Tonya Craft the former kindergarten teacher was charged with 22 counts of child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated child molestation. Craft’s daughter along with the other three young accusers, was the alleged victims and they testified for the prosecution. The trial for Tonya broke her heart.
Craft said that “absolute hardest thing that she has ever experienced” was watching her daughter testify for the prosecution against her during the trial. “My job as a mother is to protect her,” Craft told Meredith Vieira. “It absolutely broke my heart to see that my daughter had been pretty much indoctrinated to believe things that weren’t true.”
Craft wept as the Catoosa County Superior Court jury announced their verdict and supporters cheered loudly outside the courtroom. But Craft was more discreet about the verdict and her whole heart was stolen by the ordeal and the verdict only gave her back half.
“The amazing ordeal with the corruption that caught up these little girls and this wonderful woman has begun to end with a verdict from 12 people honest and true,” Demosthenes Lorandos, Craft’s attorney said.
Lorandos even added that, he and Craft’s other attorneys have contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney’s office about what he called the “fraudulent” behavior of Judge Brian House and the Catoosa County district attorney’s office during the case.
“Until I get my children, I won’t have my heart back,” Craft, who lost custody of her two children after her arrest in 2008, said earlier. The 37-year-old former Chickamauga Elementary School teacher was accused of abusing three young girls at her home between August 2005 and May 2007 according to CBS affiliate WDEF.
Many questions have been raised about the fairness of a trial in front of House, who helped to represent Craft’s ex-husband in the couple’s divorce in the early 90s. Defense attorneys filed a motion seeking the judge’s disqualification, but he refused to step down.
According to news reports, Prosecutor Chris Arnt also raised questions when he posted on his Facebook page in January that Craft’s defense lawyers “are really insane or just trying to jack up her defense bill.”