Mitchell Adjunct Law Professor Arrested For Exposing Himself To Student

Former William Mitchell sports law professor Clark Calvin Griffith, 70, has been charged with indecent exposure in a meeting with a 24-year-old student. The son of the former owner of the Minnesota Twins, Griffith resigned from the faculty and denies the charges.

The law student accused Griffith of exposing himself after meeting her at a restaurant to discuss his help in the law clinic. She alleged that he made inappropriate comments, kissed her, and unzipped his pants while walking her to her car.

Griffith denies the charges but faces what the police describe as incriminating voice mails and text messages. In a Jan. 25 voice message, Griffith allegedly warned, “Any hint of anything here and I get shot. You don’t want that, do you? That was amazing, by the way.” He also reportedly told the student that he was in an “absolute daze” when he exposed himself and added “I didn’t know what I was doing. I came out of it in about 20, 20, or 30 seconds and then I said, ‘God, what am I doing?'”

The student responded in one email about how difficulty this has been for Griffith by saying “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?”

If true, that would be pretty damaging evidence. In one of the more prophetic messages, Griffith reportedly added “It is my fault. Instead of a complaint to the school, you need only tell me. Now I risk life, marriage, career and reputation. … ”

The law student could pursue a torts claim in such a circumstance for intentional infliction of emotional distress. As it stands, it is not clear that such a criminal charge would be greater than a misdemeanor. Perhaps any of our readers in the Minnesota bar could help us out.

Here is the Minnesota statute:

Subdivision 1.Misdemeanor. A person who commits any of the following acts in any public place, or in any place where others are present, is guilty of a misdemeanor:
(1) willfully and lewdly exposes the person’s body, or the private parts thereof;
(2) procures another to expose private parts; or
(3) engages in any open or gross lewdness or lascivious behavior, or any public indecency other than behavior specified in this subdivision.
Subd. 2.Gross misdemeanor. A person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a gross misdemeanor:
(1) the person violates subdivision 1 in the presence of a minor under the age of 16; or
(2) the person violates subdivision 1 after having been previously convicted of violating subdivision 1, sections 609.342 to 609.3451, or a statute from another state in conformity with any of those sections.
Subd. 3.Felony. A person is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if:
(1) the person violates subdivision 2, clause (1), after having been previously convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for violating subdivision 2, clause (1); section 609.3451, subdivision 1, clause (2); or a statute from another state in conformity with subdivision 2, clause (1), or section 609.3451, subdivision 1, clause (2); or
(2) the person commits a violation of subdivision 1, clause (1), in the presence of another person while intentionally confining that person or otherwise intentionally restricting that person’s freedom to move.
Subd. 4.Breast-feeding. It is not a violation of this section for a woman to breast-feed.

Source: Star Tribuneas first seen on ABA Journal

28 thoughts on “Mitchell Adjunct Law Professor Arrested For Exposing Himself To Student”

  1. I really hope this is not true. Clark seemed like a very decent guy years ago when I knew him. His dad owned the Twins in the days when a team was the owners income. Calvin (as evidenced by the quote above) was unable to cope with the modern world and that included how to market baseball. Clark begged him to let Clark manage PR for the Twins but Calvin wouldn’t. Instead a group of MN business crooks lead by Harvey Mackay screwed Calvin over (Mr. Mackay was kind enough to gloat about it publicly in one of his self-congratulatory books) – giving the club to the Pohlad family for an alleged $40 million ($10M of that was never paid to Griffith).

    But Clark was bright and capable and seemed like a good guy. If he did this there is no excuse.

  2. Yeah Blouise I agree with Rafflaw. I see all these road rage driving Grannies here in the DC area, the worst place to drive in the country. My StateFarm rep says there’s no more Senior discount because everyone is just getting so strung out nowadays, old and young. Though when I see an obvious elderly driver going slow I say God Bless ’em internally, I am going to be old one day (hopefully) and I will want people to let ME drive 10 miles an hour.

    Did anyone here hear about the murder of a French Rabbi and his two little boys also a little Jewish girl? My heart is so sad for these people.

    The Mother Speaks:

  3. anon nurse,

    I know exactly what you mean.

    At 66 years of age, Tex and I are at the front of the onslaught. He drives like 10 miles an hour, stops 10 feet in front of the traffic signal and laughs at people who pass him shaking their fists. I can’t help but wonder what all these young folk are going to do when we all retire and start clogging up the intersections, take over the parks, and meander for hours through the malls.

    If the rest of the country thought the baby boomers were a pain when we were young … they have no idea what is awaiting them.

  4. AN,

    You don’t say…. Finally Death with Dignity is available for those wishing……

  5. “The son of the former owner of the Minnesota Twins”

    The great thing about being the son of Calvin Griffith is you can never be an embarrassment to your family:

    “I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don’t go to ballgames, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking white people here.”

  6. eniobob,

    It’s going to be sheer bedlam when we all hit the nursing homes

  7. Isn’t this the epitome of teacher / student sexual harassment?

    (Airline stewardess after being flashed: “I asked to see your ticket,
    not your stub!)

  8. Just because Daddy owned the twins does not give one liberty with all…..

  9. I have a pair of twins for him. I have 2 daughters, both are ugly, and when I say ugly, I mean dog faced ugly.

  10. Whats this hags problem? Afraid of a little winky dinky under the table? She could have been class head. Have you ever seen any good looking females in law school? If my odds are correct good looking women in law school are 1000 to 1. The rest get the degree so they can at least find a mate.

  11. Hrmpff … anybody knows that law professors have the right to lose it at any age.

    ” … his help in the law clinic …”

    On has to wonder if he ever got his “law clinic” up or not?

  12. If he was some form of non compos mentis, that would be a mitigating factor even if he was 30. The bottom line is his actions were inappropriate no matter his age and that his possibly declining mental state should really only factor in to any criminal charges/penalties he might face. That this sort of action make him prime facie not appropriate to be in a teaching role I think is without question, but moot since he did the right thing and resigned.

  13. “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?”

    How did he MAKE her touch him? If someone was walking a dog behind the car, then the car must not have been moving? It is not clear whether they were inside or outside the car. Why didn’t she just get out of the car?

    I read this as a misdemeanor under Subd. 1: “…in any place where others are present…”, but would argue against this being a truly public place if they were inside the car. (I’m retired from the MN bar & never had a case involving this statute, so TIFWIW!)

  14. He did more than expose himself: “…You made me touch you with your pants down …”

    If this is a one time thing and he’s losing it, his contrition may be genuine and a life style change a good idea. However, let’s see if other students come forward. If they do accountability is called for. In any case, this behavior shouldn’t be tolerated.

  15. Ohhhhh.
    Why post it here? Now more of his peers from college, law school and other states will know about him. At age 70. Maybe he is loosing the marbles.
    Let him be.

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