Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Mommy Did Terrible Things to Me..."

Tonya Craft has not seen her daughter for two years because part of the case against her is the accusation that she molested her own child. According to my sources (and I emphasize that no one from the defense side has given me one whit of information), when the child first was interviewed by the police and by therapists, she said the following (and I paraphrase):
"Mommy did terrible things to me. I don't remember what she did, but my daddy tells me that she did them."
At that point, the "therapist" began to work with the child, and sure enough, the "repressed memories" were unlocked and she remembered the sexual abuse. Furthermore, the prosecution team is working with children whose "repressed memories" now are giving forth a treasure trove of information as to what Ms. Craft supposedly did to them.

Let us understand a few things here. First, the "repressed memories" syndrome is one of the worst-abused tricks in modern jurisprudence and many a person has been falsely convicted when prosecutors used this weapon to convince jurors that there really had been sexual abuse.

Does the name Martha Coakley sound familiar? She is the Attorney General of Massachusetts and she recently lost a special election for the U.S. Senate to Scott Brown, partly because she relied heavily upon "repressed memories" in her pursuit of the Amirault family in the fraudulent Fells Acre Day Care Center abuse case. (Why do the witch trials seem to center in Massachusetts? The more things change, the more they remain the same.)

Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal wrote a series of articles about the wave of child molestation cases in this country, including Fells Acre. (Yeah, things come about 20 years later to the Chattanooga area, but now the wolf is at the door.) Her recent piece about Coakley demonstrates beyond a doubt that dishonesty and unbelievability does not just reside in the DA's office of Catoosa County, but also extends to the "sophisticated" and secular realms of the Bay State. Here is one excerpt from that article, which helped to sink Coakley's candidacy:
The accusations against the Amiraults might well rank as the most astounding ever to be credited in an American courtroom, but for the fact that roughly the same charges were brought by eager prosecutors chasing a similar headline—making cases all across the country in the 1980s. Those which the Amiraults' prosecutors brought had nevertheless, unforgettable features: so much testimony, so madly preposterous, and so solemnly put forth by the state. The testimony had been extracted from children, cajoled and led by tireless interrogators.

Gerald (Amirault), it was alleged, had plunged a wide-blade butcher knife into the rectum of a 4-year-old boy, which he then had trouble removing. When a teacher in the school saw him in action with the knife, she asked him what he was doing, and then told him not to do it again, a child said. On this testimony, Gerald was convicted of a rape which had, miraculously, left no mark or other injury. Violet had tied a boy to a tree in front of the school one bright afternoon, in full view of everyone, and had assaulted him anally with a stick, and then with "a magic wand." She would be convicted of these charges. Cheryl had cut the leg off a squirrel.

Other than such testimony, the prosecutors had no shred of physical or other proof that could remotely pass as evidence of abuse. But they did have the power of their challenge to jurors: Convict the Amiraults to make sure the battle against child abuse went forward. Convict, so as not to reject the children who had bravely come forward with charges.

Gerald was sent to prison for 30 to 40 years, his mother and sister sentenced to eight to 20 years. The prosecutors celebrated what they called, at the time "a model, multidisciplinary prosecution." Gerald's wife, Patricia, and their three children—the family unfailingly devoted to him—went on with their lives. They spoke to him nightly and cherished such hope as they could find, that he would be restored to them.
Yes, yes, THIS is the kind of legacy that Judge Brian House and prosectors Len Gregor and Christopher Arnt want to leave in Catoosa County. Even the voters of Massachusetts could not stomach having a prosecutor like Coakley in the Senate, and it was an election to fill the seat of the Democrat's Democrat, Ted Kennedy.

Second, the whole use of "repressed memories" is so controversial and so abused that a number of states have restricted the practice for legal purposes because prosecutors and juries got so out of control that it was obvious that the convictions were fraudulent. Furthermore, there is a wealth of literature that debunks or seriously questions the use of this controversial practice.

While it is obvious that House, Gregor and Arnt are teaming together to try to force a guilty verdict, nonetheless they are playing with dynamite. They are using tactics that border on fraudulent and House's ruling that there will be no use of time, space, place, and dates in the presenting of the "victims" testimony is an attempt to tell jurors that they must grasp something that would be considered even too fanciful for a Harry Potter novel.

Oh, there is one more thing to point out. The father of Tonya's daughter, Ms. Craft's ex-husband, was wanting custody of the child, so the things the little girl told investigators -- "Daddy says Mommy did terrible things to me" -- really must be taken with utmost skepticism. To put the criminal courts into this mix really is unconscionable, especially given that the "therapist" who helped "recover" the girl's memories of sexual abuse has been declared as unfit to testify in Tennessee, according to a ruling by Judge Marie Williams.

Perhaps we should dwell on that one for a while. The prosecution is pursing a false case built upon fraudulent theories and pushed by people who have very personal motives. Yes, crimes have been committed in Catoosa County, but not by Tonya Craft. I think we know where the real criminal behavior resides.


Anonymous said...

I think we should see if the judge weighs the same as a duck.

Anonymous said...

Did you by chance see that the defense has requested that the media and public be removed from the courtroom today. They have even given out assigned seating to the members of the press so they don't intimidate the witnesses.

They say the request was made because the media has an agenda they are trying to push. As you've said for the most part local media coverage has either been for the prosecution or non existent. Now that some people are starting to question things they are trying to ban the media.

Anonymous said...

I hope the "secret life" of the father and step-mom is opened up for everyone to see. Anyone who would have their stepchild help to shave their pubic area while the father watched needs to be the ones prosecuted.

William L. Anderson said...

I think that it was the prosecution that asked for the media ban.

House and Arnt are pulling out all stops. In order to save their careers, they MUST engineer a conviction, and the only way to do that is to pull every trick possible to keep people in the dark.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson,
When we voice our complaint to the state, how should that be done. Should we list the travesties of the prosecution you've spoken of? Just want to make sure it's done correctly and makes a statement.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to slander people you've never met, don't know anything about, from sources that aren't credible and are completely biased, you could at least spell Mr. Gregor's name right. It has ONE 'G'.

William L. Anderson said...

I'm not slandering anyone, pal. I think falsely accusing someone of child molestation is what we call slander.

If you want to defend this outright travesty of justice, go ahead, but not on my blog, unless you post by identifying yourself.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Are you kidding me? There's not one shred of credible evidence that she did this, but Mr. Anderson has spelled out numerous times all the things done by the prosecution and judge that are unethical and on some accounts borderline illegal. How could anyone read the evidence of how Mrs. Craft's due process has been eliminated and still not see the light. Remember, slander is making false statements/accusations about someone, not ones you don't like or agree with! Mr. Arnt & Mr. House are destroying a person's life knowing they are violating all that is right.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:12 must work for court system. Why would anyone care how the pawn ADA's name is spelled. We all know Arnt is running the show, even the judge knows it.

Anonymous said...

No one has seen or heard all the evidence yet, include you, Mr. Anderson. Evidence it what is heard in court from the witness stand and what is admitted as exhibits. So, I don't guess we know what the evidence is until the trial is concluded, and until then, we don't KNOW what happened.

William L. Anderson said...

Well, I guess that means you, too, pal. So, you are telling me that the only "evidence" that matters is what Arnt gets to present and what he has been able to hide.

Yeah, I was told that in the Duke case, too, and you see how that turned out. I'll go further and say there is no credible evidence I have seen so far. We have a dishonest prosecutor, a judge taking his cues from the prosecution, a defense that has its hands tied at every point, and you are telling me that this "mystery" will be solved in a courtroom.

Right. You know, Nifong said the same thing in the Duke case, and I got those same comments from his supporters. So, believe me, your comments mean nothing to me. If you want to keep this lie alive, go ahead, but I am speaking out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Anderson, I currently live in Chattanooga, TN and happen to work in the legal field. I appreciate the time you put into this blog, without it I wouldn't have known much, probably due to the gag order.

I am very disappointed in my surrounding community however not surprised.

I will have a huge smile on my face when Tonya owns the Catoosa County jail! I have not met one person that believes she is guilty and agrees with how this case is being handled. I hope one day Tonya receives the justice she deserves!

Leslie said...

Why is it that Tonya's ex husband isn't being investigated about the child abuse that supposedly happened in their home to their own daughter? Why is it the prosecutor is not investigating his own "facts" that a father had knowledge (be it false or true)that his daughter was being abused and didn't report it at the time? Why isn't this father being held accountable?

So much about this case is very confusing.

William L. Anderson said...

Good question, Leslie, especially given the genesis of this case. However, once the prosecution and police constructed their "narrative," well, anything about the ex just did not fit. After all, they were pounding square pegs into round holes, and round pegs are not acceptable, not when prosecutors decide to pursue cases like this.

Stephanie said...

Mr. Anderson,
As new residents of Catoosa county what can my husband and I do? It scares me to think that I live in a county where something like this is possible. Thank you for your research and time you've invested in sharing the facts!

William L. Anderson said...

Hi, Stephanie. I appreciate your comments. Unfortunately, this sort of thing can happen anywhere, as it did all over the country a while back.

In other words, Catoosa County is no better and no worse than most places in terms of prosecutorial misconduct tapping into hysteria, as what happened here. Unfortunately, the place does have some influential people who apparently are willing to stop at nothing, and they are the ones pushing this sorry case.

Do two things: don't go into teaching in Catoosa County, and stay away from county politics.

Anonymous said...

To the Anon @ 2:12 PM yesterday:

Technically, Mr. Gregor's name has TWO G's.

Just sayin'.

William L. Anderson said...

The other day, someone said I was slandering them and, by the way, "Gregor" was spelled with one "r." So, now, I have people telling me one or two. Not sure, but I do think that the number of "r"s in his name don't make him any less dishonest than he already is.

The Dude Abides said...

I had no idea this "repressed memories" and child advocates leading the five-year old witness crap was still going on. I live in SoCal and vividly remember the McMartin-Buckey preschool case travesty in the 1980s. That school was on a very busy street, and the room where the alleged "abuse" took place had huge windows that allowed people on the street to easily see inside the room. Naked orgies with children and ritual animal killing would have been seen and reported.

Thanks for informing readers about this new travesty. One thing, though. You didn't make the point that Martha Coakley was not the original prosecutor in the Fells Acres case. She was the new Middlesex DA who wrongly objected to Amirault getting his sentence commuted. Basically, she committed the typical institutional offense by assuming that no rights or procedures were violated in the original case because all the appeals failed to overturn the convictions. So she opposed commutation.

brett said...

As someone who knew her ex I am curious. Is my family the only ones that he creeped out? I was overwhelmed with a bad feeling around him and asked that the children in my family NEVER be left alone with him. He was a cheating liar AND we were all uncomfortable with him but especially the kids.

I am heavily burdened with this because maybe I should have done more about that bad feeling...maybe Tonya wouldn't be where she is now.

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.