So far, we have seen one witness after another suddenly recall events that they had not reported to investigators and certainly had not been given to the defense team. From Suzi Thorne to Tim "Dirty" Deal, Arnt and Gregor have been running a clinic in "recovered memories," not just for the child witnesses, but for the adults, too.
(Where were these guys when I was taking my doctoral exams? I could have used their expertise in "recovering" memories of studying and solving multi-variable calculus problems, but, no, it apparently was not to be. I had to slog through that stuff on my own without a whit of help from "Facebook" and "The Man.")
But, I must admit that the greatest feat I ever have seen in prosecution -- and I have seen Great Ones like Mike Nifong in action -- when the sheer brilliance of "Facebook" and "The Man" helped Joal Henke "recover" some long-held but, apparently, long-suppressed memories. Furthermore, these brilliant prosecutors actually anticipated this great moment of memory recovery and just happened to have the requisite case law available to aid Judge Brian House in his great time of need.
Yes, while on the stand today (amazing how that magic witness chair seems to work in the Catoosa County Courthouse), Henke SUDDENLY REMEMBERED that Tonya Craft had engaged in a LESBIAN relationship with a woman named "Jen." Now, having some knowledge of this case, I just happen to know that "Jen" might be the same "Jen" that prosecutors providentially kept out of the spectators' gallery in the courtroom because she had been on a previous witness list (but not on the final one). Well, it now looks as though she is going to testify, which should be most interesting, since I suspect she will demonstrate more veracity to the jury than Joal "Recovered Memories" Henke.
(While I admit to being amazed at this feat of memory by the Renown Joal Henke, my sense is that this latest bout of "recovered memories" was such that not even Ms. Craft or "Jen" even had remembered such an event.)
What truly was amazing was that just as Henke was recalling this long-suppressed memory that must have shocked everyone in the courtroom, "Facebook" and "The Man" just happened to have case law available that claimed that such "bad acts" as Ms. Craft and "Jen" were alleged to have committed ARE ADMISSIBLE EVEN IF SPRUNG BY SURPRISE. As the Chattanoogan told readers:
The judge in the Tonya Craft trial in Ringgold on Friday ruled that the prosecution could admit evidence of "prior bad acts" of a sexual nature by the former kindergarten teacher.Of course, I find it a bit curious that House, "Facebook," and "The Man" were so well-prepared for this moment, but, I suppose, that is what the magic of "recovered memories" can do for a prosecution team. Furthermore, given his behavior throughout this trial (and I have not told about some of the things House has done that surely will be made public if there is a post-conviction appeal), I would squarely place House at the center of The Team.
Prior to any testimony beginning in Friday morning’s session, the prosecution made it known that they would seek to call the evidence before the jury. Ms. Craft’s defense team had filed a motion the first day of the trial to omit this particular line of questioning.
Scott King, an Atlanta-based attorney for Ms. Craft, argued that the state was only attempting to bring this information in an effort to prejudice the jury against his client. Both sides argued from several points in Georgia case law. In the end, Judge Brian House announced he would admit the testimony based on a 1988 Supreme Court ruling.
The judge said his research of the matter showed that this case and others found a link between adult sexual behavior and child sexual abuse.
So, I am sure that Henke's testimony was absolutely the truth. After all, he swore to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God," although I have a feeling that the truth might have been taking a vacation while Henke's bottom fed the witness chair.
As one who has dealt with a large number of cases of false charges and wrongful convictions, all involving "recovered memories," I do find myself a bit skeptical that Henke suddenly "remembered" something as outrageous as a former wife engaging in lesbian relationships with someone, which probably would be a bit shocking to anyone who knows Ms. Craft.
Unfortunately, Henke's sterling ability to remember those things he allegedly had forgotten about Ms. Craft did not extend to those things that involved his own behavior. For example, he told the jury that his contact with the mothers of the other child "accusers" were minimal, something not exactly backed up by his own phone records, as the Chattanoogan article points out.
Then there is the matter of his own sexual prowess, as was demonstrated in the cross-examination by defense attorney Scott King:
During the defense’s cross-examination, Mr. King went back to the witness's divorce, “You have indicated that your divorce was uncontested. Wasn’t it indeed contested throughout the entire process?” “I did not want a divorce,” was the reply. “Didn’t you continue to fight for custody until the very end?” “No.” “But didn’t (name withheld) come into court with a stack of video tapes of you and women you had slept with?” “That was not the case.”Indeed, most likely the jurors might have been interested in the allegations of the rather raucous sex life that supposedly makes Henke a legend, at least in his own mind. It is interesting, however, that while Henke could suddenly recall a phantom event involving his ex-wife, the guy has Alzheimer's when it comes to things about him.
So, the Memory Recovery Program being run by "Facebook" and "The Man" still has some glitches. I guess they need to go back to the drawing board.