TAMPA, Fla. — A former Hillsborough County Public Schools teacher and coach was arrested last week on child pornography and “animal crush video” charges.
Federal court records show Kenneth Jermaine Griffin was indicted on two counts of distributing an “animal crush video,” three counts of distributing child porn, one count of receiving child porn, and one count of possessing child porn.
Animal crush videos are exactly what they sound like: Videos of animals being crushed.
Griffin was arrested on April 4.
He has entered pleas of not guilty on all counts.
An order from the judge to keep Griffin incarcerated while he awaits trial said, “Government proffered that Defendant [Griffin] engaged in a chat with a former student wherein Defendant encouraged the former student to sexually abuse a one-year-old child, record it, and provide Defendant with a copy of the child pornography.”
State records show Griffin had previously lost his Florida teaching certificate after being accused of sending explicit MySpace messages in January 2010 to a 15-year-old he used to coach at Plant City High School, where he was also a reading teacher.
A Recommended Order from the State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings said Griffin resigned on Feb. 1, 2010, after meeting with School Board investigators “because he was advised that the matter would become public if the School Board initiated disciplinary action and that he was further advised that he could resume his teaching career elsewhere.”
In November 2011 — nearly two full years after Griffin reportedly sent those MySpace messages — the Education Practices Commission of the State of Florida revoked Griffin’s Florida educator certificate and permanently banned him from applying for another one.
“He hasn't been employed with the district since 2010, when he resigned in the middle of an investigation. Our Office of Professional Standards sent the allegations and relevant information to the Office of Professional Practices Services. His Florida educator's certificate was permanently revoked in November 2011,” Hillsborough County Public Schools spokesperson Erin Maloney told 10 Investigates in an email on Tuesday afternoon.
According to Griffin’s LinkedIn profile, he was able to get six more jobs in the field of education after resigning from Hillsborough County Public Schools – including a teaching and coaching job at an out-of-state public school district and at a Tampa private school.
10 Investigates has reached out to those institutions to confirm Griffin’s former employment.
We’ve also reached out to Griffin’s attorney Ken Eulo, Jr. at Smith & Eulo Law Firm in Orlando for comment. We will update this story when we hear back.