Clark Griffith, son of former Twins owner, allegedly unzipped pants, made student squeeze his penis
Griffith's legal career has come crashing down in the wake of the allegations.
Clark Griffith, a Minneapolis attorney and law school instructor whose father, Calvin, owned the Twins until 1984, has lost his job and faces criminal charges following a January incident where he allegedly made a student squeeze his penis.
According to charges filed yesterday, Griffith, 70, built a relationship with a 24-year-old female William Mitchell law student that began as uncomfortable, then bloomed into full-fledged creepy and criminal.
On the evening of January 24, following a meeting at Axel's Bonfire on Grand Avenue, Griffith allegedly walked the student to her car, unzipped his pants, and told the student to squeeze his penis. She did as told, then he kissed her with an open mouth. She reported the incident to William Mitchell administrators the next day, and an investigation proceeded from there.
Griffith told the Pioneer Press the allegations are "ridiculous," adding that there is "nothing to this."
But his actions in the days immediately following the incident seem to contradict his claim of innocence.
Griffith allegedly dropped trou on Grand Avenue.
A day after the encounter, alleged to have occurred Jan. 24, the woman reported the incident to law school administrators.
The college then began an investigation that led Griffith to send a text message to the woman Jan. 26 in which he wrote, in part: "It is my fault. Instead of a complaint to the school, you need only tell me. Now I risk life, marriage, career and reputation. ... "
In pleading for her to drop the complaint, Griffith wrote that the hurt his daughters "would suffer is too horrible to consider," the charges say.
Two days later, on Jan. 28, the student returned a call to Griffith at a police investigator's urging, and their eight-minute-plus conversation was recorded.
Griffith again expressed remorse, according to the charges, saying that "my life is over," and he spoke of being in an "absolute daze" when the incident occurred. "I didn't know what I was doing," he allegedly said.
"I came out of it in about 20, 20, or 30 seconds and then I said, 'God, what am I doing?'"
Griffith resigned his teaching job days after the incident. He also backed out of a teaching appointment at Hamline's law school.
There were signs before January 24 that the relationship between the unnamed student and Griffith might be headed down an inappropriate road. Earlier in the winter, Griffith gave her his phone number and said, "this will make your boyfriend jealous if he finds this." Another day, he complimented her "great boots" and "great outfit." He kissed her on the cheek during their second one-on-one meeting before dropping his pants after the third.
Around 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 24, Griffith and M.D. settled into a booth at the bar near campus. Griffith asked her to scoot over next to him to review some paperwork, then steered the conversation off sports law and onto an article he read about pornography affecting dating in the younger generation. Griffith then made references to the size of his penis and put his hand on M.D.'s thigh. He later put her hand on his thigh, then over his groin before she pulled away.
"I'm impressed that you did that," Griffith said. "We're going to do that again outside later."
Griffith walked M.D. out to her car, parked on Victoria Street, where he put his hands on her shoulders to position her, then unzipped his pants to expose himself. Griffith again put her hand on his groin and told her to squeeze it, which she did. She also said he kissed her with an open mouth.
Griffith was charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure after Ramsey County attorneys declined to press felony sex assault charges. He faces up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.
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