Now, there are differences and similarities. Like Gottlieb, Deal is more a pawn of prosecutors Len Gregor and Chris Arnt, while in Wenatchee, Perez drove the "investigation," and the prosecution trailed behind. However, before he was done, Perez had managed to have 43 adults charged with 29,726 charges of child sex abuse, involving 60 children in 1995. Not surprisingly, the entire "sex ring" turned out to be a sham, and Perez finally overreached when he had pastor Robert Robertson and his wife indicted, only to have a good attorney working pro-bono who finally took the whole thing apart in court.
(As in the Tonya Craft case, the judge was hostile to the defense and the prosecution made preposterous claims, such as "no evidence is evidence" and beyond. The investigators poured over every inch of the church where Robertson supposedly held huge orgies, but could find not even a speck of semen or anything like that. THAT, according to the prosecutor, constituted inculpatory evidence, although I am sure that the discovery of semen also would have been touted as inculpatory. In other words, "Heads, I win, tails you lose.")
So, now we have Tim Deal as the star of the show. Yet, what did Deal do? As I noted in another post yesterday, in child molestation cases, investigators must answer two questions: (1) Did sexual abuse actually occur? and (2) If so, who did it? However, as the various accounts have revealed, it is absolutely clear that Deal and the investigators decided beforehand that there HAD been sexual abuse, and that they were going to charge Ms. Craft no matter what.
This is a road to disaster, for it turns evidence gathering on its head. Now, given that this case was being pushed by powerful families in Catoosa County (who clearly are shown to be above the law) and two dishonest and corrupt prosecutors, Len Gregor and Chris Arnt, Deal and the "investigators" from the Children's Advocacy Centers in Fort Oglethorpe and Dalton, Deal knew his role and he did exactly what investigators do when they decide beforehand that a real investigation might uncover that none of the sexual abuse even happened.
As in the Duke case, Deal tried to make sure that no road that might reveal the whole thing to be a hoax would be followed. So, he and the investigators began the whole thing with a mindset that no matter what, the children would "disclose" exactly what they wanted them to say, and they were willing to resort to any trick in the book, including the phantom "she 'disclosed' after the video camera was turned off but-I-took-no-notes" testimony of Suzi Thornton. Not surprisingly, Deal stepped into the break to play the deus ex machina role.
As we see in today's account in the Times-Free Press, Deal's sham "investigation" is further revealed. While Deal and the investigators spent much time with the "distraught" mothers, he did not speak to the fathers at all.
Now, keep in mind that one of the fathers clearly was skeptical and told the prosecutors that he believed nothing happened. Their response? They threatened to charge him with obstruction of justice if he did not go along with their scheme. (One of the fathers -- of "child number two" -- even told the private investigator for the defense in a recorded talk that he did not believe that his child was molested, and certainly not by Ms. Craft. Taking a page from Michael Nifong, the prosecutors had the PI arrested in order to keep his own testimony from being heard.)
But it even gets better, as this "sterling investigator" decided that the answers he was getting from one of the children was just not incriminating enough:
At one point, he asked Detective Deal about part of the interview when he asked the child if Ms. Craft had said anything to her when touching her."'Possibly, yes'." In other words, "Yeah, I might have done that. So what? I can do what I want, and I am doing the bidding of Arnt and Gregor."
According to the transcript, the child said "no." But in the next paragraph, Detective Deal asked again, "Did she say anything or just not to tell?" The child quickly responded, "She told me not to tell."
Mr. King stopped and looked at the detective and, "You just changed her answer?"
"Possibly yes," the detective said. But he said later than through his questions, he had gotten the girl to modify her answer but not to change it.
As I have said before, it is abundantly clear what happened, and the only reason that this sham is permitted to continue is because Judge Brian House, Arnt and Gregor have been able to act as near-dictators in the Lookout Mountain Judicial District. These are people who organized and then rammed through a sham investigation, and now are demanding a guilty verdict against Tonya Craft even though all of the principals know she is innocent.
The spirits of Mark Gottlieb and Robert Perez rule in Catoosa County. One only can imagine that a number of the other similar cases of child molestation in that district have involved a complete destruction of the rights of the accused, which supposedly is the very foundation of U.S. criminal law.