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The pedophile next door
Article by: CNN - The Hunt
August 24, 2015
Views: 3,220,470

As a child of divorce, Katie Griffin seemed to be adjusting well to weekdays with her mom and weekends with her dad.

When Katie stopped wanting to visit her dad a few years later, her parents attributed it to early adolescence, and to Katie wanting to do her own thing.

Then, one evening, Katie's mother, Janet Griffin, received an upsetting phone call from her daughter.

"I don't know why, but I just knew," Janet told CNN's "The Hunt with John Walsh." "...And she said it was Bruce. She said, 'He's been touching me and making me touch him and I just can't go there anymore.'"

"Bruce" was Bruce Sawhill. Sawhill had been close friends with Katie's father, Ken Griffin, since high school. When Sawhill got married to his wife, Keni Jo, the new couple decided to move in a mile down the road from Ken. On occasion, Ken had allowed Bruce and Keni Jo to babysit Katie. Now, Ken raced over to his "friend's" home in a blind fury.

"I just decked him," Ken Griffin said.

How could Sawhill do the unthinkable to his good friend's daughter?

The Griffins contacted the sheriff's office and filed a report. When investigators ran a record check on Sawhill, they made a shocking discovery: Sawhill was a registered sex offender.

"It's hard to describe that kind of betrayal," Ken Griffin said.

The Griffins had always known that Sawhill had a record, but he had claimed he was busted for growing marijuana. Now they discovered that was a cover story; he had actually been convicted in St. Louis County for the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old. The official charge was sodomy.

"It's always the most charming guy," Walsh said of Sawhill, who was released on parole in 1992. "...It's always the guy that everybody loves that hides that one big dangerous, dark secret."

Sawhill was arrested again on September 25, 2001, for the abuse of Katie Griffin, and charged with two counts of sodomy in the first degree. He was released one month later on a $50,000 bond. A trial date was eventually set for October 29, 2002.

Katie overcame her fears, and decided she wanted to testify against Sawhill in court. She wanted to let everyone know what Sawhill had done to her.

"She was so worried that he may do it to another child," Janet Griffin said.

But when trial day arrived, there was no sign of Sawhill -- or his wife. They've been on the run ever since.

Click here to read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/21/us/the-hunt-bruce-sawhill/?iid=ob_homepage_deskrecommended_pool&iref=obnetwork



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