Monday, April 19, 2010

Kevin West on Why He Believes Tonya Craft is Innocent

Kevin West of WGOW has been a heroic voice in this sorry affair, and he is not the only one there who has stayed on top of this story. (I was a guest on Jeff Styles' show last week, and I was treated very well.) While WTVC remains in the prosecutors' tank, WGOW and others in the media have been asking the pertinent questions and making good observations.

Today, I am posting what he wrote earlier on his blog, as I think his points are very well taken. In his own words:

Everybody's covering the Tonya Craft trial now in Catoosa County. But it wasn't necessarily going to be that way. Some media outlets believed it was "just another child molestation case."

But it isn't. I've never seen anything like it. I started looking into it about the first of the year. Charges were brought back in May of 2008. I remembered the story because prosecutors and law enforcement had going on two years to tell their side of it. It seemed like it was "just another child molestation case" to me.

But it wasn't. It isn't.

What makes it different in my mind?

- Adult female to female child abuse makes up only 6% of molestation cases, according to the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.

- Ms. Craft passed two polygraph tests. They're not admissible in court, but I've seen the results and on every question it shows "no deceit." No deceit, no deceit, no deceit, etc., etc., and so on to very specific questions involving each of the alleged victims. The tests aren't admissible in court, but they were administered in Morrow, Georgia (near Atlanta) by a former US Army Criminal Investigations Command Polygraph Examiner with 20 years experience, nine years polygraph teaching experience, Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice and Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement. The guy's good.

- In no child molestation case I have ever seen -- EVER -- have I seen so much support for the alleged perpetrator. It's a dicey proposition to hook your name to an accused molester. That's a crime in which as soon as the accusation is made, you're guilty and you've got to prove your innocence. Backward from the stated foundation of the American legal system, but that's the way it is. And if you associated with an accused, you're just as guilty. Yet in this case, dozens and dozens and dozens of people have publicly stood beside Ms. Craft, unafraid to show their faces, give their names, give their e-mail addresses and give their phone numbers. Let me iterate: I have NEVER seen anything like that before, no matter how "good" the defense team is.

Those three points alone give any reporter reason enough to take a hard look at the case. But then you consider:

- There are bitter feelings involving a divorce. I've been through a divorce.

- There are bitter feelings involving a child who wasn't promoted from Ms. Craft's kindergarten class. I've seen that and the resultant rage that follows when my ex-wife has had to inform parents over the years that their children weren't ready for first grade. It's truly scary.

- Ms. Craft spent all the money she had, lost her house, and her family spent their life savings to defend her. In my experience covering these kinds of cases, I've never seen anyone go that far.

- Ms. Craft traveled to Michigan at her own expense, traveled to the home of her lead defense counselor, knocked on his door at home and told him her story. And he believed it enough to devote his full resources to the case. I've never seen that before, either. An out-of-town attorney isn't going to give you the time of day if you don't have A) LOTS of money or B) a very, very good defensible case. And A) is easily ruled out.

Then you've got re-election politics which were involved at the time the charges were filed. In a rural county, there's nothing better to bolster voter support than catching a child molester.

Absolute conclusion: this is SO not "just another child molestation case."

Kevin West

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is never just another Child Abuse Case when you have the Wilson's involved. Her daughter's run that school. That's why I took my son out and put him in Oakwood.

Anonymous said...

MR. ANDERSON, please respond to this!! I saw this comment on a news page and I wanted to get your take on this. How would one go about handling this matter?

How can she get away with saying that her child never had acting lessons when it is CLEARLY posted on her resume on IMDB? Under training it shows lessons with a coach in ATL in 4 different styles, methods or whatever they call it? How is that not perjury?

How can you accuse or "turn someone in" for committing perjury??


Link to IMBD
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2360832/resume

Anonymous said...

I would think Tonya's lawyers would be able to point out that she perjured herself by this statement. Wow, did she really have the gall to say that on the witness stand.

Anonymous said...

Have just been reading some of the testimony on WRCB website. The mother of the child actress sound like she is one herself. I don't believe one word of this garbage!!!

Anonymous said...

THE MOTHER OF THE CHILD ACTRESS IS A LIAR. SHE HAS COMMITTED PERJURY 3TIMES NOW, THAT I KNOW OF

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing this out...I've rinted the page as well, but I know the frst day that the actress as on the stand, Judge House denied admitting the resume from IMDB into evidence. I heard (besides the accusations being false) TWO instances of provable perjury. She also said that she didn't know the prosecutors...everyone in town knows her husband left her for "inappropriate behavior" which is presumed to be an affair with her "good friend, Chris Arnt" (her words). I had heard that she is recorded in several places referring to him this way including that "her good friend Chris Arnt told her she did not have to accept a subpeona". I know some of this is hearsay, but I believe a million people more involved than I can speak to it as well.

Anonymous said...

Anon.6:54, Are you saying that the child actresses husband left her, because she had an affair with Chris Arnt? So, she isn't married right now, or was this a previous marriage. Please clarify. Thanks

Anonymous said...

No they are still married, but in process of getting a divorce soon. It was not with Chris Arnt though. Another man

Anonymous said...

Wow, the more I read, the more astonished I am at the mess this whole travesty is. From the first I read of this, I have felt that Tonya was innocent, mostly because of my own personal experience with Catoosa County and its joke of a legal system, but now I am completely convinced of her innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt. I pray the jury has the good sense to see through this mess to the truth as well.

Anonymous said...

It is true, when Sherrie Wilson is around, Kristen Jones Bradley may as well be the janitor.

Anonymous said...

who is Kristen Jones Bradley? and what is her relationship to this case and Sheri Wilson?

Lame said...

I don't know anyone involved, but I know enough about medicine to know that the "expert" witness who testified that the girls showed signs of molestation was not qualified. In testimony that I read, she stated she examined all three girls in the supine, or laying on their back, spread-eagle position. Modern, as in within the past ten years, adolescent gynocologists examine in more than one position to rule out the fact that in between 10 and 50% of females there are naturally-occuring bumps and other "abnormalities" that when viewed ONLY in the supine position are easilly mistaken for signs of abuse. If she had been subscribed to journals of adolescent gynocology, like any "expert" on child rape would, she would know this. I hope that Tonya's attourney knows about this and rips her apart. How many men and women have been sent away because an "expert" witness for the prosecution testified that a child was molested when in-fact they weren't? In this case two of the three were "suspicious," and one showed no signs at all. I would say that before this witness said she was sure the girls were abused she should have examined in what is commonly called the "frog legs" positoin, the one MOST likely accurately show whether a girl was molested. There are so many grounds for appeal if she's convicted in this sham. It's really just wasting the tax payer's money. By so botching this whole affair, when the appeals court overturns this verdict the whole thing will have to be done over again, and by that time memories will have faded, and when the girls change their story it will all be over. If the girls are or were examined by a REAL expert who determines they weren't abused at all, and if at some point someone in the prosecution camp admits to a set-up, I'm in favor of a law that would state that any one who accuses someone of a sex crime and it's proven that they lied about it, then they get to make a choice: they either can give the person they accused one-half of the money they earn for the rest of their life or they can spend the exact amount of time that the accused would have spend in jail, without any parole. There's a reason why God put "bearing false witness" in among the top ten things not to do.

Anonymous said...

Kristen Bradley is Chickamauga Elementary's principal. She knows all about how the Wilson girls abuse other kids at that school and does nothing about it. She is also the one that lets the little child actor miss school and it is considered an excused abscent. These families have MONEY and that always seems to talk in Chickamauga

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to expose what this school system is allowing these families to do. If it is common knowledge that it goes on the media needs to get involved.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in the area is afraid of the powers that be in Chickamauga. It is called the "Chickamauga Mafia" and they run the show.

Anonymous said...

I have never ever known Mrs. Bradley to be unfair to a child!!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing to me how certain people point fingers at those that are in position...Kristen Jones Bradley is an excellent administrator, fair, equitable and to accuse her otherwise is trying to change the subject. Subject being - the trial of Tonya Craft.

Before attacking a school system - you better get your facts straight and keep your eye on what is actually going on...Kristen Jones Bradley is not on trial!

Lame said...

Actually, everyone is on trial here. I'm starting to think that this may not be one of two things. Either there really as some molestation that took place, at the hands of the child of one of the members of the more prominent members of the inner circle here, and Tonya is the scape goat. Or, this was a case where two or three children were engacing in sex play and when caught created an escapist tale that shifted blame and attention away from themselves. I've seen it happen before. Anyone else ever heard of Salem? ....and children never lie.

Anonymous said...

Actually, everyone is NOT on trial here. I live in Chickamauga, and I do not appreciate people speaking for me. I am not afraid of some alleged "Chickamauga Mafia". By the way, I have lived here for thirty years and I have never heard of the "Chickamauga Mafia". The town and the school system is NOT on trial. As for Kristen Bradley, the person who claims she is like the janitor when Sherrie Wilson is around must not know Kristen. She has never been one to follow a leader or crowd. She is a leader! She is a wonderful christian person, and a fantastic principal.

Lame said...

And, I've got to mention this: when the prosecution brought into their case the notion that it is a "prior bad act" to watch lesbian porn, they are putting themselves into a VERY bad position, ethically, politically, and constitutionally. Whether or not a person is gay or straight has no bearing on whether or not they are more or less likely to commit a sex crime against a child. What they are doing is playing upon the members of the jury's archaic sensibility that a gay person is automatically evil, and therefore guilty of whatever charge they bring against them. Did the priests who molested boys watch gay porn. Probably not. By saying that this is a prior bad act, they are in fact using a legal argument that any association with homosexuality is a criminal offense. It is a bad act if the stole candy from the convenience store. If she open-mouth kissed another woman, that is not admissable as evidence of being more disposed to molest a child. The prosecutor has set this case up for a mistrial, an excellent ground for appeal, and has set himself up for a nice fat lawsuit. I hope that the ACLU sues his biggoted, arrogant hind quarters for making such an argument. If I were Tonya's lawyer, right this minute I'd be on the phone with the Anti-Defamation League.

Anonymous said...

Do any of the accusers in the Craft case have borderline personality disorder or a similar disorder? There have been links between borderline personality disorder and false allegations in other cases.

Anonymous said...

Just a update on any wrong doing on the school's part in
response to the child actress' absences. The school provided course work for the child to complete while
on the set. A tutor was also on set to ensure she worked
daily. All work was completed and returned. I just wanted to try to clarify.