Undercover H.B. officer thwarts possible sex crime

A Garden Grove man is scheduled to be arraigned Friday for allegedly arranging to meet an underage girl for sex through Craigslist.

The meeting was intercepted by an undercover Huntington Beach police officer.

Carlton Earl Griner, 55, has been charged with one felony count each of contacting a child with intent to commit a lewd act, meeting a minor with intent to engage in lewd conduct and attempted lewd act upon a child younger than 14.

If convicted, Griner will face a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Griner is already required to register as a sex offender in California because of a prior conviction in Iowa of possessing child pornography.

Griner allegedly posted an advertisement soliciting sex on Craigslist earlier this month. He is accused of exchanging sexually explicit emails with a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl but was actually an undercover officer, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Griner apparently made arrangements with the officer to meet in a shopping center on Jan. 9, according to the release. He allegedly drove to the meeting spot with the intent to have sexual contact with the girl. Huntington Beach police arrested him when he arrived.

Authorities are asking anyone with more information on the case to contact Det. Steven Fong at the police department, (714) 536-5960 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 834-8794.

—Alicia Lopez

Twitter: @AliciaLopezHB