Judge gives child abuser four times recommended sentence

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach judge sentenced a man convicted of child abuse to more than four times the punishment recommended by the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines.

Circuit Court Steven C. Frucci gave 30-year-old Marlon Anthony Griffin of Virginia Beach a sentence of 12 years and 10 months in prison, according to Macie Pridgen with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Griffin pleaded guilty to the following charges in January: child abuse – permanent injury, child endangerment, domestic assault and battery, obscene/threatening phone calls, and a violation of probation.

When pronouncing Griffin’s sentence, Judge Frucci said the case was one of the most horrific child abuse cases he had learned of during his career. Pridgen said the the Commonwealth’s evidence proved Griffin inflicted severe physical abuse to three young children he knew.

The account of the facts of the case, according to Pridgen and the Commonwealth, is as follows:

In December 2011, Griffin lived with his girlfriend and her children on S. Clubhouse Road in Virginia Beach.  The girlfriend’s 10-year-old son reported to a trusted adult at his school that he had been pushed, smacked, and punched by Griffin. School staff observed injuries to the child and made a report to Child Protective Services.  As a result, CPS workers interviewed Griffin.  Griffin admitted hitting the child with a belt, claiming to have done so because the child lied about wetting the bed.  Griffin was charged with Domestic Assualt and Battery, and CPS informed the child’s mother that Griffin could no longer reside in the home.

Later that month, Griffin’s girlfriend gave birth to twin boys.  She lied to CPS, stating that Griffin was not residing in the home and would not be the caretaker of any of the children.  In fact, Griffin lived in the home and cared for the twins while the mother was at work and school.  In April 2012, the mother’s relatives expressed concerns after observing injuries on the twins.  On April 7, 2012, rescue personnel came to the home because one of the 3-month-old twins was having a seizure.  He was rushed to the hospital and ultimately found to have three (3) skull fractures, brain damage, eight (8) rib fractures, and a metaphyseal fracture on the left tibia, which would have been caused by the twisting of the leg.  An examination was also performed on the infant’s twin brother.  He was found to have four (4) rib fractures, a subconjunctival hemorrhage of his left eye, and bruises on his forehead.  Both infants survived the abuse Griffin inflicted upon them.

On May 19, 2012, Griffin called his girlfriend, the twins’ mother, while incarcerated in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.  He threatened that when he got out, he would “kill everything that had something to do with this,” and that she better hope they never let him out.

“My office is committed to aggressively prosecuting individuals like Mr. Griffin,” said Colin Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach. “We will continue to work to ensure that those who harm our children receive lengthy prison sentences.”

Griffin was previously convicted of assault and battery of a family member, grand larceny, identity theft and multiple adjudications as a juvenile.

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