Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tonya Craft and Valerie Carlton in Perspective: The Media

[Update, Wednesday, July 7, 9:25 AM]: We are on the road again this morning, but I do need to make one important point, and that was that the coverage of the local media in the Chattanooga area (minus Channel 9) was pretty darn good, especially when one compares the coverage with that of the Baltimore area on Valerie Carlton.

So, what does that tell us? Maybe the people of Chattanooga "learn more" than the supposedly more "sophisticated" people of the Baltimore-DC area. Point to ponder.
[End Update]

In 1995, economist Robert Lucas won the Nobel Prize in economics for his promotion of the theory of Rational Expectations, which is based upon a belief that people change their behavior and their expectations when events prove that original worldview incorrect. (Because "RadEx" is mathematically-based, the changes come instantaneously and not slowly over time.)

At one level, I can appreciate the theory, although I do think it has its own set of flaws. Nonetheless I have observed partial "RadEx" in the way that true professionals handle accusations of child sexual molestation. After the disasters of the 1980s and 1990s, in which "therapists" and "investigators" used highly-suspect interviewing techniques to draw lurid stories of molestation that should have been suspect on their face. After numerous innocent people were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, and after the appeals and state supreme courts overturned most of those convictions, the professionals, such as Dr. William Bernet and Dr. Nancy Aldridge, worked hard to develop consistent and truth-based standards to try to avoid the false accusations and to find if actual molestation really occurred.

However, there is one institution that, like the Bourbons of France who "learned nothing and forgot nothing," continues to jump on the accusation bandwagons: the media. In Tonya Craft's case, we saw the local media (and especially WTVC, Channel 9) continue to run right over the cliff as soon as the accusations against Ms. Craft were made public.

(WRCB, Channel 3, was a notable exception in its coverage, but that was because the news team had some good leadership that was familiar with how false accusations are made, and took a much more even-handed approach, something that angered the prosecutors, Len Gregor and Chris Arnt.)

In other words, at least until the trial, when the state's case was shown to be an empty box, most of the local media pretty much repeated what the police and prosecutors were saying. Unfortunately, what we saw in Chattanooga is the rule, not the exception.

Valerie Carlton was charged with a number of sexual abuse crimes in a case that in many ways paralleled that of Ms. Craft. (You can read the parallels in this link.) Unlike Ms. Craft, the 28 counts disappeared before she was to come to trial, and you can read more about her case from a supporter here. Of course, this was not before "Head State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly of Harford County, Maryland, gave lurid state­ments to the press a year ago describing Carlton as a dangerous neighborhood female pedophile."

Not surprisingly, the Baltimore-based television media jumped on the story and echoed the prosecutor's claims as though they were issued ex cathedra. WBAL-TV declared this:
The Harford County state's attorney's office said Carlton has lived in the Joppa community for 15 years and the office is concerned there could be more victims.

"Since the victims are from her neighborhood, there may be other victims in the neighborhood we haven't identified yet or haven't come forward. It's more of a precautionary matter," said county state's attorney Joseph Cassilly.

The parents of one of the girls spoke with 11 News just in case there were other victims out there.

"(We're) hurt, furious, revengeful, that's about all I can say," the parent said. The parent's name is being withheld to protect the victim. (Emphasis mine)
WJZ (Baltimore's CBS affiliate) was no better. Its original broadcast screamed out the same damning material:
A 40-year-old mother of a young girl has been indicted for 28 counts, including sexual child abuse, attempted child kidnapping and extortion of two girls, ages five and six. One victim is a relative. She is also charged with reckless endangerment for allegedly providing tainted breast milk to a newborn baby.

The state's attorney says this is an unusual case, since the defendant, Valerie Carlton, and the two victims are all females.

"I'm so angry. This is disgusting. This is disgusting that this woman can do that to two children," said Barbara McNamara.

"It was a shock, because it's somebody's mom, more than anything else. 'Cause normally it's a dad thing," said Carla Slunt.

Slunt and other neighbors knew about the allegations from other parents. Her daughter was not allowed to go near Carlton or her house. The investigation has been going on for at least six months.

Investigators believe all of the abuse happened in Carlton's home. The reason this investigation was launched is a neighbor called the child advocacy hotline with a complaint and a school official noticed that one of the young girls behaved strangely in the classroom.

Carlton is accused of committing the offenses from January 2008 through April 2009 at her home.

"It's difficult to say with a child, how much they remember, how much they associate but we are aware that at least one of the victims was having issues with respect to dealing with this," said Harford County State's Attorney Joe Cecilly.

Prosecutors believe there could be other victims. (Emphasis mine)
Notice that not one time do the reporters use the proper term "alleged victims," as though it was a foregone conclusion that Ms. Carlton was guilty of all charges (and maybe even more). More telling is the fact that a search of the websites of those TV station sites does not have a single mention of the charges being dismissed.

In other words, the media was quite happy to declare Ms. Carlton to be guilty, but did not have even the decency to report on the aftermath. (Then the mainstream media [MSM] people wonder why the rest of us hold them in such contempt.)

I don't have any good answers as to why this is the case, except to say that the MSM is a product of the Progressive Era, and the modern MSM is populated with people who fit that category. In that view, government officials (as long as they are from the "correct" political party, or have "Progressive" attitudes) can do no wrong. All too often, MSM "news" is little more than a government press release, and the Carlton case demonstrates that very sad fact.

For all of the "watchdog of government" we hear from journalists and the J-school crowd, the MSM is a partner of government, and some of the worst victims of this unholy alliance are those who are falsely accused of crimes. Yes, there are heroic exceptions, such as we saw from much of the Chattanooga-area media during the Craft trial, when reporters refused to be stenographers for the prosecution (with the exception of Channel 9), but the general rule is that the media will run over the cliff when false accusations come about, and especially false accusations about child molestation.

As one who followed the MSM during the infamous Duke Lacrosse case, it really has hit me that unlike the real professionals who interview children, most journalists (like the "interviewers" of the Children's Advocacy Centers around the country) simply learned nothing from what happened two decades ago. Thus, they are ready to jump on the most lurid and unbelievable stories and ask no hard questions of the authorities. (It seems that no one in the Baltimore-area media is willing to question the prosecution tactics and how these false charges came about in the first place. And then people wonder why we have so much prosecutorial and police misconduct.)

Of course, as we have seen with the media in the Carlton case, few journalists even have the decency to follow up when the facts don't fit the original allegations. I guess we can be thankful for what we saw in Chattanooga, but that was the exception to the rule, and a sad exception it is.

So, a woman is falsely accused and spends more than a year in jail, is subject to beatings and other humiliations in large part because the media didn't care about the truth.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

makes one wonder if the charges against Valerie were dropped only after Tonya's not guilty verdict. DA probably got scared of moving forward with the charges considering a $25mil lawsuit was filed shortly after.

kbp said...

"So, a woman is falsely accused and spends more than a year in jail, is subject to beatings and other humiliations in large part because the media didn't care about the truth."


That certainly stirs my curiosity on just where Carlton's frame of mind was when the events that led to the alleged charges she now faces came about.

She was in a situation that left her alone, facing a battle with the entire world. It would not be difficult to instigate a physical reaction from most people if they were in the her shoes.

Trish said...

Wow, her case was very much like Tonya's. I too wonder did they suddenly drop the charges after seeing what happened in Tonya's case with the national coverage??

Anonymous said...

Valerie Carlton pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of contacting her daughter's teacher. Apparently that was against the temporary protection order. She still has an assault charge against a jailer pending.

I would love to be her attorney. I would use the battered wife syndrome defense. I could quite plausibly point out that for the past year she has been abused emotionally, physically and psychological by the people sworn to protect her. Where to start? Let's start with her 4 day old baby taken from her while she was nursing and less then two months later is dead; all on the word of a disgruntled neighbor and the father of her unborn baby who wanted custody.

Let's look at some of the charges that seemed to only have arisen to increase her humiliation and public condemnation. Extortion? Asking the father of the unborn baby is not extortion in my book. Attempted kidnapping? pffft. Nothing like custodial interference let's use hot button charges. Doesn't the county know that the charges are suppose to originate from the county where the child resides not where the mother resides? Why didn't the county do the bare minimum of investigation where they could have learned that Ms. Carlton had a court order visitation that should have been complied with? Child endangerment? While her child was in foster care she tried to bring her son some expressed milk and some mental giant decided on his own that it was tainted and threw it out. The police made a big deal out of Ms. Carlton admitting to using Tylenol with Codeine. If they had done the bare amount of investigation before bringing public charges to humiliate Ms. Carlton they would have learned that medical doctors commonly prescribe that to mothers who have just given birth with the knowledge and expectation that they will breast feed.

Now to readdress her baby's death. Most people in her situation would have had a grief counselor or a person of her faith to break the tragic news. Instead, someone from the prosecutor office broke the news to her as cruely as possible and when Ms. Carlton asked for a rabbi to speak Shiva with she was rewarded by being gang tackled by a number of guards and being tied to a restraining chair.

I can see why she feared for her life when a jailer tried to grab her arm and drag her to her cell for talking to loudly.

Sorry for being longwinded but I'm a bit outrage.

Next up when I can think clearly. Questions I would like to ask her jailer on the stand and the credibility of her fellow inmates who want to testify against her.

Alinusara10

Lame said...

Heands need to roll and pee-pees snipped over this case.

Also, about the mainstream media, I was watching America, the Story of US, on the Hitler Channel last night, and they were going on and on about Nixon and how the "Free Press" is needed, and how it won the day, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, Nixon was a jack-ass for involving himself in the coverup, but you know how once blood is in the water that sharks will frenzy? Well, ever since Watergate, it has not been a case where investigative journalists will seek out stories. Rather, they wait around hoping for someone to drop some blood in the water for them. They're a bunch of lions sitting around who've forgotten how to hunt, but when someone throws in a piece of meat, it's a madhouse in the lion's den. Our "free press" is failing us quite miserably these days.

Clark said...

"It's difficult to say with a child, how much they remember" My daughter was molested at 2.5 years of age. She is 20 now and remembers completely every detail of what happened to her! (this has not been discussed in our home). Even after all this time, she wonders why the state let him walk! all thanks to the CAC!

Anonymous said...

Extortion? Asking the father of the unborn baby is not extortion in my book.
--------------------------------
I made an error. That should have read "asking the father of the unborn baby for financial support.."

Alinusara10

Anonymous said...

I dunno Clark. Your daughter may be the exception not the rule. My earliest memory would be about 4 year old and that was a pretty traumatic car accident in which my mother was thrown from the car. I remember talking to my mother yet people today tell me she was unconscious at the time.

Alinusara10

JD said...

Does anyone know how the baby died in foster care? Also, was the father of the baby the same as the father of her child that was allegedly molested?

Anonymous said...

The baby died from accidental positional asphyxiation. The babysitter at Ms. Carlton sister in law house fell asleep on the bed with the baby and the baby rolled into the crack between the headboard and bed.

The father of her newborn was a different man then her exhusband.

Lame said...

Well, for that kind of death, the babysitter should be charged with criminally negligent homicide and the people who put her in that position should be made to walk the plank, figuratively...I don't know, maybe literally, considering their wilful and continued abuse of the system to destroy this woman's life and kill an innocent baby girl.

dmk said...

To blame "progressives" or 'librul reporters or any other group you don't happen to agree with politically is an extremely weak argument at best, and in this case totally off the mark in my opinion. So the "liberal" local media was all on board with the LMJC version of events because of their fellow travelers running the left-wing Catoosa Co / Georgia government? Ummm, anybody been paying attention to who has been winning all of the elections here over the last decade??

Political blinders aside, the simple fact of who is to blame is all of us. The media today is a business primarily there to make money, and if something good for our democracy happens to occur somewhere along the way, then it's just an unexpected bonus. Our media simply reflects the society around it. Decency has nothing to do with whether a reporter follows up to see if charges were eventually dropped, dollars do. Decency doesn't draw viewers and the advertising dollars that follow their eyes, sensationalism does. There is a good example right here - look at the daily post count on this blog now versus the last few weeks of the trial. Now that the drama is over, most people have moved on, nothing to see here any more.

Along with other things, I'm a freelance writer with my byline on nearly 200 paid magazine articles as well as two nonfiction books, so I feel somewhat qualified to speak about this. Niceties about artistic ability with words and the noble calling of journalism aside, the truth is it's a business, and for the writer/reported down at the bottom of the totem pole, it's all about being on-time and on-topic. The editor determines what the people want to hear, and if you want to be successful and continue to find the occasional check in your mailbox, then you deliver. There are many ways to cover and issue or slant a story to get the best response from the public without even coming close to crossing over into lying and total fabrication. Who's truly to fault there, the editor or the people who demand what he/she is giving them? The days and weeks after her arrest, what do you think was the percentage of people who wanted to hear more about how Tonya Craft was only accused, not proven guilty, of these crimes for now, rather than the sensational, lurid details of that accusation?

One cannot compare blogging and writing/reporting for the mainstream. It's all well and good to only write what you personally see as what should be written, but when that is how you put a roof over your head and food in your kid's mouths, then it's a different story. Don't we all to some degree go along to get along with decisions made at our workplaces? Why then do we expect the media to behave any differently? If this blog had to support itself as a stand-alone viable, profitable business through advertising, I very much doubt it could do so no matter how talented a writer/researcher Mr. Anderson is. Fortunately for us, that is the beauty of the digital age though, it doesn't have to. But, we should expect some growing pains as we move from the old media model into the new, which is yet to totally be determined.

Sorry for the long-winded response to basically say I disagree, but it does gall me when we stretch all around to look for answers everywhere so we can avoid seeing ourselves in the mirror.

Lame said...

Clark is right that some people can remember incidents from as young as 2 years. I remember the first space shuttle launch, and I was barely 2 years at the time. I can remember bits and pieces of other things from that time period, like moving from Ft Lauderdale to Ocala in late 1981 (I was born in 1978). My earliest memory is from, believe it or not, 1980, when I was not even 2 yet. I remember being at the Turner family reunion in Moultrie, Georgia. I was sitting on the floor, and I remember seeing everyone's feet and not being able to see anything else, because I was so little.

Lame said...

DMK, I agree with you fundimentally, that the media's business is to make money.

The thing to keep in mind, to tell the complete truth, is that there is no REAL politcal left or right. Both are constructs, the purpose of which is to effect change in the system whereby the ruling elite can gain and maintain power.

When it suits them, there is absolute freedom of the press & speech. When it doesn't suit them, there are strict controls. Look at how during WWI the government went so far as to put an old woman in jail for speaking Sweedish over the telephone--Sweedish, a Germanic language was considered subversive, never mind the fact Sweeden was neutral.

And, don't get me started on the establishment using the free press to persuade the public to go to war with Spain and then stifled all anti-imperialist publications.

Anonymous said...

Is this really 2010 or are we back in the 1700's.Something is really wrong,in the worst way..

KC Sprayberry said...

That, anon 7:46, is the crux of the problem. And it's not isolated to the 1700's or now. Throughout our history, if you look closely enough, there were witch hunts. Women all over the world from the beginning of time until now face humiliation and arrest, some death for stepping outside the bounds of what passes for marriage; a mother in Iraq was recently sentenced to death by stoning after being buried up to her chin. What about the Japanese rounded up during WWII? Most had never visited their motherland yet they were tainted with the same brush, especially if they lived on the West Coast or in Hawaii. Germans on the East Coast fought discrimination during the same time period but were never relocated. How about all those people whose lives were destroyed during the McCarthy trials of the late 1940's, the Red Scare. How about looking at a person and deciding how they act or react by their appearance? All those things and more add up to witch hunts. The eighties and early nineties had these same child molestation trials we're seeing now. But no one learns history in depth anymore, unless they actually read on their own. So, we're probably doomed to repeat these same mistakes over and over as people forget the horror of the false accusations and people sentenced to prison for hundreds of years, until the next time. It's up to the few still angry to do something now, to make the memory more than a 2 second sound bite.

kbp said...

"Political blinders aside, the simple fact of who is to blame is all of us. The media today is a business primarily there to make money"

Many now in search of government funding. Aside from Fox and a few small, independent news prints, the MSM is liberal and losing money writing/reporting what they choose.

JD said...

I just went back to watch Tonya and Dr. Lorandos on the view. Dr. Lorandos mentioned that we have learned more about interviewing from the McMartin case, but the problem is changing how we interview and investigate the cases. We know asking leading questions leads to false allegations and we know repetitive questions also leads to false accusations, but you have to have someone who cares about the truth, not about winning a conviction. Also, the sad part is that people who do get convictions at all cost are the ones that get the promotions, etc.

Lame said...

KC, sorry, but the popular history you've been fed is wrong.

"What about the Japanese rounded up during WWII? Most had never visited their motherland yet they were tainted with the same brush, especially if they lived on the West Coast or in Hawaii. Germans on the East Coast fought discrimination during the same time period but were never relocated."

Actually, it was ONLY Japanese on the west coast and Hawaii who were relocated, and not ALL Japanese Americans. Those in the midwest and east coast were all left alone by the government, although they did receive some harassment from local civilians. I watched a program on C-Span 3 the other day about one of the Japanese Americans who served in the US Army during the war, and his family all lived in New York City, and he testified that not only did his family not get touched by the government, because he had a contract to supply food for the army he actually made money!

Also, you had better believe that there were German and Italian Americans who were rounded up; tens of thousends of them. The Japanese Americans who were put into camps, which while not heavenly, were nothing like a German concentration camp. The Germans and Italians weren't put into camps, they were put into actual prisons, some held even on Ellis Island. Also, unlike the Japanese, at the end of the war they weren't released. Some were held in prison until the mid-1950s! And, again, unlike the Japanese, most German and Italian internees were deported back to Europe. Also, something should be said about German Prisoners of War held by the Allies. All of them were required to go through indoctrination programs called "denazification." For most of them this was used as an excuse by Britain and France to continue to hold them in camps for years and use them as slave laborers. More German soldiers died from forced labor in Britain and France after the end of the war than British and American POW's died in German captivity during the war itself.

But, if you really wanna learn about some screwed up situations, look at how African American soldiers were treated in the South. I have 1st person accounts, letters, oral interview statements, that demonstrate that German POWs held in the South were treated better than Black people were. German POWs who were on work release could go into any restaurant and eat in the front while uniformed African American soldiers had to go eat in the back, if they were even served at all! It's no wonder so many former German soldiers came to live in the South after the war, having seen how much better they were treated than we treated our own soldiers.

Lame said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that there has also come out a couple of books, and even a history channel program (yeah, something on history channel that isn't about chopping wood or driving trucks over ice!) that shows that during WWII the FBI made a truce with the mafia to root out Italian and German spies and saboteurs.

The interesting thing is that anti-Japanese sentiment ended a long while ago. Japanese things are super popular these days with Anime and Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (one of the best shows EVER). Still, anti-German sentiment persisted. My mom tells me of how when she was in school in the 60s people would call her "Kraut," even though she's only 1/8 German. I remember in high school several people calling me a nazi because I took German--and it wasn't in jest, they seriously thought only a nazi would want to learn German.

KC Sprayberry said...

Lame, the coast you lived on would strengthen your perspective. I grew up in SoCal and my HS counselor was a child raised in one of those camps, actually Santa Anita racetrack - not five miles from my home. The Japanese were still viewed with suspicion through the 70's, even when Japanese cars were beginning to fill the streets. I'm also part German from my dad's side but we never heard depreciations from people about our heritage and the German language classes I took through high school while difficult never elicited comments from other students. As for how Southern black were treated, we never heard about that in history classes, or it was glossed over. Then again, after all these years, the only history class I still remember clearly was World History in my HS sophomore year. Why? Well, you'd have to meet the 4'10" dynamo who taught it. She lectured on one thing while writing on the blackboard about another aspect of the subject with one hand and whipping slides on and off the overhead projector with the other hand. Weighing all of 85 pounds sopping wet, she had even the football team cowed while they took her class - a requirement for graduation. One of the toughest teachers I ever had but she made us love history, not because she scared us into it but because she visited the places she lectured about during her summer vacations and made history come alive. She crammed more knowledge into our 16YO heads than any other teacher I know of.
But my point was made. Witch hunts don't exist in just false child molestation accusations and trials. It's rife throughout our history. So, how will we get our elected officials to change the ease with which prosecutors and their lackeys in places such as CAC and Greenhouse get their money? A letter writing/email campaign is good but you have to remember one thing. You're attacking a socially correct program that has money attached to it, money given to local prosecutors to keep those nasty child molesters off the streets. Any attempt to change that will meet with strong resistance.

KC Sprayberry said...

Part I
Lame, the coast you lived on would strengthen your perspective. I grew up in SoCal and my HS counselor was a child raised in one of those camps, actually Santa Anita racetrack - not five miles from my home. The Japanese were still viewed with suspicion through the 70's, even when Japanese cars were beginning to fill the streets. I'm also part German from my dad's side but we never heard depreciations from people about our heritage and the German language classes I took through high school while difficult never elicited comments from other students. As for how Southern black were treated, we never heard about that in history classes, or it was glossed over. Then again, after all these years, the only history class I still remember clearly was World History in my HS sophomore year. Why? Well, you'd have to meet the 4'10" dynamo who taught it. She lectured on one thing while writing on the blackboard about another aspect of the subject with one hand and whipping slides on and off the overhead projector with the other hand. Weighing all of 85 pounds sopping wet, she had even the football team cowed while they took her class - a requirement for graduation. One of the toughest teachers I ever had but she made us love history, not because she scared us into it but because she visited the places she lectured about during her summer vacations and made history come alive. She crammed more knowledge into our 16YO heads than any other teacher I know of.

KC Sprayberry said...

Part II - long winded today.

But my point was made. Witch hunts don't exist in just false child molestation accusations and trials. It's rife throughout our history. So, how will we get our elected officials to change the ease with which prosecutors and their lackeys in places such as CAC and Greenhouse get their money? A letter writing/email campaign is good but you have to remember one thing. You're attacking a socially correct program that has money attached to it, money given to local prosecutors to keep those nasty child molesters off the streets. Any attempt to change that will meet with strong resistance.

Anonymous said...

Actually the fact that a woman spent 13 months behind bars and while doing so lost her newborn son is a huge story. The reason the local media is not covering it is because they are financially on the hook for libel. There was no legal niceties like "suspected victims" or "alleged victims.

The prosecution team went on her pretty hard. Two examples being charges that made no sense like attempted kidnapping when she had a valid court order granting her visitation and a 12 million dollar bail despite living in the same house for 15 year and turning herself into custody within an hour of the arrest warrant being signed.

One can only guess that the reason they went after Ms. Carlton so hard is because they had no evidence other then the confused ramblings of a 5 year old child. I know in a rational world no evidence means no crime but in a witch hunt infested world no evidence means you are not looking hard enough. I can only guess that they heightened public condemnation because they was desperate for parents to question their children and have a least one child corroborate their suspicions.

Alinusara10

dmk said...

I love history too, and there is so much to learn from it. Sadly though, we always seem to be repeating it, which I think results more from the lesser aspects of human nature that remain consistent throughout the ages more than it does anything else.

The witch hunt analogy is appropriate for what happened to Tonya. There have been many witch hunts throughout history, and behind nearly all of them you will find shadowy (or not so shadowy in some cases) figures or groups who play upon and inflame people's fears in a usually successful (short-term anyway) attempt to protect or expand their position. As usual, it's all about money and power, which are really the same thing. When the natives start getting restless or are fearful, you've got to give them someone other than yourself to blame or to take out their frustration on. In these abuse witch hunts, we now know thanks to Mr. Anderson it's also about more Federal dollars in addition to getting your name in the paper to help you continue to hold your position or even move up the ladder.

to kbp - I agree that the major media outlets all fall out somewhere differently on the right to left scale. What the post was talking about though was local coverage of the Craft trial in the Chattanooga market, not nationally. National network MSM news has been on a steady decline, although the rate has flattened out the last few years. I don't agree that is all a result of content, but rather it now has competition from many sources including cable and the internet and an audience that now wants everything "on-demand" instead of having to wait until a given time slot. The latest numbers I have seen show that the evening network news broadcasts as a whole still have in the magnitude of five times the viewers of all the cable news stations during prime time. Network news isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Regarding cable news, using Fox as an example since they have the most viewers, they aren't immune either. Do some research on Fox's viewer demographics. The dominant demographic is male in his mid 60s. To use a crude industry term, continuing to hang your hat on that demographic is becoming more and more problematic since it is "stroking out" (dies at a higher rate). A close second is that demographic isn't as desirable to advertisers since they don't spend as much money as younger groups do. If the replacements for the existing demographic want to see something else, then even Fox will change it's slant. To not do so would mean less money, so it's guaranteed.

Robert L said...

First, where is the citation/web site/news story, etc. that proves the charges against Valerie Carlton have been dropped? What this woman has been through has been horrific, but I want proof before I start proclaiming it to others. Second, I disagree with the moniker of a "liberal media" I'm of the opinion that they are "progressives" in the vein of that movement in the early 20th century. They are for the "new" supposedly "enlightened" ideals and against the "old" and as such are for anyone in government that purports to be new and different. For the majority of the modern era they have found their ally in the Democratic party. These are just some political thoughts that have no bearing on either Tonya's case or that of Valerie Carlton; other than I beleive the Maryland media outlets are on the hood for libel and as such are pretty mum on any further developments in her case. It will take a national medial outlet to promote her cause from here on out.

Robert L said...

Um, that would be "on the hook" sorry for my dyslexic fingers.

Cyril said...

Just heard on WGOW that the motions to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Tonya have been denied by the Federal Court in Rome. WGOW reports that the reasoning behind the motions to dismiss was that the defendants believe it would be costly to defend themselves. Oh, the irony!

Anonymous said...

Cyril, the judge actually didn't rule on most of the motions to dismiss, so it looks like the defendants will get another bite at that apple. He did deny Deal and Thorne's motions arguing that they weren't properly served b/c they were waaaay too premature (you get 120 days from filing of the suit to serve them). It doesn't look like the cost argument was of much concern to the judge, although he did stay discovery while these motions are being made. Either way, this is going to be a deposition heavy discovery, since the thrust is to get at the shitty, contradictory stories of these vile bastards. Depos are expensive, but not as expensive as going through millions of documents, which is inapplicable here, so I don't really expect discovery to be THAT expensive.

The defendants did move for motions for more definite statements, however, which the judge essentially granted by ordering Craft to file an amended complaint within 14 days. After that, the judge will rule on the motions to dismiss at some point. Either way, this is a good thing, as Craft's attorneys now know where they were weak in certain areas and will have a chance to beef up the complaint.

This should keep getting more interesting.

Also, I want to add my two cents about Bill's post. Dmk is absolutely right, this is all about money. We essentially get the media we deserve, since they're only following what's popular. The left/right MSM argument is just a red herring useful to both sides in order to keep us from looking at the real issues. Just look at the failure of the media in the run up to the Iraq war. However, if there's one thing that's helped restore my confidence in the "media" it's this blog-- beholden to no one and able to cut through the bullshit. If this is the direction of reporting we're heading in, as opposed to bloated, useless media outlets, then I'm in favor.

JD said...

The problem we have with media is when they carry only 1/2 the story. Who is at fault for not covering the dropping of 28 felony counts I can't say. It could be her lawyer not contacting the media about it, having a press conference, etc or they were contacted and the media outlets weren't interested. If it's the latter then shame on the media for not telling the whole story. Also, I hate to say the problem can be what kind of news day it is. If it's a big day for news then something like this doesn't get covered, but on a slow day, we get all kinds of stories that people don't normally hear.

suetiggers said...

Few know/care that these laws are not protecting children one whit more. But they have hurt many men who aren't dangerous.The hysteria feeds false accusations. My son Ken's story is one.But I've learned there are too many more.I've worked years in Child Protective Services on child sexual abuse cases&theres another side to these stories. Because of a few heinous sex abuse cases by strangers, the laws now have MOSTLY men who are on the registries who aren't dangerous, &especially not to children. Few people believe a child would lie about sex. But, I saw cases of belligerent teens who lied to get back at a father or stepfather. And,an eight-year old girl lied about my mentally ill son. When she lied, this was suggested to her&encouraged by two adult women who did not like my son's looks or personality. Because of his illness, he was too friendly, too trusting w/people, he did not take care of his teeth& he had very bad acne. When this child lied, everyone listened. Now she has grown up,recanted, but few listen. She ended up giving a very strong deposition. This had much in it about how her grandmother & a nosy neighborhood watchperson gave her the idea because they didn't like my son's looks (he had very bad acne and teeth .Ken was/is phobic about dentists&had severe acne Marian grew up in a family/neighborhood filled w/prostitution and drugs. She had 3 criminal uncles living with her. Her older sister, who my naive son was in love with, was a prostitute and drug addict. This girls' mother was a prostitute/ drug addict.(now both dead of o'd's) Lying was a way of life in this girls' family/neighborhood.People bragged about putting people away by lying.In her deposition, Marian talked about trying to think about ways to get my son away from her sister; she was so jealous that he took this sister, who she was very close to, away from her.She said, her grandmother &the other woman gave her the idea.She said if anyone ever asked her to take a lie detector test, she would;vetold the truth.She was scared of going to court. Ken’s lawyer,knew my son's looks would hurt him made him believe that an Alford plea was his only option. The states' attorney said my son looked "wierd"too &he was so aggressive in going after my son that Ken’s first atty.said that she thought he “hates your son”. So, an attractive but lying child looked innocent &an unattractive but innocent man took a plea because it seemed there was no choice. Everyone listened when the girl lied.Few care now that she is finally telling the truth. My son has always been a gentle, good person who was taken advantage of by others because of his naiveté’ about people. http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=1492212 help us change the laws: http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org/

Lame said...

"Maybe the people of Chattanooga "learn more" than the supposedly more "sophisticated" people of the Baltimore-DC area."

Actually, I think that it's a case of being regularly underestimated by the rest of the country. Yankees tend to think all Southerners are redneck hicks from the hills who all like to drink beer, watch NASCAR, join the klan, beat their wives, hate gays, don't know what a Jew is, and eat road kill.

Much to the contrary, the average Southerner, Black or White, is better educated than the average Northerner, Black or White. I find it interesting that every time you see something on the news these days about white supremecist groups, they're all from northern states. The south has many thriving gay communities in Orlando, Houston, and I'd venture to say that not one of us doesn't have at least one or two gay friends; and need I mention that the "God hates f-gs" group is based in Kansas, a northern state? There highest proportion of NASCAR fans to state population is actually New Hampshire. Utah has, by far, the highest percentage of domestic violence cases, as well as child physical abuse, as well as child sexual abuse, as well as teenage pregnancy, as well as underage drinking. And, the South had as many Jews as Catholics until the recent wave of Latin American immigration.

Really, the one stereotype about Southerners that is really true is that most are Christians. But, few are fundimentalist. And, for fundimentalism, need I remind anyone what took place in New England during the late 1600s?

People in the North are often just so smug about how much better they are than the South, and most of the media (not necessarilly news and journalism, but entertainment) just loves to perpetuate negative stereotypes about the South.

Anonymous said...

Lame I live in the south & yes I love Nascar.But my husband & I are educated people,my husband went to medical school & has a very nice degree.I had a family member years ago who was gay.I know the pain,I learned many years ago to never judge anyone.We all make mistakes & anyone who says other wise is just lying.

Anonymous said...

People like Sandra & the Wilsons make the south look bad.They are so affraid Tonya just might take their big houses away & Sandra might loose her Lexus suv & Sherri her Lincoln suv.Go get them Tonya,they are the real white trash.

kbp said...

The part of the Order that tells the most to a reader;

Starts @ end of Page 27
"First, although Plaintiff's Complaint names fifteen Defendants, the Complaint contains very few allegations that describe what each Defendant allegedly did. Second, each count of the Complaint incorporates by reference all of the preceding allegations, thus necessarily including facts that are not relevant to certain claims. Third, Plaintiff's Complaint, for the most part, simply asserts claims against Defendants collectively and fails to identify which claims are asserted against which Defendants and which allegations support each claim for relief. Fourth, Plaintiff has, for the most part, failed to set forth specific facts supporting her conspiracy claim--instead, she simply alleges that Defendants conspired to violate her constitutional rights. Fifth, Plaintiff's defamation claim fails to identify when the allegedly defamatory statements were made, who allegedly made the statements, or to whom the statements were made or published. Sixth, Plaintiff's negligence and gross negligence claims fail to allege adequately which Defendants owed duties to Plaintiff, what those duties were, and how those Defendants allegedly breached those duties.

For the above reasons, the Court directs Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint that provides a more definite statement of her claims, and to do so within fourteen days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint must include simple, concise, and direct factual allegations, separately set forth in sequentially-numbered paragraphs. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint also must specifically set forth the facts and circumstances that support each claim as to each Defendant, and should not include legal arguments, conclusory statements, and repetitive allegations. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint also must specify which factual allegations relate to which of her claims, and which claims relate to each Defendant."

Anonymous said...

I hope Craft's lawyers file a 200 page amended complaint. The defendants thought discovery would be expensive. Just paying the legal bill to file an answer to that type of complaint will be very costly. Lawyers for the defendants, if you are reading this, you have already said it. The defendants have limited resources. Get your money up front because you wont get it later.

Anonymous said...

I bet Miriam is so glad she was not named.Last week in the local paper it said the Boyd's took out a 1.2 million dollar loan to build a new house.I wander if her friends are still behind her.They probley have turned on her.Her family is doing great,but Sandra & the Wilsons & Kellie Mcdonald not so good.

Anonymous said...

Where is everyone tonight?

Anonymous said...

Anyone keeping up with the Mineola Swingers club trials? 3 convictions, 2 reversed for a retrial and now the 4th trial is currently in session.

An alleged victim testified Tuesday that God told her the sexual acts she previously said happened didn't really occur. After further questioning, the 11-year-old girl said she was given "silly pills" and danced for boys wearing a "sexy outfit."

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D9GQD0M01.html





duane

kbp said...

The Mineola case were a clear abuse of authority by a corrupt prosecutor.

The alleged victims probably now experience a terrible time sorting out what is real and what is not.

Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God's blessings too you. Lloyd

Anonymous said...

Well Lloyd it would be helpful if we knew what blog you had.

Alinusara10

volfan69 said...

Alinusara10, click on his name and it takes you to his blog. Hope that helps. Bobb

William L. Anderson said...

It will be back to work today. There is much more to report, and I will have a new post tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson,

What is the significance of Tonya's lawsuit being sent back to amend? Is this fairly standard procedure or does it look like in the end it may get tossed out anyway?

William L. Anderson said...

Regarding Tonya's lawsuit, I was not surprised at all at the judge's ruling. First, and most important, the original suit was filed in a hurry in order to deal with the statutes of limitation, and as I read it, I thought it lacked a lot of specifics.

Second, I figure that Tonya's attorneys had expected this and have been working on this angle for some time. The original complaint was general in scope, and so the attorneys will have to make sure that there are dates and events that can be backed up with facts.

No, I am not at all concerned about this, and actually was impressed by how the judge addressed things. He definitely is a few steps above Brian Outhouse.

Trish said...

One of Tonya's lawyers was on talk radio with her yesterday and that is exactly what he said. That they had to file it in a hurry in order to beat the statue of limitations and they knew it would need to be cleaned up!!

Anonymous said...

She didn't do it. I'm sure of that. She doesn't like kids very much, so it's ridiculous that she would have molested kids. That being said, the charges were likely dropped because she didn't do it. However, I can see that she pissed people off. She has a way of doing that.

-someone who's met Valerie in person.

Anonymous said...

I have no respect for this Valerie Carlton women I personally know her and I know that this molestation DID happen. Those poor kids. However for everyone to know the truth about the case the extortion charge wasnt for the baby that died it was for her daughter that she molested she tried to kidnap her and take her to germany so that she couldnt be found Valerie even went as far as asking her neighbor to get passports for the neighbor and her daughter and let her (valerie)steal them so that she could get the child out of the country. Ok and if Valerie is so innocent why was it that when she was let out of jail and had rights to go see her daughter she DID NOT make any kind of contact with her and then ran from her other charge of assault on a correctional officer. This website is so ridiculous VALERIE is NOT the VICTIM, THE INNOCENT CHILDREN ARE!!!

Anonymous said...

"Readers may be tempted to dismiss as incredible the litany of horrors to which Valerie was subjected in prison. But they are attested to in affidavits from witnesses, and found to be credible by experts with long experience in the penal and justice systems." -- J.E. Dyer

- Valerie Carlton was wrongfully imprisoned & thrown in jail
- While in jail she was beaten, abused & denied her legal rights
-The abuser was awarded custody her daughter, whom he abused
-Valerie went to prison while pregnant and later gave birth to a son
-That baby boy was murdered in foster care, and the crime has gone unpunished..while the state sought to blame Valerie for his death
-Valerie needs our help, bogus criminal charges are still be waged against her

Please visit her page at: http://valeriecarlton.com

And Hope and Thanksgiving for a Mother in Jail
In a season of thanksgiving, a Maryland mother needs our prayers for God's perfect justice.

By J. E. Dyer, November 21, 2011: http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Hope-and-Thanksgiving-for-a-Mother-in-Jail-JE-Dyer-11-21-2011.html

JG said...

Where is the father of the baby ?
where did she meet him. in prison ? was the foster family from her side or the father's ?
WHO CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTIONS ?