worked as a stripper at a local club under the stage names of Ciera and Honey, but she was not the female that accompanied Barrow into the YMCA.
After Wednesday’s hearing, Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Gann said it was his understanding that Barrow was partnering with local strippers to solicit others. His office is in the process of trying to interview the stripper that went to the YMCA with Barrow.
A Huntsville City Schools spokesperson was not aware of the encounter until it was brought to his attention. Wednesday evening, the spokesperson released a statement: "School officials were made aware of the incident at the YMCA and notified the appropriate people. No students were harmed."
Griffin and Barrow used to work together at Mike’s Merchandise off South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville. Barrow is a co-owner of the store.
Griffin told investigators she initially brought one of the victims to Barrow after he told her she could make some extra money if Barrow took some modeling pictures of the girl.
Griffin remains in the Huntsville Madison County Metro Jail on $300,000 bond. Barrow is in the Marshall County Jail on $2.5 million bond. Guntersville City Schools suspended Barrow from his coaching job pending the outcome of his criminal investigation.