Monday, December 6, 2010

Tonya Craft Drops Her Suit Against Joal and Sarah Henke

The Chattanoogan today reports that Tonya Craft has dropped Joal and Sarah Henke from the federal lawsuit she filed against them and others last May. That does not surprise me at all for three reasons:
  • Tonya is not a vindictive person, and as one who has had a number of conversations and personal visits with her (including one a week ago Sunday), and I definitely believe her when she says she wants to get the issues with Joal and Sarah behind her;
  •  Tonya also has a real "fairness" gene and she clearly does not want to be engaged in the tit-for-tat actions like what Joal and Sarah did during the criminal trial and the custody hearing. This is a woman who does care about her children, and she is willing to do what it takes to give them as normal an upbringing as possible;
  • Joal certainly would be valuable as an "inside" witness to the goings on not only with the defendants in the lawsuit, but also about the roles played by Chris Arnt and Tim Deal. (As far as I can tell, Len "The Man" Gregor was added only to provide comic relief to the prosecutorial proceedings with his "boobs and thongs" outbursts as well as his head-scratching final comments about fishing lures; "judge" brian outhouse was supposed to play the "straight man" role, although he spent most of his time getting instructions from Arnt and ultimately made an utter fool of himself.)
Now, given Joal's penchant for lying under oath, I always would be wanting to discount anything that he has said. However, if he and Sarah were to play a role for the plaintiff, the outcome could be most interesting.

I say that because if the attorneys for the defense (Lamb, etc.) were to claim that Joal and Sarah were lying, then they also would be tacitly admitting that their OWN clients had lied, given that all of them were in this case together. Here is the problem: if the defense were to say that Joal was making up the allegations against Tonya out of whole cloth, then what does that say about their own clients, since they were making the same accusations against Tonya as well?!? As you can see, things would get very, very sticky.

Instead, the defense would have to make the bifurcated claim that Joal and Sarah were lying about Tonya but that their clients were telling the truth. That dog won't hunt, folks. There were too many phone calls and too much contact between Joal, Sarah, and the others bringing the charges for people to claim that Joal was lying independently.

Now, having Joal on one's side can be perilous. After all, he IS a pathological liar and while he claims to have "seen the light" in the current situation, I also know that people like Joal never accept defeat. Instead, they engage in what might be called a "tactical retreat." Furthermore, I can see him on the stand claiming that Tonya really was a child molester, but that since the courts had spoken, he had to do what he had to do.

As for the "Today Show" appearance, Tonya did well, Joal clearly equivocated on Matt Lauer's question about whether or not he believed Tonya was guilty of child molestation, and Lauer never followed up on anything important. Somehow, I was not surprised.

(The news story that was in the segment was typical of the really bad coverage "Today" gave the story last spring. with the reporter still trying to give the "both sides" approach, which was ridiculous, given what we know of the case. And if I have to watch Jerry McDonald's crocodile tears performance one more time, I'm throwing a shoe through my computer screen.)

At least this chapter is done. By the way, having met both of Tonya's children, I can say without any doubt that Tonya's daughter did not show any signs of the trauma one might expect from a child who was brutally molested by her mother. As I see it, the girl was doing what the significant adults in her life were telling her to do, and she obeyed.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

What really irks me about the "both sides" business of that news piece is that it furthers an illusion that both sides are weighted equally in terms of credibility and in numbers. so by merely presenting both sides, they ahve actually taken sides, which they should not do. However, there only is a very small minority of whackos that think Tonya is guilty (the jury NOT being included). Except for the defendants in the lawsuit, there are only a few others who think Tonya is guilty. And that number is shrinking as we speak. With the dismissal of Joal and Sarah from the lawsuit, that minority just shrunk by two.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing about Joals answer to her innocent. He never answered that question, instead started talking about a history teacher....

Anonymous said...

While it is admirable that Tonya buried the hatchet with her ex for the sake of her children, I'm not sure why this had to be done on the Today show. I'll listen to her radio show on WGOW tomorrow to see if she offers an explanation, but for now I'm a little perplexed as to the reasoning--this could have been done without fanfare with the same results.

kbp said...

"... I'm not sure why this had to be done on the Today show.

Possible motives:
...taunt one or more of the remaining defendants;

...keep pressure on the defendants through media coverage

Anonymous said...

I called this weeks ago and was dismissed as a troll. Haha, haha, haha. "since the courts had spoken, he had to do what he had to do." That's exactly what has occurred, but inorder to get visitation she had no choice but drop the suit against Joel. That's why it was stipulated that the suit be dismissed with prejudice. He dodged the question of how he feels about her guilt because he is not allowed to comment per the agreement. You will find that in the near future the suit against all the other parties will be dismissed as well. Joel is no witness for the child molester. I can't wait to see what kind of slanted spin bill puts on that blog post.

"I can say without any doubt that Tonya's daughter did not show any signs of the trauma one might expect from a child who was brutally molested by her mother". Being an idiot does not qualify you to be an expert on how a molested victim should or shouldn't act.

Anonymous said...

I called this weeks ago and was dismissed as a troll....

You know, normally I don't say things like this in public...but this time, I'll make an exception.

Isn't it time you slithered back under your rock?

abraham said...

It was also strange to me seeing these two together on the Today show. If I was on the lawsuit list, this would make me really nervous.
But I have to say I know how hard it is to forgive someone close to you when they clearly have made some terrible mistakes that hurt you forever. If this forgiveness is what happened I really hope the best for all involved, even including Joal.
The sad thing now is how the other families will ever heal.
At some point these kids will mature and understand the role of their parents in this matter.
All of the ones who hurt Tonya will continue to bleed shame and disgrace for many years, no matter what happens with the lawsuit.

William L. Anderson said...

To the troll: Tonya does not have "visitation rights." She has primary custody, which is a lot different.

Second, there was not one iota of evidence given that Tonya Craft molested any children, but a lot of evidence given the other way. Furthermore, the troll is endorsing the behavior of Arnt, Gregor, and outhouse, which tells us something about this person.

If there was such overwhelming proof against Tonya, as you claim, then why didn't the jury see it? After all, American juries generally convict on such charges.

Oh, and why do you ignore the lies told by Sandra Lamb and her friends on the stand? Why did Chris Arnt have to lie in his closing arguments, something picked up by every juror?

Anonymous said...

Troll: You did not call it. The dismissal was not part of the deal. TC explained that too. But since you can't determine truth from lies, there is no reason to expect you to listen to what was actually said. What does it feel like now that someone like Joal Henke won't even take your side? You guys are starting to sound like Jon Lovitz. It's really comical, if it werent so sad that your types lead to wrongful prosecution while the real perp remains free.

Trish said...

Anon Troll, if you truly were a person of your convictions and spoke the truth, you wouldn't hide who you are!!!

Anonymous said...

I wish she would not have let the snake off the hook so easily. Hopefully the feds will get him for loan fraud. As for custody, this guy and his bush shaving wife did not have a chance in hell of gaining permanent custody.

Apparently he has the dirt on the rest of the goons.

Anonymous said...

Tonya just announced that the lawsuit would be dismissed against all others. Looks to me that the anonymous troll called it right this time. Glad she was found not guilty and has resumed visitation with both of her children, but it time for her to leave the spotlight and get on with her life...

Anonymous said...

Well--I don't think she asked to be in the spotlight in the first place and I don't think she has resumed VISITATION with both of her children--I understand she now has primary custody!

Anonymous said...

Even if Tonya dismisses the case for eveyone don't forget that God is still in controll! He will repay!!! So happy!!!

Mary Jane said...

Anon 3:31:

When and where did Tonya make such an announcement?

It makes perfect sense for her to drop her suit against the Henke pair, though....

If the Henkes are going to spend any time with the children even after Tonya got the primary custody, it won't be good for the kids to see (or even just sense) that the two sets of parents are fighting in court. (Even though in my view the Henkes still deserve to pay.)

As for others, they need to somehow repair at least some of Tonya's financial losses.

victoria said...

Troll did not call it and obviously is one of the cretins that likes to see innocent people rot in jail. I anticipate that Joal will be providing testimony against the other players that conspired against Tonya (would that be you troll?)

Anonymous said...

Rumors are floating that the next suit will also include a doctor and his wife from Chickamauga for slander. I understand a voice recorder is a wonderful tool for surveillance...

Anonymous said...

I heard Tonya Craft make a statement that she intended to dismiss all the charges in her civil lawsuit during her radio program, but charges could not be refiled against her husband. Kevin West even went out of his way to clarify with Tonya that she was, indeed, going to dismiss the other defendants. I got the impression that even he was a little suprised by all of this. Charges against the others, however, could be refiled within a 6-month timeframe. (I always get confused between the legal phrases, "with prejudice" and "without prejudice" so I avoided using either.)

I must admit that I was astounded to hear of such a thing, but Tonya and her attorneys explained that they wanted to make sure that they had the right people named in the suit, and they wanted to make sure they went about it correctly and did it right.

I hope Tonya does not abandon her mission to attempt to change the system. Maybe she just needs to regroup and reconnect with her kids. She seems to have a very forgiving nature. Don't know that I could do the same under the same circumstances.

Anonymous said...

*FORMER husband, not husband. Sorry. Charges could not be refiled against her former husband.

Anonymous said...

All lawsuits have been dropped, just announced on Channel 3. And, just where did you get the impression that she has primary custody?

Kerwyn said...

Since so many posted anon it is a bit difficult for me to separate folks..

Anon 9:01 and previous troll posts. Tonya was granted primary custody and visitation to Joal. This is not an impression, this is a fact.

For folks who cannot seem to see the forest for the trees, I shall explain how negotiation works. Lets say that Tonya's legal folks say to Joal, hey we caught you and your wife in blatant perjury (here is where we show the proof, which does exist btw). How about we do this, you give up primary custody and get visitation and in return we stop this trial and drop you from the lawsuit before we put all this into evidence. Bingo... The couple "suddenly" reach a custody agreement in a fight that has lasted years.

Is all of this too obvious for you?

Anonymous said...

That is every bit speculation and lacks truth, much like the majority of what is said here. I would like to see you prove what you say.

Anonymous said...

Kerwyn:

What you say makes perfect sense, but Tonya claims that the federal lawsuit did not even come up during her and Joal's meeting. According to her, that never came into play in her discussions with Joal. She stated that even her own family members were surprised at her decision to drop the lawsuit against Joal and Sarah.

Anonymous said...

Well, the perjury bit is 100% accurate. No speculation. So is the bank fraud. Joal admitted that so there is no need to re-prove what Joal already has proven. Whether there is a backroom deal for Joal to turn against LMJC is not known, but it certainly makes sense. Heaven forbid there be a backroom deal (wink wink).

William L. Anderson said...

I have posted some new comments on Tonya's lawsuit status.

Anonymous said...

Hey idiot 10:13:
Go back and compare the pre-trial depositions of Sarah and Joel with their trial testimony and you will see (God bless you) blatant perjury. I don't pretend to know why Tonya has dropped her suit, but I beleive it will be re-filed, so we'll see. But grow a pair and have the courage to see what's in front of you-a greasy prosecutor, crooked judge, and a handful of sick, misguided parents who have spoiled, crappy children and need an excuse other than their poor parenting to blame.

Laura said...

Its been over a year, so I take it she will not re-file against the others in the case.