So shocking that it cannot be imagined as possible:
Today, we see growing acceptance of gay marriage – something that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.
Gepubliceerd op 8 jan. 2019
Gepubliceerd op 30 aug. 2015
The crime: child molestation.
The accused: a local school teacher.
Tonya Craft was later acquitted in a Catoosa County court. She has now written a book that looks back on her experience. It’s a book of mystery, it’s a book of intrigue. What you’ll read, will probably make you angry.
And it really happened.
Tonya Craft sat down with NewsChannel 9 to talk about her ordeal.
Seven years ago, Craft’s life was turned upside down. 22 charges of child molestation. She lost her children her job her home and her self confidence.
She could give up or fight. She says the choice was easy. “I wanted it to be that when I stand up for that verdict I wanted to know that I had done every single thing that I can do to prove that I was innocent,” she says.
It paid off. “Count number one not guilty” read the jury foreman. In fact not guilty on all 22 counts.
The accused: acquitted.
“Accused” is the title of a book Tonya Craft has written. She says she investigated her own case because she says prosecutors trying to put her in jail did not. “I cross-referenced I broke it down” she says. “I did things during this and learned things that the trained individuals should have done in the first place.”
When Craft was first charged her two children were taken from her. The next time she heard from them one was on the witness stand. She says she almost did not recognize her. “I feel like all the children were severely influenced by parental figures and they said that in their interviews” she says. “Every one of them.”
Craft says the way she was prosecuted left a bad taste. “I think it was handled poorly” she says. “I think there has been no responsibility taken and I’m very sad and disappointed for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit.”
She says prosecutors should have taken better care to investigate her case. “Step back for just a minute and objectively look at this” Craft says “not on my behalf or on the other side’s behalf just the behalf of doing it correctly and seeing what’s really going on here.”
She writes about learning things that trained investigators should have learned. The book contains lots of information gleaned from her trial. Stacks of material condensed down into story form. “I feel that I can do things to help other people to help educate them on how this can happen” Craft says.
In the book, she speaks of the words of encouragement she received from relatives, her friends who held a prayer vigil for her, and from total strangers. “The support has been absolutely incredible” Craft says. “I could have never imagined it and I wish I could thank everybody and talk to everybody.”
You haven’t heard the last of Tonya Craft. Once “Accused” this former teacher is now on a mission. “I feel like I’m going to educate in a different way” she says “and I feel that this book can shed light not only how things can go horribly wrong very quickly but the ramifications.”
“Accused” goes on sale on Saturday September 5th at Barnes and Noble.
Right now Tonya Craft is going to law school she’s consulting on cases and she’s also interning in the Hamilton County D-A’s office.
Gepubliceerd op 27 aug. 2012
On Monday night, June 14 2010, Tonya Craft sat down on CNN’s “Larry King Live” television program alongside her husband David, and her lead attorney Demosthenes Lorandos.
The interview with King helped shine the national spotlight even brighter on a case that began in a small north Georgia community more than two years ago.
Craft, a former Chickamauga kindergarten teacher, faced 22 counts of child molestation, aggravated sexual bat-tery, and aggravated child molestation. On May 11 she was acquitted on all counts in Catoosa County Superior Court.
In the 34 days since she was found not guilty, Craft has made many appearances on talk shows across the country such as “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show,” all in an attempt to better-educated people and enlighten them to the reality they could be falsely accused.
When her doorbell rang in May 2008 with detectives waiting to present her with accusations of alleged child abuse, it is impossible for Craft to have imagined what would take place over the course of the next two years. The once-beloved kindergarten teacher would then embark on a journey that would see her lose friendships, her job, her home, her financial stability, and most importantly her relationship with her two young children.
Craft did not see her daughter, who was one of the alleged victims, for a span of more than 700 days, except for when the child appeared to testify during the trial on behalf of the prosecution and claimed that her mother had sexually abused her.
The emotion that filled the room during that portion of testimony was difficult to watch for almost everyone. Craft, who was seeing her daughter for the first time in nearly two years, had to be consoled by members of her defense team as the little girl testified.
Before Craft spoke about her story with Larry King at 9 p.m. on Monday, she was before Judge Marie Williams that morning in Hamilton County Circuit Court in Chattanooga, Tenn, as she continued her quest to regain custody of her children.
Shortly after the hearing began, it was revealed that Craft’s attorneys and her ex-husband Joal Henke’s attorney had reached a mutual agreement on a temporary visitation schedule that will be sufficient until July 22, at which time Craft’s attorneys can begin attempting to execute their plan in an attempt to help Craft regain the full custody that she lost when the allegations surfaced and the children were given to their father.
Although the hearing outcome wasn’t exactly what Craft may have wanted, it was still progress according to her attorneys. “We want to do what’s in the best interest of the children,” said attorney Clancy Covert of Chattanooga. “We want to respect the wishes of judge Williams, and that’s what we’re going to do right now as progress continues to be made on the situation.”
As Monday came to a close with Craft telling King and the rest of the country about her ordeal, she claimed to have done so in an attempt to not only get her story out there, but to also bring awareness to the issue of child abuse all over the world.
According to Craft, the children in this case were lead to believe something happened to them that didn’t and are just as much victims of the situation as she is.
For the time being, Craft will continue to fight to clear her name, raise awareness for child abuse, and also try to re-establish her relationship with daughter.
Craft has also filed a $25 million dollar lawsuit against those whose accused her and prosecuted the case.
Gepubliceerd op 23 aug. 2015
Seven years ago the life of one Catoosa County school teacher was turned upside down.
Tonya Craft was charged with twenty-two counts of child molestation. She proclaimed her innocence from the beginning.
She has now written a book that has many people reliving a trial that captivated the Tennessee Valley.
“Count number one. NOT GUILTY.”
Those words started a new life for Tonya Craft. She was free and found not guilty on twenty-two counts of child molestation. She has written a book about what happened. We shared part of the book with people in Catoosa County who followed the trial closely.
In the author’s note, Craft says she doesn’t want to shock anybody but quote “I hope the details of my story will push us all to work harder to seek the truth in our daily lives and to demand that truth come first in our legal system.”
Folks who followed the case agree. “I don’t think she is shocking anybody,” says Catoosa County resident Melissa Hill. “I think she just wants people to see the truth so maybe they’ll be prepared.”
“It’s basically ruined her life and any position to move forward,” says Jennifer Snyder.
Mark Teems agrees. “If those (are) truly false allegations you know that’s terrible to put somebody through that,” he said.
In one chapter Craft described a meeting with friends.
“No one seemed to question my innocence,” she writes. “I took some comfort in that. We talked, we cried, and we prayed.”
“I think that’s wonderful that the community came together and prayed with her because it isn’t our right to judge anybody,” Snyder says.
That passage also hit home with Melissa Hill. “Only God can give you that true peace and I think that’s what they were waiting to do for her,” she says.
In the book Craft describes about the agony of listening to her child testify against her during the trial. Several people we talked to have opinions about that as well.
“Especially if they took her child away,” Snyder says. “I don’t feel that’s fair to say that was one hundred percent truth coming from that child’s heart.”
Most of the people we talked to said they’ll buy the book, and that it was important for Craft to get her side of this ordeal out in the open.
“A lot of people hide behind the curtain after something like this happens,” Snyder said. “She’s reaching out that it could happen to anyone.”
The book is called “Accused.”
It will be released on Saturday, September 5th at Barnes and Noble at Hamilton Place.
Gepubliceerd op 2 mrt. 2017
Illinois is home to the nation’s sixth-highest rate of wrongful convictions. The story of Aurora’s Rolando Cruz is one harrowing example.
In 1985, Cruz and his friend Alejandro Hernandez were tried, wrongfully convicted, and sent to death row for the murder of Jeanine Nicarico, a 10-year-old girl from Naperville, Illinois. Another co-defendant, Steve Buckley, was not convicted. Cruz and Hernandez each spent years fearing death for a crime they did not commit.
DNA evidence, recanted testimony from individuals in law enforcement and the implication of serial killer Brian Dugan lead to the release of Cruz and Hernandez in 1995. Dugan confessed to the murder and was convicted in 2009.
Sponsored by Aurora University and co-sponsored by the Illinois Policy Institute, “Questions of Justice: Nicarico murder case” invited Cruz and key lawyers in this landmark case to speak about their experiences and the implications for criminal justice today.
Lecturer in Law and Justice, Aurora University
Senior Fellow, Illinois Policy
Partner, Camic Johnson, Ltd.
Steve Buckley’s attorney
Partner at Camic Johnson, Ltd.
Brian Dugan’s lawyer
DeKalb County Public Defender
Criminal Justice Reform Activist
Wrongfully Convicted of Murder
11 apr. 2018
Producer: David Alrich
15 dec. 2019
23 mrt. 2011
Pedestrians are asked to hold tightly a zoo lion transport door but the trapped lion keeps banging on the door. A presentation of the Just For Laughs Gags. The funny hidden camera pranks show for the whole family. Juste pour rire les gags, l’émission de caméra caché la plus comique de la télé!