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Mpls. attorney Clark Griffith charged with indecent exposure

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE
  • Star Tribune
  • March 22, 2012 - 1:09 AM

Clark Griffith, a Minneapolis attorney whose father, Calvin, owned the Minnesota Twins until 1984, was charged in Ramsey County District Court on Wednesday with indecent exposure following an incident with a William Mitchell College of Law student in January.

The charges say that Griffith, 70, then an adjunct professor at the college, exposed himself and told the 24-year-old female student to touch his penis as they stood on St. Paul's Victoria Street after a meeting at a restaurant.

The student had asked Griffith to work with her one-on-one in an independent clinic, the charges say.

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, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, resigned his position at the law school, the charges say. His name does not appear on the college website's list of adjunct faculty members.

He has been summoned to appear in court June 12 for arraignment on the charge, a misdemeanor offense.

His accuser, identified in the complaint by the initials M.D., told authorities that she had grown concerned about the relationship following comments Griffith had made, but she opted to "remain in contact with him for the clinic because she was not certain whether he was just being a 'nice older guy' or a 'creepy older guy,'" the charges say.

When he texted to say he was ashamed and having a "hard time," she replied: "I understand you're having a hard time, but what about me? You made me touch you with your pants down while people were driving by and walking their dog behind the car!? How do I get over that?"

Anthony Lonetree • 612-875-0041

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