Saturday, May 8, 2010

LMJD Prosecutors: "Paid by the Child Molester"

NOTE: I am working on a post that I will publish Sunday in which I outline what very well will be the prosecution's strategy for its "rebuttal" to the defense. Needless to say, if I am right, you will be seeing outright subornation of perjury from the prosecutors.

One of Len "The Man, The Misogynist" Gregor's favorite lines has been, "I'm not paid by the child molester." While this is a clever line (and in a real court of law would be sanctioned as prejudicial by a real judge), nonetheless it is true in a very ironic way. Both Gregor and Chris "Facebook" Arnt ARE paid by the child molester, or at least the accused child molester, and that is one reason we have seen a whole spate of these kinds of charges in the LMJD.

One of the things we teach in economics is that "incentives matter," and whether in business, politics, or criminal justice, "follow the money" is not bad advice. While I have not done any research (or much research) into funding in the LMJD, I would say that the fact that the four counties that are served in this district are relatively poor and certainly do not have the resources that wealthier counties in the state might have.

Because of that, the "justice" and "law enforcement" systems in these counties would welcome an inflow of federal money, and there are two sources that would make sense. The first is federal money via the Mondale Act (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974) and the Violence Against Women Act. Both of these laws and subsequent state laws are very important money-raisers, as judicial districts receive federal money for prosecuting people for child abuse and sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape. (That is men raping women, as the VAWA implies that women cannot commit sexual assault, at least against men.)

When LMJD DA Buzz Franklin announced more than 10 years ago that his office would "target child abuse and sexual assault," the media played it up as though he were a hero, and when assistant prosecutors such as Arnt and Gregor have racked up the convictions, they have been treated as heroes by the press. Unfortunately, few in the media have cared about how these cases were pursued or the reliability of the evidence. Furthermore, no one in the media has looked into how these kinds of prosecutions can bring federal money.

The players all have been the same people. Often in a divorce or custody case, someone wanting leverage with the judge has alleged the spouse or partner to have "molested" children. The judge or someone in the system then has Det. Tim Deal or one of his associates interview the child and no matter what answer the child gives, take him or her to one of the Children's Advocacy Centers in North Georgia.

At that point, someone from the CAC generally "verifies" that there has been sexual abuse (no matter what actually might have happened), and then the prosecutors take over from there. For cases that even might be outright frames, generally the accused is pretty helpless in mounting a defense.

We found out in her Friday testimony that Tonya Craft has spent $500,000 on her defense, a sum of money that, frankly, the vast majority of people in the LMJD, not to mention the entire country, could not pay. And even with excellent representation, Tonya Craft's case hangs in the balance because the prosecutors effectively have run the trial and have not had to obey the rules of evidence and rules of decorum.

Why have the prosecutors fought so hard, and why has House permitted about 500 (so far) of what would be called "reversible errors" that would be taken up by appeals judges if there were a conviction? Part of it is the "good old boys" syndrome that is part of semi-rural systems like the LMJD; they don't like "outsiders," either from legal representation or expert witnesses, and they like to appeal to those prejudices of the jurors.

In fact, Gregor has been willing to trash perhaps the most respected "expert witness" in the country, Dr. Nancy Aldridge, and essentially call her a liar who was "paid off" by the defense. This is the same Dr. Aldridge who has been at the forefront of developing techniques and rules of questioning children in sexual assault cases. By accusing her of lying -- and lying for money -- Gregor seems to believe that there will be no consequences for his words, and perhaps in the LMJD that would be correct.

But there is another reason why the prosecutors and the judge have engaged in what effectively has been a "scorched earth" campaign to get a conviction: if Tonya Craft wins an acquittal, she will have exposed what is essentially have been acts of corruption aimed at bringing federal money to the district. That is because, in a very real sense, as I stated at the beginning of this post, Gregor and Arnt ARE paid by the "child molester."

An acquittal would be a disaster not only for what is left of the reputations of House, Arnt, and Gregor, but also it would open the door for a federal investigation of these other cases for which the district has received money. It also would leave the CAC open because of the "questionable" (and that is a charitable term) interviewing and testimony techniques that its "interviewers" use. Already, this case has caused local media to question what has been going on in that district and to wonder about whether or not previous convictions garnered by these prosecutors have been legitimate.

Gregor, Arnt, and House are desperate for a conviction, and are willing to go to any length to obtain one. If that is not possible, then they will settle for a mistrial via a hung jury or a declaration from House. One thing is for sure: the prosecution and House will not go down easily, as there is money at stake.

I also have included a past newspaper article calling our Dishonest Duo "heroes" for their emphasis on "child molestation" prosecutions. In my book, "heroes" do not lie in court, bully people, make racist, sexist, and homophobic statements, but perhaps the standards are different for the LMJD.


Anonymous said...

Another great writing that tells it like it is. Keep up the great work. I hope shortly that Len Gregor gets to hear, "This is your cellmate Bluto" for his illegal activities.

Anonymous said...

We can only hope for an acquittal, but it's not going to happen. The most likely result will be a hung jury/mistrial...which is good for no one, as the case won't be retried, and Craft will have lost a powerful weapon (i.e. an actual acquittal) to beat the prosecutors, CAC, and police with.

Although she will face years more of litigation, attorneys fees (and likely jail time), a guilty verdict may actually be better, since it will invite appellate review, which will expose these abuses even further. It's a shame that Ms. Craft may have to be a martyr for the cause, but that's the shitty situation these crooked bastard prosecutors have put her in.

Spoke with a judge in another state yesterday, he brought up the Craft case on his own, and was absolutely shocked at the actions of Team HAG.

All I can say is keep up the pressure everyone.

Kathy R said...

Len Gregor what a joke. When you read the FACTS of the Mondale Act and think of his comment "I don't get paid by the molester" You can't help but laugh...I hate to admit it but I pee'd my thong.

Denise C. said...

Kathy R. Your comment about peeing your thong about made me pee mine. But have no fear I did a workout practicing my pole dancing routine. I am going to go and show it to the local Kindergarten class Monday for career

(For the trolls, that was a joke. Don't go getting your steel belted thongs in a knot.)

Narcissist07 said...

I concur with you Dr. Anderson. I don't think it is anywhere near over. The only hope for Tonya is to get a book or movie deal to help continue her defense spendings. I hope also when it is over, that she can file a federal "wrongful termination" suit against the Chickamauga School System, and then a wrongful prosecution suit against LMJD specifically team HAG.

Anonymous said...

Well put Dr. Anderson.
Within seconds of reading the "I'm not paid by the child molester" statement I dismissed it as more BS.
They are smart enough people to understand what convictions bring in the "crime fighting" funds.

You are so right in that they are following the money.
Money equals job security, so in essence they are paid by the child molester.

Let them sit in their office all day long prosecuting high school kids caught with a joint in their car in the school parking lot and see how many ADA's the circuit feels necessary.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson, you leave us thirsting for more. Thanks for the research and time you have spent blogging about this case. My sister and I are wondering what we will be obsessed with when this case is over. Haha

Anonymous said...

Ironic you mention federal money & the LMJC because the FBI conducts or conducted stings in those counties a la "To Catch a Predator"

William L. Anderson said...


I can assure you that when it is over, I will continue to push for the disbarment of Arnt and Gregor. However, once the case is finished, it is inevitable that my blog once again will be boring but eclectic, and I will disappear into obscurity again!

Kathy R said...


How dare we wear such a thing much less admit it. We are the lowest of the low and must be guilty of any crime accused of. If this trial were being held in let's say New York or L.A. do you think under clothes or bikini's would even be mentioned. I am @ a loss as to how most of this stuff was even allowed in. Oh and Denise is yours yellow if so we dare not let Mrs Boyd find out, she will call us out on the streets of Chickamauga.

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...


Great post about the perverse incentives created by federal payoffs of state law enforcement! I would add this about the perverse incentives of federal grants--whether to prosecute child molesters or to fund paramilitary equipment and training of police-- such grants undermine local authority over prosecutors and law enforcement.

The power of the purse is great. It determines the focus of local law enforcement. Instead of acceding to local decision making on how resources are to be spent, and what kinds of crimes are to be investigated and prosecuted, local law enforcement is free to pursue whatever "crime du jour" the feds are willing to fund.

So, attention is paid to allegations of child abuse rather than the hoodlum who burglarizes people's houses, embezzles their employer's payroll and the like. Moreover, you will see law enforcement going after low-hanging fruit. Rather than busting high-profile people who have connections to child trafficking (as was the case in Bakersfield, California), you see police and prosecutors going after dubious allegations arising out of divorce cases and the like, where people are already being bankrupted by divorce proceedings and can't mount a fight to reveal the truth.

Our system of government was not created to allow the federal government to run local law enforcement (whether the locals agree to being run or not) via bribes and resources that undercut the power of local control so that the federal government's crime of the month will be favored over the needs and concerns of the locals.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson, perhaps another case of judicial misconduct will arise and you will once again follow it. However I do believe this case and it's consequences are far from over.

Denise C. said...

Kathy R. I am in Chickamauga so I guess I need to strut the main street with my yellow polka dot thong bikini. Do they come in a 4x? (Just kidding, not quite that big, but I figured a nice mental image would be fun. It'll give the trolls something to rant over....hehehe...I'm so bad...hehe)

KC Sprayberry said...

I believe the Tonya Craft case is only the first of many scheduled to go on regarding child molestation. My husband and I remarked about a year ago that it was like there was a child molestation epidemic going on around here. Seemed like every time we read the paper or listened to the news, people had just been picked up in some kind of sting for possessing kiddie porn or molesting kids or, I don't know, looking sideways at their neighbor. It has got to the point where we wonder if something weird is going on. Will have to look up the Mondale Act, pour lots of coffee, and read it through. I'm sure I'll need the caffeine. Anything remotely connected to the law, federal funds, and politicians will take a lot to wade through. My initial thoughts are, this may be a necessary program but one misused due to its wording. Perhaps some minor changes will bring about good changes such as not persecuting every Tom, Dottie, or Hailey for child molestation just to line their coffers.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching in disgust as this sham of a trial has progressed. I live in nearby Chattanoga and, although I don't know any of the participants, I'm close enough to possibly come in contact with some of these misguided folks. As a result -- when this trial is over -- I would sure like to know who the influential people who've tried to railroad Ms. Craft are and with which businesses and organizations they are affiliated so I can be sure that none of my hard-earned money ever even indirectly benefits any of these pathetic losers.

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

"I would argue that local decision with no accountability to central authority is exactly what led to this whole disaster."

DMK, I don't mean local decision-making by local officials bought off by this money. I mean the people in the community. The people have no control over local officials whose budgets the people have little or no control over.

Insofar as "central-decision making", you are seeing the evils of that in this case. The feds call the shots through money. Of course, I agree with you that this does not excuse the local officials lining up at the federal pig trough and dancing to the tune of the federal government for their supper, rather than considering the law enforcement needs of the disenfranchised people of the community.

And, of course, even in the absence of federal control and money, local tyrants can arise. However, local tyrants are easier to get rid of then federal ones. And, failing that, it's easier to move town to town, county to county and state to state to escape tyranny, than it is to move country to country.

Trish White said...

Another good post, Bill!!! You know I find it funny, that out of all the posts on here, I haven't posted that much and I have posted what happened to my family, yet someone who still won't identify him/herself, calls me out! My comments have actually been on the mild side compared to some! Oh well, guess, they just figured out who I was and had to pick on someone and throw my faith in my face to boot. I have a strong feeling that whomever it is, is actually bound by the gag order, so would be caught if they said who they were. If it is someone from the DA's office or one of the lovely detectives, or perhaps someone from the CAC, I haven't lied about what happened, but you did!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:04

The Wilson's are of the Wilson Funeral Homes, I believe they have four locations.

Sandra Lamb's daddy is French Newton who owns Duplicator Supply Co. Inc right here in Chattanooga, TN

The defendant's serial adulterer, ex-husband, Joal Henke, works for Keller Williams right here in Chattanooga, TN. If you're thinking of buying a house and you have a good looking wife, make sure she is never alone with him.

Sandra Pearson said...

len gregor's favorite movie is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington??
because "it makes me have faith in mankind." his words.

that is something we would all love to have, mr. gregor. unfortunately, there are people, such as yourself, who have removed that faith from many in catoosa county.
you once took an oath to protect and serve. i guess, like the witnesses you called to the stand on behalf of the prosecution of tonya craft, an oath doesn't mean much to you either.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson what aspects of this case, if any, make it likely that it will be part of the case study curriculum for political science and law students in the future?

Poli-sci major

kbp said...

Great comment Jerri Ward!

A factor in the 'control' fed's hold over the local enforcement is the matching dollars the fed's provide. You will seldom ever see some grants or allotments of federal funds for any regulatory programs that do not require that a percentage of the local funds must be included.

So if, as an example, there is a million dollars of federal funds in the budget for the local regulatory entities, you can bet that is not the limit of their budget there.


Bill wrote:

"...welcome an inflow of federal money, and there are two sources that would make sense. The first is federal money via the Mondale Act (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974) and the Violence Against Women Act."

Not to correct Bill in any way, but a source of federal dollars he missed there comes from the Adoption and Safe Families Act. Big bucks that include rewards for an increase each year in their performance!

Established with the idea it would help reduce the number of children in foster homes and stabilize their lives through more adoptions. The funds and incentives here add to the options available to shift or increase the state and local authorities' focus on taking more children from their parents with as little as a claim of "neglect", maybe dirty dishes, clothes not put away or too poor to feed the children well.

The end result can be seen to have created a 'win/win' for taking children away from their parents; one act to pay for foster care and another for rewarding adoptions.

There is no argument that all the federal acts do help many children, but one would think that at some point it would have made the programs capable of REDUCING the problems encountered, REDUCING the need for all programs enforcing the laws involved, REDUCING the budgets funding these programs...

But instead we're seeing these programs growing tremendously year after year and now, in the case of Tonya Craft, you're witnessing how the public has grown to policing itself more by using these programs.

And I haven't even touched on the PRIVATE companies that make good money AND donate to the local politicians.

The number of reports to that local child protection service by all the individuals involved in the case has been reported to be a number I can't even keep track of.

Think about how Tonya felt she should have reported a child being spanked with a belt. The reason WHY the child was spanked is wrong in my eyes, but was that child so abused then that it should be reported so some federal program can determine if that mom spanked a little too hard, can't use a belt, swatted her too many times?

Kerwyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harmony said...

WOW just took a look at that facebook profile and saw family members of a Bitch my mother used to work with. My mother had brought a patient with no fmaily over to have dinner and a night of movies. She cleared it with her supervisors and he spent the night. The next week that Bitch went around alledging my mother had done something with him. It lead to a huge altercation with the Bitch and my mom walked off the job after her superviors told her she was to nice and she didn't need to get so close to her patients. Yup it all makes sense, birds of a feather flock together.

ihatecatoosa said...

those look more like early elem school girls on Haden Lamb's page!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.....makes you wonder why the mother is so persistent to put the blame on someone else. Is there a cover up?

dmk said...

re Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D.

Thanks for the clarification.

"The people have no control over local officials whose budgets the people have little or no control over."

Absolutely true, and really strikes at the heart of the bigger picture in this whole case. The people have little control wherever you live, but usually there is just enough that it forces the other side into keeping pretenses and occasionally one gets called to be a sacrificial lamb on the alter of the public's anger and frustration so the others can continue on with business as usual.

In this area, that has not historically happened to even the small degree it does other places. In my opinion, there are many different reasons for that including lack of financial means, lack of education, little understanding or interest in government, and predominant religious denominations who as part of practicing their faith put less of an emphasis on social justice/activism type issues than perhaps others do.

I don't know what the answer is or if there is an answer, but I must say I have never seen so much local interest along these lines as the Tonya Craft case has brought out. I know much will fade as soon as the trial is over, but I can't help but think the seeds are being planted for some new growth to begin.

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...


You are so right about all that. This particularly jumps out at me:

"And I haven't even touched on the PRIVATE companies that make good money AND donate to the local politicians."

Exactly! And, here in Texas, we have had problems with judges and/or their spouses serving on the Boards of CASA's and CAC's, a complete conflict of interest raising questions of impartiality. In fact kbp, in the FLDS case that you so ably skewered in comments on other blogs, some of the judges involved actually did serve on such boards.

One in particular, in fact, had previously been referred to the Commission on Judicial Conduct for that very thing! Although the Commission would not outright sanction him, it wrote a decision that such service IS a potential conflict of interest that should be disclosed to litigants.

William L. Anderson said...

As I have said before, I hope that the comments on the page deal with the case itself. I know that what these parents have done is wrong, very wrong, but I don't want their children to be in the crosshairs.

The adults have done horrible things, I will say. What Joal Henke and his wife have done in lying to Tonya's children is beyond the pale, and they will have to answer for what they have done at the proper time.

There are others, from Sandra Lamb's mother who stood in front of her church to tell people that Tonya Craft was a whore and a lesbian. What she did then was an abomination and she will have to answer for what she did at the proper time.

People have told enough lies in this case to last a lifetime, and more will be told this week. So, we need to deal with the issues at hand. Concentrate on the adults and their lies, and that is enough for now.

Cyril Lucar said...

Jerri Lynn Ward,

I just looked at your blog. Great stuff! You're from my old stompin grounds. I grew up in Volente on Lake Travis and my mom still lives there. Good to see another Texan on this site (and an attorney who is not working for the prosecutor!).

Dan said...

As I dig into researching this specific issue, I am just floored by what I am learning.

This is yet one more source of funding that uses poorly conceived and open-ended measures of success, without any daylight provisions - that I can find.

I can only hope that people wake up and Noah Arenstein is correct in his latest post:

"[Tonya] Craft is fighting a system that's forgotten its original charge of protecting justice and safety. Her case could be the linchpin for real change."

Cyril Lucar said...


No offense to any of the well-meaning (and I mean that without my tongue-in-cheek) posters here, but you might want to remove the posts having to do with that teenager. It's probably ill-advised to have it on here. You have the controls to do it.

-former servant of Triscuit

Kerwyn said...


I deleted my comments re: lamb boy.

I will ask you all, here and now to leave the kids out of this.

We have no need to visit the sins of the mother on these children, they get that daily from her.

I apologize to my fellow bloggers for my moment of petty vindictiveness and ask your forgiveness.

Forgive me for losing focus, for punishing an as yet innocent and for stooping to their level.


Kerwyn said...

Oh I may add, I removed it before I read anyone elses post. It was my own conscious that prompted it.

I apologize Bill.

Anonymous said...

I so agree about leaving the kids out of this. Kids generally believe what their parents believe and one can only hope that as they mature and have more of an adult perspective that they will see how they have been deceived. I think everyone commenting here should make a concerted effort not to sink to the shameless level of the folks that started this train wreck. Naming names and slinging mud about folks who support the prosecution isn't really relevant to what Mr. Andrews seems to be trying to accomplish. Having said that, I saw Chris Arnt in the Ft. O Walmart today, and it was all I could do not to run up to him and kick him in the shins and scream at him that he was a pathetic example of a human.

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

Here is a great post on trying character as opposed to proving guilt:

Anonymous said...

I found this blog - compares profile of female sex offenders and Tonya Craft Case

I don't want to spoil the end for you - but she does not fit the profile!

Dan said...

Jerri Lynn,

Thanks for that link. I'm beginning to think that Gregor is right about one thing. This is not like a witch hunt. It's more like an inquisition.

Anonymous said...

When I was growing up my dad owned eleven businesses in three states. Today my father is barely getting by. Although I can attribute many reasons to his current financial status, over extending himself into risky markets, the main reason is due to a certain partner he hired in 1976. This man had few assets to his name. My dad trusted him and gave him stock in the company for his expertises in management. By 2000, this man had embezzeled my dad into ruin. His daughter and his son-in-law witnessed the whole process. And the son-in-law was pretty open, telling several of his family members what his father-in-law had done to a good man.... Fast-forward to today.... This man who robbed my dad out of a fortune is very rich. My dad is NOT. But my dad is HONORED by his children and grand-children as a man of character and honor. My daughter goes to college with the other man's grandson and the boy doesn't even claim his grandfather as a relative!! Guess he doesn't care about his inheritance. He knows it didn't come honestly. Kids have a way of discovering the truth for themselves. They will either reject their parents for their manipulation and control or they will become just like them. Either way, the home is never peaceful and it is void of respect and trust. People reap what they sow... We don't have to wish misfortune on anyone. It just happens...

Anonymous said...

Yes, parents often think they get by with bad-behavior. But no one knows them better than their own family. When the pieces of the puzzle finally come together, these false accusers may find themselves alone.

Kellie Graham said...

Wow Kerwyn, I applaud your stand-up attitude, I didn't read the prior post but appreciate your proactiveness and your comments.

Did everyone notice David Craft's to Gregor's accusing statement of being paid by a "molester" (notice he didn't even say alleged) - David Craft response "Is that a question". Way to rock David!

Cyril Lucar said...

Anonymous 5:46

Great link to the Forensics Talk blog! I was a youth counselor for nine years and I have never heard of a situation like this either. It doesn't mean it didn't happen, it just means that we should be very, very careful in taking actions that will ruin someone's life. It also means that we should make sure that we pursue all the more likely possibilities (step mom showering with a child, offending child's family members). The crime of this whole process is that there is likely an abuser out there who is getting to continue under the cover of Tonya's trial.

Lame said...

I just got back from a memorial service for a man who passed away this week. A WWII veteran who served as a medic with the 20th infantry in New Guinea and earned the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Clusters, there was one thing that everyone who spoke about kept repeating was how much he did to teach and help children. He returned after the war and worked for a number of years farming and then as a skilled carpenter. He loved children, had three and later adopted a child he and his wife fell in love with while on a mission trip to Ethiopia. He helped build churches and church schools, and always spent a lot of time teaching children carpentry work and the value of doing a good job. He was an avid gardener, and built a garden for the local church school and taught the children how to do and helped them with gardening work. He positively influenced generation upon generation, probably hundreds of children during his life.

As I sat there, I couldn't help but think about this case and others like it. How many children, and those children's children would be worse off, their life not having had that extra blessing of having such a positive role model if every time a person tries to do something they are looked upon with suspicion? If people can be accused without any evidence against them, without any consequence to those who falsly accuse, how many men and women who otherwise would so freely volunteer to help children will or have decided not to do so, for fear of being accused wrongfully? Don't get me wrong. Sometimes people to volunteer and use their position to abuse. That is why there are proper ways of handling accusations. So, I ask, where do we draw the line? How can we advance the cause of positively impacting the lives of many children while at the same time preventing a few from being taken advantage of? I say that it takes two things, trust and education. You trust those who demonstrate that they can do good, and you educate everyone involved in how to avoid, detect and properly report the bad things--with priority given to avoidance.

Anonymous said...

Well said Lame, it is sad to think how many children could benefit from knowing someone like this person, but may never get to, because of a case like Tonya's.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 5:46, thanks for posting this link. Very powerful!!

dmk said...

Good comment Lame. I'm not sure where it happened, but somewhere along the line we seem to have lost all sense of reason and rationality on certain subjects, and child sexual abuse is one of them. From draconian sex crime sentencing and registry laws that have a lifetime of consequences, up to and including forced homelessness, for teenagers who are guilty of nothing more than a bad decision to have consensual sex with someone whose birthday is a few months on the wrong side of an arbitrary line, to a public convinced that a pedophile lurks under every rock and behind every tree, this subject is way overdue for a honest public conversation.

The problem is the political aspect. Politicians have written and passed these often poorly worded laws, and to go back on them one iota would be seen as too risky. After all, what sitting politician wants to be labeled as soft on child abuse?

It will take someone like Tonya Craft to be the public face of a movement to try to bring all parties to the table to have that conversation. I wouldn't blame her whatsoever if when her ordeal mercifully comes to an end, she wants nothing more than to sink back into obscurity and quietly try to pick up the pieces the best she can. But, speaking selfishly, I hope she makes fixing this broken system her mission in life.

Anonymous said...

Gregor is a molester of the law and I hope he goes to jail for his actions!

Lame said...

Part 1

Cyril, you may and may not be right about there being anther person who is the real offender. It's possible, but I'm doubting it. People like to THINK that children aren't going to do anything at all of a sexual nature, unless they were abused in some way, ESPECIALLY if what is done is between members of the same sex. However, coming form my own experience, I can say that is NOT correct. When I was about five (same age as the accusers) I was caught under a table with a girl (I'm a guy) doing something that was pretty bad. I don't remember it very well (I'm 30 now), but it was bad enough to get us both spanked. I remember playing doctor, or house, or all sorts of other games that involved looking at, examining, even touching with other boy friends. I wasn't abused, and I'm pretty sure they weren't abuse. And, contrary to what some might think, none of us turned out gay, well one of my friends did. I did some VERY graphic things with the girl who lived across the street until we got caught. See, it's not that we were abused and acting out. It's that we were at an age when we started to notice these things and nobody had yet told us about the birds and the bees.

Now, today we have Lady Gaga singing about pokerfacing (which, if you don't know is about having sex with a man but fantasizing about being with a woman) and Katie Perry singing about kissing girls and liking it. We are constantly bombarded by sexualized behavior and images in the media, and when a child engages in some kind of sexualized behavior we automatically think that they must be being abused?

End part 1

Lame said...

Part 2

Yes, there are untold thousands of children who are sexually abused. I live in Utah where the statistic is something like 1 in 3 girls is sexually abused. When I first moved here, three of the women I came got to know well from work confided that they had been abused, most of them by their own fathers or uncles, sometimes both. Yet, when we become so paranoid that people believe there is a child molester behind every rock we paralize others and ourselves, from doing our jobs, from doing what we enjoy, from doing anything. I myself have been accused on three occasions of doing something I wasn't. Once, I was accused of trying to seduce a girl, yet all I was doing was talking with her, trying to recruit her into Civil Air Patrol--I was the cadet commander of the Orlando Cadet Squadron at the time. I was once out for a walk at a public park and happened to be walking past where there was a group having a party/picinic. I never even looked at them, let alone spoke to them, and some man came up to me and in a treatening voice asked, "How did you get in here? What do you think you're doing?" Just trying to get some exercise and people think I'm a potential molester...oh, wait, yeah, according to patented G&A Logic, I am. Then, about two years ago I was visiting my old home town and thought I'd take some pictures of places I liked to play when I was a kid. I was taking pictures of things, not aiming at kids, but sure, it was a state park where people swim and play, and there were kids. Some guy threatened to shove my camera up my rear end if I took another picture, because he thought I was taking pictures of his kids. It really does burn in your gut and in your mind to be accused of something like that. It's like being called a racist. It's something that could not be further from what is intended, further from the truth, and it really hurts to be called something like that. So, people need to really stop looking for fault when fault is not there, because it really is hurtful. It hurts a white person to be called a racist as much as it hurts a black person to be called the n-word. It hurts a person with innocent intentions to be called a child molester/pedophile as much as it hurts a mother or father to be called a bad parent. If anything, I can see THAT as the reason for her changing color when Tonya was told about the allegations.

Seriously, we've got to protect children, but we can't do so by being overprotected. You know the saying, He who defends everything ends up defending nothing. I grew up with a girl in my church whose mother was so wildly over the top protective of her daughter. When the girl got old enough to move out, she moved out, got into drugs and sex, and very nearly ruined her life. Thank God, she met a guy who turned out to bring her back to the Lord and helped her find her way again, and they are now married with a child. But, I know a few girls, and boys, whose parents were so protective of them that when they were old enough to make their own decisions they either were incapable of doing so, because everything had been decided for them, or they just rebelled and went wild.

End part 2

Lame said...

Part 3

I agree that it is draconian, knee-jerk reactions that classify people as being something they really aren't that are not the solution, they only add to the problem. I am friends with three people who are registered sex offenders, one of them is a very close friend. One of them was 18 and had sex with his girlfriend who was still 17. He was sentenced to five years in prison and is a sex offender for life, despite the fact that they got married. One of my other friends was talking with a girl on the internet. He never even brought up the subject of sex, it was never discussed (he was 23, she was 17). It turns out that at some point the girl's mom found out and gave over the information to the police. They came and arrested him for "communicating with a minor." He never even said the word sex to her and he's a registered sex offender. My friend used to help young people he met at work by letting them stay with them when they had problems. One of them downloaded something like thirteen naughty pictures on his computer. He didn't even know about it. He went out of town one time and had a friend house sit. The friend snooped around the house and on the computer and found the pictures. My friend went to jail for two years and is a registered sex offender because he couldn't prove that he wasn't the one who downloaded the pictures.

Anyone who has or is now working at a school knows how difficult it is to get cleared to work there, with all the background checks, and you have to pay for it out of pocket. And then, look at how easy it is to get on campus, walk the halls, and grab up a kid just coming in off the street. These sex offender laws are really only bandaids, just like most of the security methods at airports. You stop people from abusing children by teaching children appropriate behavior at an early age, teach kids how to avoid situations, and if they get put into a situation how to get out of it, and how to properly report it. We teach kids how to swim in case they fall into a pool. We teach them how to get out of a building in case their house catches fire. Yet, there is absolutely nothing taught in schools regarding physical and sexual child abuse. Abuse is real. It does happen. But, it can't be solved by a bunch of people sitting in a state legislature whose only knowledge on the subject is what the people who donate money to their reelection campaigns or what the sensationalizing media reports. It needs to be dealt with by experts who have studied the subject extensively and who can create sensible guidelines. Civil Air Patrol had something called the Cadet Protection Program that every adult member of the program must attend and then be tested upon, that gives guidelines of acceptable behavior around and with children (although I hesitate to call a 17 year old Cadet 1st Lt a "child"). When I started teacher training I fully expected there to be a similar class. Nope, nada. The only time anything about behavior around and with students was in one class, one time, the professior jokingly said, "And, don't ever sleep with your students." No. No. Like Abe Lincoln, this country can only be destroyed if we do it ourselves. And we are doing it, and one of the ways we are doing it is through the way in which we handle sex crimes, destroying communities like Ringold, with no appreciable gain.

The End

Victoria said...

Bill, You may want to take a look at this paper written by former Georgia senator, Nancy Schaefer,THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES November 16, 2007.

An excerpt:

that caseworkers and social workers are oftentimes guilty of fraud. They withhold
evidence. They fabricate evidence and they seek to terminate parental rights.
However, when charges are made against them, the charges are ignored;
· that the separation of families is growing as a business because local governments have
grown accustomed to having taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-expanding budgets;
· that Child Protective Service and Juvenile Court can always hide behind a
confidentiality clause in order to protect their decisions and keep the funds flowing.
There should be open records and “court watches”! Look who is being paid!
- 4 -
There are state employees, lawyers, court investigators, court personnel, and judges.
There are psychologists, and psychiatrists, counselors, caseworkers, therapists, foster
parents, adoptive parents, and on and on. All are looking to the children in state
custody to provide job security. Parents do not realize that social workers are the glue
that holds “the system” together that funds the court, the child’s attorney, and the
multiple other jobs including DFCS’s attorney.

Here is a speech she gave on the subject

She and her husband were recently found dead in their home. It was declared a murder - suicide, but many skeptics believe they were murdered because of her strong stance and activities against CPS.

Kara Akins said...

Having lived in the same county as this trial for the last 6 yrs, has caused me to become me very, very concerned and a bit paranoid. I am a mother to six children and have children over our home on a regualr basis. Just today I met a little girl at the ball field who wanted to help me out in the concession stand. Because of this trial I felt I was risking my life, my family and everything my husband and I have labored for our entire adult lives by allowing this precious little girl to assist me at the stand - even with other people only feet away.

Is this how the prosection wants mothers of this community to feel? Is this how they want their own wives to feel?

Because SO MUCH is a stake when someone is prosecuted for such a crime as sexual abuse against a child, solid evidence must be mandatory! And no one feels there is any solid evidence. That's why there is so much pity for Tonya and anger towards the judical system of Catoosa county.

Obviously, in this community all it takes is an accusation for a life to be ruined. An accusation, a lot of talk, and a big dose of pride from the local "professionals" (what a joke).

I am shocked and angered that our judical system does not seem committed to protect the caretakers of this community. I need to know that I would never be pursued by prosecutors without SOLID evidence. I need to know that solid evidence matters to them.

Ironically, the prosecutors or judge didn't care if they truly had a solid case. They have run a woman through the mud and destroyed her life and the lives of her children. Now their lives will be destoyed b/c no one in the community or nation has the least bit of respect for them and everyone wants to see justice. And justice is removal from their positions. Now I pity their children.

Anonymous said...

Last Sunday my kids were in the mood for Chinese. So, for dinner my husband and I took them to a local Chinese buffet restaurant. While standing at the buffet with my daughter (she's 8), I noticed a cute little girl on the other side of the buffet. She was just staring at my daughter. She never said anything, she was just watching her. At first, I thought she must be a schoolmate. Then, I thought she looks a lot like the little girl on Sarah Henke Bass' FB page. I'm starting to think I am too obsessed with this case. The little girl had two other girls on either side of her, like bodyguards. My daughter and I move to another buffet table. While standing there, a woman rudely keeps reaching in front of me. I must have given her a look because she finally backed off saying, "Excuse me." I look at her and think to myself, she looks exactly like Sarah Bass Henke in her FB pic. And again, I'm thinking I need to take a break from the internet. The 3 girls walk up and the 2 older girls are doing all of the talking. I hear them call the little girl by name and I know then, it is Tonya's daughter.

So, here is my take on the few minutes I observed them. Tonya's daughter has the saddest eyes I have ever seen on a little girl. She is beautiful, but she looks so sad. Someone should have taught Sarah some manners. You don't reach across someone at the buffet. It is rude! Also, she looks like she has painted on eyebrows and is constantly startled. Joal is taller than I expected. He walks with his chest puffed out and he seems to have a corncob stuck up his butt. He is not good looking and he can't pull off that plaid-short look. Also, for someone who used to be a fitness instructor, he needs to get back to the gym. He is starting to get a gut (maybe it's the buffets).

William L. Anderson said...

To Mommy Dot Com:

I agree with you 100 percent. Yours was an excellent comment!

dmk said...

Like most of us, I just have the media and blogs as a source of information, so I wouldn't want to speculate whether there is an unknown abuser out there.

However, I do know that what we have heard from one accuser in particular just seems too much out of tune to be passed off as something poorly supervised kids that age may have picked up from TV, movies, an older sibling, etc. and then repeated without really knowing what they are saying. That doesn't mean that there is something criminal going on, it may be more nebulous and fall into one of those categories of whether or not it is "wrong" depends on a person's individual beliefs.

Although some adults would rather not think about it or admit it, children do have their own sexuality that they explore on their own varying timeline, and in fact there is nothing inherently "dirty" or unusual about it as long as it is expressed in a healthy manner, its just a normal part of the maturation process. The fact some things are causing nagging doubts with me whether they really are typical child behavior, but just on a much-advanced timeline, makes me wonder what is really going on. But, like many aspects of this story and trial, I'm no expert on the subject so am left with no real answers, just an opinion. I firmly believe that even though I can't quite put my finger on what the dynamic with that one accuser is, it is a major, and so far hidden, piece of the puzzle that caused this situation.

kbp said...

I just saw the pic's of the article Bill posted.

That article tells us that in 2005 there were 1,000 reports of child abuse or neglect, and of them 713 were substantiated. That's 71%, which is more than 10% higher than any other city I've seen. I believe the national average is about 53%.

The percentage there is about as questionable as the percentage of cases the DA's office wins, if you can call it a "win". Things are just a little too perfect down there!


Anon 5:46 PM,

Kathleen's blog shows she read a little more on the case since her last post, which she put up before really catching all the facts we knew.

I'm glad to see she read more about the case. She goes over many good point that make sense and are topics one should consider. However, I'm not sure this is her field of expertise, though she has the right and did well at giving her opinion on the matter.

Bill, Kerwyn and I knew of her from the Duke case (maybe before that) and the very civil communications she had with us and many others. She has always been open to discussions, so I sense that she saw the need to read more on this case after her initial post regarding the SANE exam by Sharon Anderson.

You have to appreciate open minds that actually do consider all they can find out about a topic in discussion.


To Victoria,

Nancy Shaefer was a hero in my eyes. I find it difficult to believe how they ruled that murder, but I do not have enough information available to argue that they were wrong.

Whatever happened, it was a great loss for the children in her state.

Dan said...

kbp, and the stats just appear get worse, instead of better as you would expect with this kind of focus.

There is this article in the Dalton paper on day 14 of this trial. Reporting 758 cases of child abuse in a different county. They don't report how many intake calls created the 758.

Kathy R said...

Scary thing happened to me a few years back. @ the time it wasn't as scary as it would be now. I was in the Ft. O Wal-Mart and I really had to go to the bathroom...I drink way to much coffee, anyway I opened the door to what I thought was an empty stall. Surprise there stood a child no more than 7-8 yrs old who had failed to lock the door. She screamed, I screamed and everyone in the bathroom had a look of horror. If something similar were to happen..let's say no other adults were present to witness the accident, lets say an adult walked in in time to hear this child scream with me standing there and her pants down, let's say the police were called, you get my point. I would be in a fight for my life. It could happen to anyone of us and I can promise from this day on I will never use a pubic restroom again, I am afraid to smile @ a child or even look in their direction. Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I will be with my kids..Tonya will not. I don't know her but the tears will not stop. I can't even imagine.

Cyril Lucar said...


I should have sight "might be" instead of "likely." An injudicious comment. Unfortunately I do have a more jaded view of this than some. I spent too long working with kids who had been abused and now a lot of my time is counseling adults who've gone through pretty wicked stuff. If a reasonable person had talked to the little girl who touched the other little girl, they might have learned something reliable. The showering-shaving weirdness certainly deserves more attention it will likely never get.

I'm with all of you on the very disturbing trial and investigation here, but I've also worked with kids over years and found out later that they had been enduring abuse for a long time - abuse I didn't catch - abuse they were wondering when someone would save them from.

You're right about the label "abuser." The awful thing is that people rarely prove that they are innocent, they just demonstrate a "reasonable doubt". So they stay out of jail and spend the rest of their lives with a scarlet letter. It's kind of like Mayberry's being stalked by a serial killer and we're trying to protect ourselves by giving an assault rifle to Barney Fife. Barney's shooting Aunt Bea while the killer's burying Thelma in the woods.orsnee

Anonymous said...

Mommy Dot Com:

Your comment sums is wonderful. Sums up the thoughts of so many.

Anonymous said...

Ack, too many "sums!" You know what I meant, Mommy Dot Com.

Lame said...

I am more inclined to believe that there is no REAL molester right now. Like I stated in my earlier 3-part post, from my own experience, and from what I have read in published adolescent psychology journals, children sometimes begin engaging in this kind of behavior as young as four and five years of age. I can remember that I had my first crush on a girl when I was five years old--the girl I later ended up getting in trouble with.

As for the girls knowing this and that, two points: 1) By the age of seven, I knew pretty much what goes on in sexual intercourse and had even (I can't believe I still remember this) drawn a chart or diagram depicting intercourse, and what happens. I did all this without having yet ever been told a SINGLE thing about sex by my parents or anyone other than talking with neighbor friends who were my age. It was after finding this drawing that my parents finally sat me down and had the "birds and bees" talk; and 2) the parents grilled the girls for hours about this, and during that time they probably did something to the effect "Did this happen to you? Did they touch you there, do that to you, put that in there, did it feel like this or that?" It was more likely the parents who put this into the girls minds than any other thing. Remember, THAT is why COMPETENT investigators tell parents NOT to talk with their kids about these things, and NOT to talk to each other.

Kara Akins said...

Thanks Bill and anonymous. I needed to vent my concerns. Thanks for hearing.

kbp said...


I saw the "Murray County’s annual Pinwheels for Prevention" pictures and all the community involvement there.

One has to hope those involved don't make reports just to say they were involved, that they are doing their part.

It's scary when you read of so many reports made by just those few families within the very limited number of that group Tonya used to associate with.

Lame said...

Part 1

Yes, there are a lot, a LOT of abused children. Believe me, I have not, am not, nor will I ever try to down-play that. What I am saying here is that knee-jerk reaction to problems does not ever solve problems. Look at the law they passed in Florida after Jessica Lundsford. A horribly tragic case, indeed. But, part of the law they passed to "protect children" makes it so that if there is a break in your employment by the state of more than 24 hours, then you have to be re-fingerprinted in order to work in the dept of education, as a teacher, janitor, whatever. And that's $75 that comes out of your own pocket. Sure, I'm willing to pay a C note even if it keeps people from hurting kids. But, come on! 24 hours? Is someone really going to commit a sex crime, be caught, tried, convicted, sentenced, and registered in just that 24 hours? I was employed by Orange Co Pub Schools during 2006 under a temporary contract for teaching. I had to go all the way through the screening process two days later when I was re-hired. TWO DAYS!!!! Then, in July had to do it again when I moved to Miami to teach. The laws are written in a way that the only people who have a harder time accessing kids are the ones who are actually trying to do them benevolence.

While I have not worked with kids who were abused myself, I once dated a woman who did. And, I personally know twelve women and two men who were abused, mostly by parents, aunts, uncles, including two women who were used by their mothers as prostitutes, as young as 7 and 8 years old.

End part 1

Lame said...

Part 2

Cyril, I give your props for doing your job. From my experience with my friends, and from what my former girlfriend told me about these kids, it is ROUGH dealing with these issues. One of the two girls whose mother used them as a prostitute is a former girlfriend. Her abusive past is what I believe lead to the eventual breakup. She ended up pregnant and lost custody after beating her kid nearly to death. The hardest thing in the world to do is to break a cycle, any cycle, be it generational abuse, situational depression (being depressed for not having something, and being too depressed to do anything about it), bulemia, et cetera. I'm not a therepist. I'm a teacher. I have seen what I suspect to be the results of children being abused in the classroom. By law, here in Utah, I cannot say or do anything about it other than report suspicions to a guidance counselor. So, if those suspicions held water, I'll never know, because I can be sued if I ever tell anyone else about them. I've been conducting research for my master's in education thesis regarding inappropriate student-teacher relationships. That's how I found out about this case. From my research I can also say that this case is far-and-away the worst-handled one I've seen by those charging a teacher with a crime. So, my interest here isn't to blame the kids, or parents, or media, or anything of the sorts. My initial interest in this was as part of my research of how to prevent cases of teacher perpetrated sex crimes against studnets. However, as I learned more about this my interest has shifted to being, how can one accurately detect a teacher-perpetrated sex crime. Of course, a part of prevention is detecting, because part of my research, the lynchpin really, is identifying key commonalities in these types of crime, red flags so to speak. Then, investigating the roots of those commonalities and exploring methods of avoiding those circumstances. For instance, one commonality I have itentified is spending time alone with the student without a third party present. You would be surprised how many instances of inappropriate behavior could be avoided if it were the policy that no teacher be in a room with a student and have the door locked. Another commonality is either the teacher or student spending time, supervised or not, at either party's place of residence in a non-professional visit. I can list at least 20 cases off the top of my head where either the teacher or the student "hung out" at one or the other's home. That's why when I first looked at this case, it appeared to be cut and dry that she did it, because it hit nearly every commonality that I've thus-far identified. But, that, I now realize is the kind of faulty logic that has the prosecutors making statements like, "Narcicists are child molesters." So, I'm actually shifting my own focus of research now towards using these commonalities to act as a general guideline to show teachers, avoid this and you'll likely not have a problem, and adding an additional component of differentiating a genuine accusation from a false one.

So, when I criticize people on the prosecution side here, don't think I'm doing so because I don't believe children, or that things happen to children. Read some of my posts on badbadteacher and interested-participant and other blogs/websites, and you'll see that I'm generally VERY critical of teachers who commit crimes or who put themselves into these positions.

End part 2

Lookout Spy said...

I just read the article on Senator Schaefer and her husband's death. Between that, and the reported number of cases of child abuse, and the Mondale Act funding issue, it does make me wonder what our world has come too. And yes, children are bombarded with sexual innuendo constantly on television more than ever. So called Family Violence Act charges I have heard of get filed merely when a husband and wife have an argument, start shouting at each other, one of them bumps the other against the wall going up a set of stairs. In fact, the FVA is only supposed to apply when someone actually gets ARRESTED for committing battery, or stalking, or criminal trespass, (vandalism). I've seen cases where a FVA Temporary Restraining ORDER WAS ISSUED WHEN no one was ARRESTED FOR A CRIME. That means a husband and wife are restricted from speaking to each other for a YEAR! Tell me it's not a money machine, I've got a bridge to sell you. Oh, and according to Newton Minow, former FCC chairman, who helped fund PBS (think Sesame Street), he said children spend more time in front of a television than they do in a classroom by the time they are 18. And we wonder why the world is so fucked up.

kbp said...


I have a question unrelated to this case, which is not urgent. If you use Twitter, click to Follow me there, I'm kbp69. I'll do the same and we can private message some time, if your up for it.

Cyril Lucar said...


Glad you're doing the work your doing. I don't think we have any disagreement on Tonya or the need to keep kids safe.

One thing that the system doesn't account for is that the bad guys are willing to use it to their advantage. We have a system with very few fail-safes to protect innocent parties from false or frivolous accusations, it presumes everyone's good intentions - which is not a safe presumption.

Victoria said...

Lets not forget that accusations can be made anonymously to CPS (at least in my state). That just further enhances the possibility that frivolous and false allegations will be made.

The system is a racket. They do go for the low hanging fruit, wasting resources that could be spent on the cases of true abuse that need attention.

Lame said...

kbp69, I'm two hours behind y'all, so it would be something like 2 am right now. I'll check in tomorrow afternoon some time.

Cyril, you're absolutely right, there are people who are guilty who play the system. There are innocent people who get screwed by the system. There are DA's who play the system to get people who guilty but otherwise a loophole would let them walk. There are DA's who play the system to put away people who they think are guilty who are really innocent.

It's an imperfect system created by an imperfect Man. The only REAL justice is that which we receive from our Creator. There are ten basic components to God's law, which can be grouped into two categories 1) Love God with all your heart, and 2) Love your fellow Man as you would love yourself. People who use this or other systems to their own selfish advantage fail that age old tenent that says to love people and use things, and instead love things and use people.

The man whose funeral I attended today was a good example of the kind of man who used things and loved people. Like several other members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, he refused to kill when called to serve his country, and so he served as a combat medic. Spending 1942 through 45 in the Pacific, time and again he risked his own life to save the lives of wounded comerads, several times going behind enemy lines to treat and bring back to safety soldiers who otherwise would have died. When he got home after the war he never talked with his family about what he did. His own daughter never knew until just before his passing that he had twice received the bronze star for bravery. That kind of selfless sacrifice is what is lacking in our popular culture today. We recall the saying from the 1990s, "I'd like to be like Mike." That meant that we wanted the praise and attention of people, fame, glory, money, and things. But as Solomon wrote, it is all vanity. Glory is fleeting. But when you do something to help someone else, that establishes a legacy that, while doesn't go into the history books, is far more important than being able to make a dunk from the freethrow line. We have become so absorbed in self gratification that we have lost touch with what it means to be an American--duty, honor, industry, self-reliance, having malace towards none and charity towards all. I've lived in six states, from the Bible Belt to New England to the West, and everywhere I go I see the same thing; self-righteous people who use religion as a means to fulfil their need of feeling like they belong, for self-justification. So few people who claim to be Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus REALLY practice integrity and selflessness. Take a rock out of a stream and break it open. The rock has been in the streem for thousands of years, and yet there is no water inside of it. God sent us his son more than two thousand years ago, and yet Christ is still not in the hearts of Man, men and women who stand in front of the church and profess good works even. Go to your local mall and see the stores there. it is all vanity, friviality and gluttony. Even in the bookstores you have to go all the way to the back to find the books of any substance.

Anonymous said...

I relate to what you are saying. A child who is THAT expressive immediately gave me a strange feeling... Like you, I understand "normal" sexual expression and the necessity to not over react. But was there not a highly emotional parent who himself claimed to be abused?

Tonya is the mirror opposite when one looks at the profile of a female abuser. The Opposite. Well spoken, intelligent, socially outgoing, highly educated, employed etc... Also, since the report said MOST female abusers abuse boys...WHY was her son not questioned? Because daddy KNEW better. The son was also old enough to withstand much of the indoctrination I suppose.

johnlichtenstein said...

This is a great article because most people, even most people who pay some attention to the molestation conviction machine don't know that the feds do pay by the molestation. This type of incentive is bound to create unwanted

The incentive would still be there but muted if there were requirements for CACs to be accredited and audited.

maurice s. pianko said...

Dr. Anderson,

This is one of the best pieces I have ever read. I love the mix of criminal law and economics. Brilliant!

Felicia said...

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