Friday, April 23, 2010

Joal Henke's "Recovered Memories," Part II

If Chris "Facebook" Arnt and Len "The Man" Gregor want to make money on the side, they could run a program for people who have been stricken with faulty memories, as their prosecution against Tonya Craft has been great for people with a propensity to forget.

So far, we have seen one witness after another suddenly recall events that they had not reported to investigators and certainly had not been given to the defense team. From Suzi Thorne to Tim "Dirty" Deal, Arnt and Gregor have been running a clinic in "recovered memories," not just for the child witnesses, but for the adults, too.

(Where were these guys when I was taking my doctoral exams? I could have used their expertise in "recovering" memories of studying and solving multi-variable calculus problems, but, no, it apparently was not to be. I had to slog through that stuff on my own without a whit of help from "Facebook" and "The Man.")

But, I must admit that the greatest feat I ever have seen in prosecution -- and I have seen Great Ones like Mike Nifong in action -- when the sheer brilliance of "Facebook" and "The Man" helped Joal Henke "recover" some long-held but, apparently, long-suppressed memories. Furthermore, these brilliant prosecutors actually anticipated this great moment of memory recovery and just happened to have the requisite case law available to aid Judge Brian House in his great time of need.

Yes, while on the stand today (amazing how that magic witness chair seems to work in the Catoosa County Courthouse), Henke SUDDENLY REMEMBERED that Tonya Craft had engaged in a LESBIAN relationship with a woman named "Jen." Now, having some knowledge of this case, I just happen to know that "Jen" might be the same "Jen" that prosecutors providentially kept out of the spectators' gallery in the courtroom because she had been on a previous witness list (but not on the final one). Well, it now looks as though she is going to testify, which should be most interesting, since I suspect she will demonstrate more veracity to the jury than Joal "Recovered Memories" Henke.

(While I admit to being amazed at this feat of memory by the Renown Joal Henke, my sense is that this latest bout of "recovered memories" was such that not even Ms. Craft or "Jen" even had remembered such an event.)

What truly was amazing was that just as Henke was recalling this long-suppressed memory that must have shocked everyone in the courtroom, "Facebook" and "The Man" just happened to have case law available that claimed that such "bad acts" as Ms. Craft and "Jen" were alleged to have committed ARE ADMISSIBLE EVEN IF SPRUNG BY SURPRISE. As the Chattanoogan told readers:
The judge in the Tonya Craft trial in Ringgold on Friday ruled that the prosecution could admit evidence of "prior bad acts" of a sexual nature by the former kindergarten teacher.

Prior to any testimony beginning in Friday morning’s session, the prosecution made it known that they would seek to call the evidence before the jury. Ms. Craft’s defense team had filed a motion the first day of the trial to omit this particular line of questioning.

Scott King, an Atlanta-based attorney for Ms. Craft, argued that the state was only attempting to bring this information in an effort to prejudice the jury against his client. Both sides argued from several points in Georgia case law. In the end, Judge Brian House announced he would admit the testimony based on a 1988 Supreme Court ruling.

The judge said his research of the matter showed that this case and others found a link between adult sexual behavior and child sexual abuse.
Of course, I find it a bit curious that House, "Facebook," and "The Man" were so well-prepared for this moment, but, I suppose, that is what the magic of "recovered memories" can do for a prosecution team. Furthermore, given his behavior throughout this trial (and I have not told about some of the things House has done that surely will be made public if there is a post-conviction appeal), I would squarely place House at the center of The Team.

So, I am sure that Henke's testimony was absolutely the truth. After all, he swore to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God," although I have a feeling that the truth might have been taking a vacation while Henke's bottom fed the witness chair.

As one who has dealt with a large number of cases of false charges and wrongful convictions, all involving "recovered memories," I do find myself a bit skeptical that Henke suddenly "remembered" something as outrageous as a former wife engaging in lesbian relationships with someone, which probably would be a bit shocking to anyone who knows Ms. Craft.

Unfortunately, Henke's sterling ability to remember those things he allegedly had forgotten about Ms. Craft did not extend to those things that involved his own behavior. For example, he told the jury that his contact with the mothers of the other child "accusers" were minimal, something not exactly backed up by his own phone records, as the Chattanoogan article points out.

Then there is the matter of his own sexual prowess, as was demonstrated in the cross-examination by defense attorney Scott King:
During the defense’s cross-examination, Mr. King went back to the witness's divorce, “You have indicated that your divorce was uncontested. Wasn’t it indeed contested throughout the entire process?” “I did not want a divorce,” was the reply. “Didn’t you continue to fight for custody until the very end?” “No.” “But didn’t (name withheld) come into court with a stack of video tapes of you and women you had slept with?” “That was not the case.”
Indeed, most likely the jurors might have been interested in the allegations of the rather raucous sex life that supposedly makes Henke a legend, at least in his own mind. It is interesting, however, that while Henke could suddenly recall a phantom event involving his ex-wife, the guy has Alzheimer's when it comes to things about him.

So, the Memory Recovery Program being run by "Facebook" and "The Man" still has some glitches. I guess they need to go back to the drawing board.


Connie Wilson said...

I had to keep myself from puking in the courtroom today when Joal "Recovered Memories" Henke was on the stand, because he was so full of it. The _ _ it being the operative word here. However,it was rather entertaining to watch him squirm in the hands of the defense. The alzheimers took over when he couldn't 'recall' the numbers he had dialed countless times to the other guilty schemers. It's almost overbearing at times to sit in there and watch what I would like to refer to as the 'side show' starring House, Arnt, Gregor & the three ring circus of 'Tell us how high, and we'll jump for the state' group of perjuring fools. Sorry, I guess I'm venting here. I only go now to support Tonya.

William L. Anderson said...

I will be dealing with the Three Stooges in a post tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who the mysterious Jen is???

William L. Anderson said...

Yes, I do. It will be demonstrated soon enough.

Anonymous said...

The past bad acts on a one of Arnt's cases was allowed before and overturned in the GA supreme court. Keep looking and you will find it!

Anonymous said...

How funny that he had two years to mention these things, but completely forgot until he was on the witness stand. Really!!!! I sure hope there are some people on the jury who have a brain and can see this for the circus it is.

Anonymous said...

What if Tonya Craft did it?

PatMac said...

Anon 9:45 - I think we all might feel different if the prosecution could present some real evidence. Here is one for you. Why would the state not want to allow the testimony of a forensic scientist to present her evidence in defense of Tonya?

Anonymous said...

Why would they?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to what the "link" is between adult sexual behavior and child molestion. Even if true, what is the connection between female adult bisexuality and child sex abuse? What about philandering? If a homosexual is accused of child sex abuse, is the fact that he/she is a homosexual a sexual "bad act"? Any alleged sex other than strictly missionary is consided a "bad act" admissible in court?

This case is an utter farce. What about defense hammering this guy about his divorce, I guess the judge would know all about this guy's philanderings as he was his attorney at the time. No one could have drembt this up, talk about the truth being stranger than fiction.

Anonymous said...

How about to be sure that due process takes place as is guaranteed as a right of a United States citizen.

Anonymous said...

William~Has all of this crap been reported to the state? Is there not some kinda of system for this where a "bigger" judge can come in and just observe or say enough is enough? Also I am new to this area and am just wondering if Judge House's position is an elected one?

William L. Anderson said...

There is the Georgia State Bar, which hears complaints against prosecutors. Here is the link I posted earlier:

Anonymous said...

If Joal Henke and Tonya Craft watched a bisexual film together wouldn't that make Henke also prone to its persuasion to commit child abuse? Perhaps that is why he had his new wife shower with his young daughter - because he liked to watch females together.

kbp said...

I sense that House phrased the alleged occurrence as a "prior BAD act" merely as CYA (Cover Your Azz) for what case law he KNEW he'd mysteriously find. It all looks like an effort made in good faith then.

Meanwhile, though I was under the impression this was 'recovered memory' that hit toagy, or real recent anyway, there was a line in Norwood's article that leaves me uncertain of WHEN it was recovered.

"Ms. Craft’s defense team had filed a motion the first day of the trial to omit this particular line of questioning."

Maybe Joal's memory was recovered just prior to the trial starting, if that "particular line" Norwood mentions means this SPECIFIC line of testimony (No disrespect directed at Norwood).

RBrock said...

In response to the question, "What if Tonya Craft did it?"...If she did it, then the prosecutors are even bigger idiots than we thought! If she did it and they haven't been able to come up with one shred of evidence, have had to resort to having their witness openly lie on the stand, suppress actual evidence that points to the defendant's innocence, etc, etc, then they have to be the world's worst prosecutors. If she did it, they have screwed up the state's case royally, if she didn't (and I believe she didn't!) they have screwed up not only Tonya's life, but the lives of her children and the other children involved in their over-zealous, bumbling attempts to make a name for themselves. Pitiful excuses for lawyers either way! And as to why they wouldn't allow the testimony of the forensic scientist...if they had a real case, and had TRUTH on their side, they wouldn't be afraid of any evidence. The fact that they have worked so diligintly to suppress any FACTS from the defense casts serious doubts on the whole charade.

Before the trial began, I didn't know what to believe. The state had convinced me that Tonya is innocent and is a victim of power hungry idiots who have no regard for the truth or the law.

Anonymous said...

Should read the state "has" convinced me.

Anonymous said...

Arnt has been over turned on appeal for introducing similar evidence.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joal Henke's wife better be looking out for the Lamb woman. You know he might get be getting tired of a little girl in the bedroom and be looking for a woman with a little more knowledge of what a man wants. I'm just saying. If a man cheats once he WILL cheat again. Those are some LONG phone calls

dmk said...

Let's see, Joal is supposedly a hot-blooded guy, he gets the details of his wife's female on female sexual encounter, and then he totally forgot about it? That's the most unbelievable thing yet in this trial, and that's saying a lot. I don't know the ages of the jurors, but unless they are well past the age when that stuff no longer seems as important as it used to be, I doubt the jury is buying what he is selling there, especially the guys.

Expect the ugly character assassination to get even worse as they feel the case slipping away from them more and more. Tsk-tsking and self-righteously judging everyone's behavior but your own runs deep in these parts, so naturally the Dynamic Duo will do everything they can to encourage the jury to go there.

Anonymous said...

Ha! The word verification for this comment is "brian". Hopefully it's not the same brian in these blog posts because it won't verify anything, then.

Regarding the comment of "what if she did it". I'd say this: Any crime she "what if" committed pales in comparison to those in the seats of power dealing injustice at every turn and perverting the entire system. Regardless of her guilt or innocence, the judge and prosecutors should receive an appropriate punishment. Assuming she's innocent, the malicious witnesses should receive the punishment she would have received. That certainly would make witnesses less likely to lie if they knew their own butts were at stake.

Anonymous said...

I had a gut feeling when this started a couple of years ago that she was being framed. I now believe in her innocence. My point being, regardless of her innocence or guilt, she should be found "not guilty". The way that this trial has been handled is an outrage. If I had never heard of the case, I would have no option but releasing the defendent. But, on top of that, the real damage from this trial will be the REAL child molesters that are found "Not Guilty" because of the history of this trial. This trial will cause every trial in Catoosa County to be questioned if these men are responsible for the prosecution.