It is further ironic that Gregor make that statement, because if anyone has ignored the evidence, it has been Gregor and Chris Arnt, who decided early on that they were going to convict Ms. Craft no matter where the evidence led, and they are sticking to that promise. The idea that they have conducted an authentic investigation is a joke, given that we are seeing many of the same patterns that were part of the "investigations" of the fake child molestation hysteria cases of the past, as well as the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case.
My series has some good researchers behind me, and while they are anonymous, nonetheless all are very, very qualified in their line of work, and I trust what they do. Furthermore, we will check our facts before writing on them.
In 1977, when I was a reporter with the former News-Free Press, I covered a preliminary hearing in which Jimmy Don Spangler, who later would be convicted of murder, was accused of molesting a child. The hearing took place in the late Judge Dixie Smith's Juvenile Courtroom, and the young girl, I believe about 7 or 8, testified.
Unlike the robotic and contradictory testimony that we have heard from the child accusers in the Tonya Craft case, the young girl spoke clearly and told the judge what the accused did to her. When it happened, no therapists were needed to ask the girl 16 questions, nor did the "disclosures" start from "nothing happened" to a bunch of wild tales. The testimony she gave to the interviewers after the incident happened -- and there was no doubt that it did -- was the same throughout.
In this post, I want to examine the accusing girls' testimonies in order to counter the prosecution's line that these girls went to their families and "reported" the abuse. Nothing like that happened, and Chris Arnt and Len Gregor know it. For that matter, Brian House knows it too, but the three of them have decided they want Tonya Craft to be convicted and go to prison, and they are determined that even the law itself will not get in their way.
It is important for readers to know that these three girls did not appear out of a vacuum. There is a specific reason they are the ones who are making the accusations, and it has to do with their parents and the sets of perverse incentives that come with custody battles over children.
About two decades ago, courts all over the country were trying people for child molestation charges in which the claims were unbelievable. In the McMartin case in Manhattan Beach, for example, there allegedly were secret tunnels where the children were taken (it turned out there were no tunnels under the building), babies were cooked in microwave ovens, and Raymond Buckey allegedly shot a horse in front of a bunch of children.
In the Little Rascals case, children allegedly were thrown to sharks, there was a "magic room" where all sorts of nasties took place, and Robert Kelly regularly stuck swords into the rectums of children. In Wenatchee, Washington, pastor Ronnie Robertson was supposed to be having grand orgies in church, shouting "Hallelujah" while adults were having sex with children. Kelly Michaels in New Jersey was feeding children cakes made of urine and feces.
The verdicts in these cases all were overturned, and it became obvious to nearly everyone involved that the whole thing had occurred because of two things: mass hysteria among mothers and extremely faulty methods of questioning by "forensic interviewers" and "therapists" that were designed to pry "disclosures" from children no matter what actually happened. It should surprise no one familiar with these horrible cases that the authorities in North Georgia are running over the same cliff.
In the Tonya Craft situation, people might reply: "Yes, those cases had extreme testimony, but none of the three children have said anything like that." That is true, but remember: in the beginning of the Craft investigation and the investigations into these other allegations, all of the children said the same thing at first: NOTHING HAPPENED.
Going back to the hearing I covered 33 years ago, there was no equivocating on behalf of the child, as I remember it well. The little girl did not need a "therapist" to "disclose," nor was she asked the same questions 16 times by someone who would take nothing but "Miss Tonya stuck her fingers here" or "Miss Tonya put her hand down my pants," and so on.
That should tell us something. The vast majority of authentic child molestation cases do not need the kind of manipulation, "I just remembered" testimony, and leading questions to get to the truth. The truth comes forth, as it often does.
With that in mind, let us examine not only to the things to which each child testified, but also how they got to that point. It is a sad story that began with two separate situations that came together. However, it could not have happened without the role of "investigators" who fall into a category of the advocates from Hell, people who decide first that children are sexually abused, and then find a way later to "prove" it.
Child #1 is the daughter of Sandra Lamb, who is at the center of this whole thing, and perhaps is the most person most motivated person in the mix. She is driven by a hatred of Ms. Craft and maybe she even believes Ms. Craft actually molested her daughter. I don't know; I don't have access to that woman's mind, and I think for that I can be thankful.
Like all of the children, this young lady, who also is a child actress, having played a role of an abused child in a movie, and has taken acting lessons. Now, Sandra Lamb testified (under oath, although that means nothing for prosecution witnesses in Brian House's court) that her daughter had taken no acting lessons, but the girl's IMBD resume clearly lists a number of people who have given this child, well, acting lessons.
One has to understand that if a child's mother will lie on the stand under oath (not that the judge nor prosecutors care), it is going to make me suspect of the entire testimony this girl gives, for if Sandra Lamb is trying to hide something that is available quickly on-line, what else is she hiding? Nonetheless, a mother's false testimony does not mean her child is telling whoppers.
I have not seen the child's testimony on video, and that is the situation for the two other girls as well. Nevertheless, I have talked to people who have seen the video, and will depend upon them at least for some interpretation.
As is the case with all three of the children, in the early interviews, she says that no sexual abuse happened. Unlike the child I saw testifying 33 years ago, this child had to be coaxed and, ultimately, given something akin to a script before she "disclosed" anything. Such a situation should set off all alarm bells for anyone who cares about valid testimony.
In reading the notes presented by reporters during this child's testimony, I read the following:
Child in video is asked whether there is anything else that happened to her.The last line should make anyone wonder. From what I understand, at no time did this child (nor did the others) give the clear, concise and believable testimony that the child gave in Dixie Smith's courtroom more than three decades ago. Instead, it not only seemed contrives, but it was drawn out for more than a year.
Response: "I'm thinking."
Interviewer in video gets up and leaves. Comes back into shot and asks more questions.
Interviewer asks child how she knew something happened to her.
Girl says, "My momma told me (emphasis mine)."
This is important. While it is not unusual for a child at first to say that nothing happened (out of sheer embarrassment), according to the experts, nonetheless it would be quite out of the ordinary for a child's memories to improve as the year went on, which goes against everything that researchers know about the reliability of our memories.
Yet, that is the situation with all three of these girls who testified. Despite the claims of the prosecution that the defense wants to paint these children as liars who are part of some great "conspiracy" to frame Tonya Craft, the real problem is that the "interviewers" have used discredited techniques not to get at the truth, but rather to reach the conclusion that they, Sandra Lamb, Sherry Wilson, Jerry McDonald, the prosecutors, Brian House, and Joal Henke and his wife Sarah, wanted them to reach.
All of these people have had a vested interest in the outcome that the therapists reached. I believe that is important to point out. Most reputable investigators and psychologists take the information that they find and reach conclusions; however, as we have seen in other cases, the interviewers from the prosecutors' team of police and "child advocates" from the Children's Advocacy Centers begin with a conclusion, and then look for "evidence" to buttress their original conclusion.
As with the first child, the other two girls began the process by saying that nothing happened. In the case of the third girl, Tonya Craft's daughter, it especially is tragic. Not only did clinical psychologist Dr. Ann Hazzard (by request of Circuit Court Judge Marie Williams in Hamilton County) examine the child and conclude that she found NO EVIDENCE of sexual abuse (something to which Brian House refused to let her say in court Friday, lest Len Gregor and Chris Arnt be offended that a real expert contradicted the perjured testimony they had introduced earlier), but the child herself when first interviewed said something like: "Mommy did terrible things to me. I don't remember, but that is what my daddy tells me." (emphasis mine)
This should set off alarms everywhere. When a respected psychologist says one thing, but "interviewers" along with the child's father, Joal Henke, and his wife, Sarah Bass Henke, are telling the girl for a year that she WAS abused (and that she needed to tell that to investigators), something is not passing the smell test. I find it quite telling that Judge Brian House decided that Dr. Hazzard's conclusions regarding this child were not credible, but the conclusions of motivated people like the Henkes (who have gained full custody of the girl) have full credibility.
People who have seen the videos of the children tell me that something is wrong with the children's demeanors and the way they are speaking. When a child is describing what should be terribly traumatic events and sits quietly coloring as though she is talking about the weather, we should be suspect of something.
True, the "advocates" always have a tale to tell us. When Crystal Mangum claimed a number of mutually-exclusive accounts of how the Duke lacrosse players raped her, the "advocates" assured us that traumatized women who have been raped are confused and tell a bunch of different stories. Later, her promoters claimed that she never had deviated from her first account, and, somehow, the "advocates" insisted that both situations were equally true and constituted "proof" of the rape claims.
Likewise, we are told that these children were so traumatized, that someone needed to give them a script, "mommy" had to tell them what to say, and that we are supposed to "believe the children" because, after all, children always tell the truth. Never mind that these children, to a person, started with "nothing happened," and within a year, were saying what the adults wanted to hear and telling a much different story, complete with descriptions of events that medically or physically just could not happen (like Tonya Craft placing her entire fist into a little girl's vagina).
The issue with the children's testimonies, no matter what Len Gregor will claim in his closing remarks, is not whether they are lying, but rather who told them what to say in the first place. The record is clear: children are susceptible to interviewers who implant false memories.
For example, while the notion that Ray Buckey shot and killed a horse in the middle of a daycare session was ludicrous, nonetheless the child who claimed such a thing while testifying in court years later continued to insist his tale was true. Was the boy "lying"? No, as a lie goes to intent. Instead, as a young boy, he was manipulated by an interviewer with an agenda, just as the interviewers at the Children's Advocacy Centers in North Georgia are notorious for having agendas.
When Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos in his cross-examination of the interviewers from the CAC asked them if they were familiar with the child molestation hoaxes of two decades ago, to a person, they said they were not. They were not familiar with any literature on interviewing, as it seemed to them to be a distraction from pursuing their agenda that all children (except those of their political allies) are sexually abused, and it is up to them to prove it.
In the end, the issue is not the truthfulness of the children, for they are saying what the adults want them to say. As for the truthfulness of the adults who are pushing this case, that is another story.
[Update: May 2, 7:00 AM]: The commentator named Kerwyn, who actually is a SANE in another state (whose courts tend to have higher justice standards than do courts in North Georgia), makes an important point. Following her second arrest, Ms. Craft had both her children taken from her, and she wanted to have visitation rights. She went to circuit court in Hamilton County and Judge Marie Williams, who apparently took her job as a judge seriously, unlike Brian House.
I include some of Kerwyn's comments below:
I am not sure exactly what happened but, Judge Williams ruled CAC's Laurie Evans was not credible and ordered her to have NO contact with the Craft Children. Dr. Ann Hazzard interviewed these children at that time. THIS testimony was what the prosecutors (Arnt and Gregor) and the judge (House) refused to allow the Jury to hear.She adds this point:
I guess it has NO bearing on this case that Craft brought this up FIRST against Sarah Henke complete with CAC interviews. That interviewer somehow pissed the judge of to the point of getting a no contact order? Wow... Oh and that doesn't apply to THIS case.Again, I find it interesting myself that House has restricted ANY expert medical and psychological testimony that contradicts what Arnt and Gregor are presenting. For all of his "I will let the jury decide" which testimony is credible and which is not, House seems to be going out of his way to make sure that the jury does not hear testimony that does not help the people who are running this trial: the prosecutors and the "witnesses" such as Sandra Lamb, Kelly McDonald, and Sherry Wilson.