Wednesday, June 30, 2010

But Why Would Anyone Bring False Charges? Part I: Sandra Lamb, the Wilsons and the Henkes

When Tonya Craft appeared on "The View" Tuesday, one of the questions asked of her was the standard: Why would anyone want to bring false charges against you? Indeed, that is a common question, one that needs to be answered.

For the most part, people are incredulous when they ask it, for in their minds, they cannot conceive of the following things:
  • A child testifying to things that did not happen;
  • Parents pushing charges even though they don't believe their children were molested;
  • Police conducting a phony investigation;
  • Prosecutors gaining indictments for things they know never happened; and
  • A judge purposely trying to grease the skids for a conviction.
Most people simply cannot believe that such a scenario would be possible, and from a distance, the claim might seem to be fantastic. However, there are two things that were in place that not only make the presented scenario possible, but also demonstrate the most important reason why people commit crimes in the first place: motive.

The Accusing Parents

First, the parents of the children involved were looking for revenge for various things, and in Joal and Sarah Henke's situation, they wanted custody of the two Henke children. Second, there were plenty of incentives abounding to encourage prosecutors Chris "Facebook" Arnt and Len "The Man" Gregor, along with "judge" Brian House. In this post, I will demonstrate why the accusing parents had reasons to bring false charges against Tonya Craft.

Let us look first at the parents, and especially Sandra Lamb and Dewayne and Sherri Wilson. Lamb is vindictive, and her virtuoso performance in front of Eric Echols' cell phone camera demonstrates that she is a pretty violent and unstable person. Furthermore, she filed a false police report knowing that the video would show a very different set of activities than what she had reported, so she is not afraid to lie even when others clearly know the truth.

Lamb's friendship with Chris "Facebook" Arnt gave her a lot of cover, for she knew that no matter how big the lies, she always had her backside covered by the local prosecutor. She also is someone who does not like to have anyone hold her or anyone else in her family to account, and Tonya's admonishment of her daughter for misbehaving at a party at Tonya's house was enough to send her into a violent rage.

There is one other thing to keep in mind. Lamb's parents are both dishonest and vindictive, so she has had a "role model" that tells her that she can lie and get away with it. People who do not pay consequences for bad actions, and who already are prone to bad behavior, continue to push the envelope, and that is what Lamb did.

The Wilsons, on the other hand, wanted to get Tonya fired because she had recommended that one of their children be held back because Tonya believed she was not ready for kindergarten. Furthermore, the Wilsons are people who are going to have their own way no matter what, and they were willing to commit perjury in order to have Tonya thrown into prison.

Don't forget that Sherri Wilson, with her little "hand rape" testimony (that had not been documented ANYWHERE in the entire investigation) committed perjury, which is a felony. Like Lamb, she had her backside covered by the prosecutors and "judge" House.

The sense among my own people is that the Wilsons simply wanted to spread some rumors in order to get Tonya fired (and make it hard for her to find a teaching job elsewhere). Dewayne's original call to Det. Steven Keith was that Tonya had engaged in "inappropriate" touching, not an out-and-out hand rape. I doubt he and his wife believed that it would escalate to a legal crisis; they just wanted revenge, and they are people who usually get their vengeance.

A desire for revenge is a powerful motivator. No, the rewards are not pecuniary, but, as economist Murray N. Rothbard noted, there is the "psychic profit" that comes when one is successful in certain endeavors. Furthermore, the Wilsons are not the type of people who are likely to take the "humiliation" (at least to them) of their child being held back in kindergarten (and not promoted to first grade) and not want revenge. People who are used to having their own way are going to push the envelope, too.

I believe that it is instructive to note that the Wilsons did not involve their own child in the accusations, which would be strange, given that their daughter often was at Tonya's house. The whole selective nature of this case -- Tonya molested some children, but left most of the others alone -- does not fit the M.O. of a child molester, or at least the kind of molester that fits the larger profile of serial molesters.

My sense is that the Wilsons knew from the start that the whole thing was a lie, but they wanted their revenge and they knew that they could break the law and not have to face the consequences. I doubt they believed, at least at first, that the charges would escalate into what occurred, but they had underestimated Lamb and her child-actress daughter, as Lamb had her own agenda and was not afraid of using her child to get what SHE wanted.

I have another theory as well, and that is that Lamb believed that her daughter's "experience" of being "molested" would help expand the child's career as an actress. It never occurred to her that Tonya Craft would be acquitted, and the fact that a jury declared unequivocally that Lamb and her daughter gave false testimony also is a killer of the girl's movie career, as no director will take a chance with a child who committed perjury and her vindictive helicopter mother who files false reports and lies under oath.

(Of course, the fact that "One Last Call," which was the girl's "signature" performance, was a Really Bad Movie, rated one of the worst movies of the last decade (in a decade in which even Paris Hilton's "The Hottie and the Nottie" did not even make the Top Ten Worst Movies), was not exactly a resume booster.)

Then there are the Henkes. As I noted in an earlier post, Joal and Sarah are charter members of the Liars' Club, and they certainly had a huge incentive to lie: getting custody of the children from the previous marriage of Joal and Tonya. In fact, one of the most disgusting and reprehensible things done during the trial was Sarah having a Facebook page with a picture of her holding Tonya's daughter, and thanking God for "giving" her that child.

I did not make mention of that page (now taken down, although I have a copy of it) because I knew that Sarah did it simply to taunt Tonya in a most cruel and evil way. Again, here is a woman who put Bible verses on her page, yet committed perjury, which openly violates the Ninth Commandment (or Eighth Commandment, if you are Roman Catholic or Orthodox).

Joal, on the other hand, is used to lying under oath. His "recovered memories" act during his testimony fooled no one, including "Facebook," "The Man," and "judge" House, who somehow believed that the jury would buy Henke's perjury. It didn't.

During this whole affair, I have found out much about Joal Henke, none of it good, and he is and was perfectly capable of lying on the stand to further his own ambitions. It is true that spouses often lie during custody battles and "child molestation" tends to be the charge of choice. That is why Brad Wade is in prison, and Joal had no problem telling lies that he hoped effectively would end the life of Tonya Craft and deny her the opportunity of ever seeing her children while she was alive. Sarah was a willing partner in this reprehensible scheme, and one is sorry that neither she nor Joal really will meet the bar of justice for what they have done, given that "Facebook" and "The Man" were the ones who suborned that perjury, and that "judge" House sanctioned it.

(In my next post, I will lay out the incentives for the LMJC crowd in bringing what each of them knew was a false case. Because I will not have Internet access for the next few days, I will not be posting again until the end of the week.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Congratulations to Phoebe Wright!

I am taking a short break from dealing with the Tonya Craft case and the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit in order to highlight some very positive news and to praise a very outstanding athlete. As a University of Tennessee track and cross country alum (1971-75), I take a lot of pride in the accomplishments of people who have worn the Orange Jersey.

The most outstanding athlete at Tennessee this past year, according to sportswriter Mike Strange of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, is Phoebe Wright, who came to UT as a walk-on from Red Bank High School near Chattanooga. Given that there was zero hype when she arrived at campus, as Strange noted, her rise to the position of being one of the most dominant athletes at UT has been amazing.

As one who follows UT track closely, I have not seen the kind of season that Ms. Wright had this last year, ever, at least from a Tennessee track athlete. The only collegiate race she lost all year was a second-place finish in the 500 meters at an indoor meet at Penn State last winter. She is an 800 runner, not a sprinter, and yet her time in that 500 meters was the fifth-fastest collegiate time in history.

Her utter dominance in the 800 meters, not to mention the few times she ran the 1500 meters (and she even won a 400 meter race in collegiate competition) was something for the record books. She had to lead every race, and in high-level meets, it always was the same: someone would hang on her shoulder, and Phoebe would run away down the homestretch.

The great thing was (if one is a UT track fan), is that everyone knew what was going to happen in the last 100 meters. Whether it was at the NCAA indoor championships (in which she blew away a very good field) to the NCAA outdoor championships (in which she blew away a very good field), she led the entire race, had people on her shoulder on the backstretch of the last lap, and then pulled away at the end.

One tipoff to how dominant she was in these major races was the fact that the second-place finishers always stayed in lane one down the stretch. Why is that significant? It is because a person who is trying to win will swing wide so that he or she can pass down the stretch. However, if one remains in lane one, it is saying that the real competition is for second place.

I had the pleasure of running with very dominant athletes at Tennessee, such as Doug Brown, Reggie Jones, and Willie Thomas, all multiple-NCAA champions. However, I never saw any of them have as dominant a season as did Phoebe Wright. Brown came the closest, but even he would admit that Ms. Wright did something special.

She finally lost at the USA championships last Sunday, taking third in 2:00.47, but even that loss has an interesting story and also tells us something about Phoebe's competitiveness. It starts with the situation that UT has an equipment relationship with Adidas, and Phoebe always wore her orange and black Adidas shoes.

However, she had just signed with Nike as a professional, and on Sunday, she had to wear Nike spikes. She was having problems with her new shoes even before the race, and it got worse. At 400 meters, one of the shoes ripped (we call it a "blowout") and in a championship race with the fastest runners in the country, that is more than a little distraction.

First, it means that one has to focus on something other than the race at hand, which is devastating to a serious runner. Second, it slows down one's race; THAT is a given.

On the backstretch, as is shown in the video linked here, you can see her glance to her right and she is passed by a few people, cutting off her momentum and boxing her to the curb.

For most runners, that is a death sentence. First, she lost momentum, and second, she had to focus on waiting for an opening, both of which would devastate most runners. Instead, she slipped to the outside and ultimately came in third, just missing second place.

Would she have won without the shoe blowout? I don't know, but I guarantee that it did not help her. However, she will have many more races, and I fully expect to see her winning national championships at the highest levels and doing well in Europe.

Beyond that are the World Championships next year and the Olympic Games in two years. Phoebe Wright has the capability of making US teams in both events, and I for one will be interested to see how she progresses.

Oh, one more thing. She has a 3.96 average, majoring in hard sciences, and was the recipient of the McWhorter Award from the Southeastern Conference as the outstanding female scholar-athlete this past year. The award has a $15,000 scholarship for graduate study.

I only would add that Phoebe was not simply the best "scholar-athlete" in the SEC; she was the best athlete.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Liars' Club

Seven weeks after the “not guilty” verdict for Tonya Craft in Catoosa County, it seems that the people who spread the lies in the first place have not gone into hibernation. I have heard stories about the various players for the prosecution, and it seems that the Liars’ Club still is open for business.

Throughout the summer, I will continue to deal with the various prosecution witness and other players who made this travesty possible, and who continue to claim that the jury returned an “O.J. verdict” on Tonya’s case. Since they are continuing to push their lies, I feel no obligation to back off and stop exposing them.

This post is named “The Liars’ Club,” as I name some (or maybe most) of the players for the prosecution and give a lie or two that they told. Since some of these people lied under oath or helped to fabricate prosecution documents in the middle of the trial, or they suborned perjury, then perhaps a better title would be “The Felon’s Club,” but since the “justice” system in the State of Georgia works overtime to protect the worst that seem to get on top, I doubt any of them will find themselves in criminal court. Nonetheless, even though they won’t meet the official bar of justice, nonetheless, I believe there is a need to tell others what these lawless and dishonest people have done.

To name the worst villain of this sorry story would be impossible, so I will name them in alphabetical order. Here they are:

Christopher Arnt: This is a man who clearly spits on the word, “integrity.” Early on, he told the attorneys for Tonya Craft that he did not have exculpatory evidence in his possession, when, in fact, he did. However, his lying did not stop with pre-trial activities. Arnt participated in the fabrication of evidence, having ex parte meetings with “judge” Brian House, and engaging in disruptive actions throughout the trial. But, this Super Liar was not satisfied with lying just during the trial. No, he told the jury some whoppers during his closing arguments (which the jurors, thankfully, resented), and then told Channel 9 that his “Facebook” page (in which he used a public forum to make disparaging remarks about Ms. Craft and her counsel – which clearly violates Georgia State Bar rules for prosecutors) had been “hacked.” Right.

Tim “Dirty” Deal: In the early stages of this whole affair, Deal seemed to have some healthy skepticism, but by the trial, he was ready to commit perjury and worse. After the “hand rape” allegations that had appeared nowhere in discovery, the prosecution was in trouble, but Deal came to the rescue. Suddenly, like magic, a fresh document appeared in his files substantiating this claim. So, not only was Deal willing to commit perjury, but also was willing to break the law by fabricating documents. Lucky he committed his crimes in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, where prosecutors, judges, and people wearing badges don’t have to worry about obeying the law.

Laurie Evans: One of the most amazing things in the world today is the fact that people still are stupid enough to entrust their children to “therapy” given by Evans. While under oath, she told one whopper after another, including her claim that she never had been treated for mental illness, and that Accuser #1 (who was coloring in an interview session with a yellow crayon) freaked out over yellow, and that the attorneys were purposely wearing yellow while the child was on the stand.

Len Gregor: Oh, yes, THE MAN. The man who declared that Tonya Craft is lying “when her lips are moving,” a phrase that is more applicable to Gregor and his dirty partner, Arnt. Let’s look at just a few of his lies, given that there is not enough byte space in the universe to cover everything falsehood he told in those sorry four weeks. Gregor was the point man in the fabrication of the “hand rape” document, and even had the temerity to accuse the defense of lying when, in fact, he knew all along that Deal had fabricated the bogus document. The man who literally is “paid by the accused child molester” declared that he was not “paid by the child molester.” During the monologue that masqueraded as his “cross examination” of Tonya Craft, a number of us following the proceedings on Twitter kept asking when the guy was going to ask a question of substance. Of course, he never did, but given that one can tell when Gregor is lying (whenever his lips are moving), he was incapable of uttering anything intelligent AND honest. Maybe that is why he closed with some really stupid analogies about fishing lures. Oh, and here is a guy that suborned perjury claiming that some of the most distinguished and respected expert witnesses in the country were “whores of the court” and “liars.”

Joal Henke: The trial of Tonya Craft did wonders for Joal Henke’s memories, as he “just happened to remember” while walking to the courthouse about an alleged incident involving his ex-wife, something that, surprise, surprise, had not been entered into evidence. However, given that the proceedings were nothing but a kangaroo court, this obviously contrived “incident” was entered into the record. Unfortunately, Henke did not have such a good memory when the defense attorneys asked him about his extra-marital activities.

Sarah Bass Henke: From the woman whose peculiar habit of showering with Tonya’s (then) six-year-old daughter and having the child help her to shave in certain places, we got even more lies. Henke told the court that the only reason that she was showering with the child was that the girl was being mistreated and neglected at Tonya’s place and was showing up at her father’s house “dirty” and having “matted hair.” Of course, she also denied under oath what she already had admitted in another proceeding – that she had Tonya’s daughter help her shave in private places. But, when the prosecution is suborning perjury in the LMJC (which occurs when prosecutors’ lips are moving), should we be surprised that people like Sarah Bass Henke will tell the truth? (On her Facebook page, Henke had a number of Bible verses. However, she had nothing from Proverbs 6:16-19, and somehow, that does not surprise me.

“judge” Brian House: None of this parade of perjury could have been possible without the efforts of perhaps the worst “judge” in the USA. From unreported ex parte meetings with prosecutors to his eagerness to let prosecutors bring in perjured testimony, House made sure that the juries would receive as many lies as possible, and he actively worked to keep the truth out. Oh, and I am sure that the jurors saw Arnt making hand signals to House to show him what to do next.

Sandra Lamb: The charter member and president-for-life of the Liars’ Club managed to put on a performance of perjury that even her own daughter could not match. (That is right; since Lamb and her daughter most likely were the ones who decided to dream up the “hand rape” incident, I have no doubt that the child knew she had not been molested, but also knew that if she said what Sandra and the people at the Children’s Advocacy Center wanted, she would be treated like a queen.) From her statement that her daughter had not received acting lessons (“judge” House refused to permit the defense to enter a document that proved Lamb was lying) to her pushing of the “hand rape” lie, Lamb started lying early and often. For good measure, she even lied last year about her encounter with Eric Echols.

Suzi Thorne: Here is another prosecution witness who benefitted from the Arnt-Gregor “recovered memories” seminar, as she “suddenly remembered” the “hand rape” incident that never did pass the smell test. From her manipulative interview with Tonya’s daughter (in which she used all of the police interrogation tactics that are absolutely criminal to use on a six-year-old girl) to the lies she told on the stand, one can see that Thorne has learned from the “testilying” course that police officers apparently take as requirement for wearing the badge.

There were plenty of other liars, but this is a good start, and a reminder that people who followed the Tonya Craft trial actually witnessed a crime wave. The crimes were committed by people who are officers of the court or who were under oath, but lying at the direction of the prosecutors and, to be frank, “judge” House.

Because I will not have Internet access for much of the week, I will be posting periodically. However, because Tonya has a custody hearing next month, the issues surrounding this case and especially Joal Henke’s lack of veracity are very much alive. Have a great week!

Don't forget, Tonya and David Craft will be guests on "The View" Tuesday morning at 11.

Friday, June 25, 2010

And A Good Time Was Had By All

Yes, yes, yes, the post is late this morning, but I have a good excuse. (Actually, two good excuses)

Last night, my wife and I went to the home of Tonya and David Craft and came away with about 40-50 new friends, as a lot of people were there to help celebrate Tonya's acquittal and just to have a good time. From Jennifer Sullivan to Eric Echols, and all folks in between, including Tonya's wonderful parents, we had a good time and I am grateful for Tonya and David's hospitality and the warm friendship shown by so many people.

As much as anything, this was a celebration of the grace of God and the hard work of the attorneys. I shudder to think that two prosecutors and a judge, all three knowing that Tonya was innocent, continued to push that sham of a trial. And I am thankful that God picked a jury that saw not only through the ridiculous nonsense the prosecution called "evidence," but also realized that the prosecution and "judge" Brian House treated them with utter contempt, and they spoke in the only way that a jury can speak: a just verdict.

There are many things that I learned last night, but perhaps the most important thing is that persistence matters. Tonya was willing to knock on doors, see people who did not want to see her, and decided that if she was going to be incarcerated, that she would put up a fight all the way to the prison gates. Hearing her give an account of some of the things she did reminded me of Jesus' parable of the persistent woman and the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8.

Yes, I believe there is a much large lesson in this story. Tonya was someone pleading for justice, and in her case, not one institution of the State of Georgia would respond in any way other than either hostility or complete indifference. Georgia's attorney general still turns his back on her, and the judicial system has been a joke. One hopes that the Georgia State Bar will come to understand that fabricating documents masquerading as "evidence" is an offense so serious that something must be done to punish those who engage in it.

The institutions of the federal government have been just as bad, and we shall see how the federal lawsuit plays out. We have witnessed not just the breaking, but also the utter trashing of federal criminal laws, yet no one in authority seems interested in doing an investigation, at least for now.

Like the unjust judge, so many people in authority are stirred to action when they want to protect their own, and not carry out the duties of which they are charged. So be it.

Why is Tonya free today? She is free because of the grace of God and the fact that like the widow in Jesus' parable, she would not stop asking for justice until she received it. That is a trait that has served her well, and will continue to serve her in the future. God is not done with this remarkable woman just yet.

Oh, yes, my other excuse. We got back a bit late last night (no, Gregor and Arnt, there were no drunk people and no lewd dancing or anything like that, sorry, guys), and I had to be at a men's prayer meeting with my father at 7 a.m. at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. I just got back, and decided to post before the day is done.

Have a great weekend. Don't forget the "Truth for Tonya Carwash" on McFarland Road in Rossville tomorrow, beginning at 10 AM. My van is dirty, and I know where I am going to get it washed!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Letter to Buzz Franklin, Part II

[Update, Thursday, June 24, 10:10 AM]: I will be a guest on WGOW-FM (102.3) this morning at 11 AM. We will be discussing the aftermath of the Tonya Craft case.
[End Update]

(This is the second half of a letter I sent to Buzz Franklin last month.)

Let me now discuss the testimony of Sandra Lamb, mother of Accuser #1. First, she had an ex parte conversation with House two days before her testimony, yet no one notified the defense, as is required by the Rules of the Georgia State Bar. Second, while on the stand, she claimed (under oath) that her daughter, who is a child actress, had not received any acting lessons.

However, according to Raegan Lamb’s official on-line IMDb resume, that is not true. Here is what is says about her training:
• John Robert Powers, Atlanta, GA, Cold Read Techniques, Janet Milstein, 2005
• John Robert Powers, Atlanta, GA, Monologues, Janet Milstein, 2005
• John Robert Powers, Atlanta, GA, Scene Study, Kwietha Bolden, 2005
• John Robert Powers, Atlanta, GA, Commercials, Kwietha Bolden, 2005

Your prosecutors were successful in convincing House (who apparently needed no convincing) to keep this resume out of the evidence file so that the jury would not be made aware that Ms. Lamb did not tell the truth while under oath. I find it interesting that your prosecutors, whom you claim acted “ethically” and “honorably” throughout this whole case, were anxious to keep out this evidence which would cast doubt on one of their key witnesses. Unfortunately, such actions were the norm, not the exception, when it came to the performance of Mr. Arnt and Mr. Gregor.

I now would like to move to the issue of Laurie Evans, the CAC “therapist” who would be considered “ground zero” for the official accusations of child molestation against Ms. Craft. As you know, Evans interviewed Ms. Craft’s two children, her son and daughter. As you know further, Judge Marie Williams of Hamilton County, Tennessee, who was hearing arguments in the custody issue of the children between Ms. Craft and her ex-husband, Joal Henke, had strong doubts about Ms. Evans and finally issued a court order that said Ms. Evans was not to have ANY contact with the Henke children.

Yet, what happened? She engaged in contempt of court and continued to have contact, and your prosecutors continued to use her material uncritically. Don’t forget that Ms. Evans was diagnosed with PTSD and not considered to be competent to engage in the kind of evaluations and “therapy” she was performing with those children. Yet, your office continued to use her as an important figure in pushing this prosecution, even though her actions as pointed out by Judge Williams should have been a red flag.

As you know, prosecutors are supposed to exercise good judgment, as opposed to trying to “win at all costs,” and that means knowing where the red flags might be located. Unfortunately, with prosecutors Arnt and Gregor, a “red flag” seems to be exculpatory evidence, and they do their best to try to make sure that such evidence cannot be seen by a jury.

Let me ask you how you would like it if you or one of your loved ones were put on trial and the prosecution was pursuing a “win at all costs” strategy, and the Rights of the Accused were being eviscerated. I suspect you might howl a bit. I remember when Nifong was the subject of an investigation by the North Carolina State Bar and suddenly he remembered his precious rights, the same rights he ignored when he pursued the lacrosse players from Duke, and complained loudly that he was being treated unfairly.

Your prosecutors, Arnt and Gregor, certainly managed to draw attention to themselves. Despite the Bar Rules on “respecting the tribunal,” they managed to engage in activities meant to disrupt the proceedings and to throw off the defense when its lawyers were questioning witnesses. For example, on numerous occasions, the two of them rolled their eyes, shrugged their shoulders, made loud sighs, threw books and other materials on the table to make loud noises, they yelled at witnesses, demeaned them unnecessarily, and also tried to intimidate people in the courtroom.

As pointed out before, Gregor one day while court was in session literally dressed down Melydia Clewell of WRCB-TV in Chattanooga because he did not like some of her dispatches. I never have seen a prosecutor go after an individual reporter while in court and pretty much demand that he or she report the news the way the prosecutor wants it reported. This is what one calls naked intimidation, and that should be grounds for disciplining a prosecutor, not praising him.

A friend of mine, who has testified in more than 500 criminal trials as a nurse SANE, recently told me that in one session, an ADA simply rolled his eyes at the comments of the defense. The judge stopped the proceedings, dressed down the ADA for violating the decorum, and then fined him $500. Unfortunately, in the trial of Tonya Craft, a number of courtroom observers told me that Judge House was taking his cues from Arnt and Gregor, and while you are not responsible for the judge’s behavior, you do have a responsibility to make sure that your ADAs actually respect the proceedings and act in a civilized manner.

If you doubt what I am saying about the behavior of Arnt and Gregor, you might want to watch the many hours of video of courtroom procedures. Should that not convince you that your ADAs were misbehaving, I can produce a number of people who were in attendance at the trial who will sign sworn, notarized statements attesting to both the outright rudeness AND crudeness of your employees.

Because this letter is quite long, I would like to move quickly to the next topic, that being the prosecution’s treatment of the defense’s expert witnesses. As you recall, there were four witnesses, and I gave their names earlier in this letter. Let me deal, then, with the treatment of each of them.

First, and most important, these witnesses were not hacks. All four of them are highly respected, and they either are Ph.D.’s or M.D.’s and all of them are experienced expert witnesses. Second, your prosecutors chose to call each of them “whores of the court” and people who are “liars” for money. In other words, you called each of them liars, but only after they had testified.

This creates a huge problem for your office and for Georgia prosecutors. Let me explain. Dr. Nancy Aldridge is a highly-respected child specialist who literally “wrote the book” on questioning children who are suspected of being sexually abused. Furthermore, Dr. Aldridge almost always testifies for the prosecution in these kinds of cases, and only rarely does she testify for the defense.

Thus, by calling her a “whore of the court” and a “liar,” ADAs Arnt and Gregor have impugned the integrity of every prosecutor in Georgia and elsewhere who has used Dr. Aldridge’s testimony. If she really is a liar, as BOTH of your prosecutors loudly proclaimed on the record in court, then it would seem that her testimony should never be allowed in a court of law. This is more than just a PR problem, for what you are saying is that there are numerous people in Georgia prisons who have been wrongfully convicted because Dr. Aldridge’s testimony was key to their being found guilty.

Furthermore, because Dr. Aldridge was cited as an important authority in a Georgia Supreme Court decision upholding the conviction of someone, then that decision should be invalidated, according to your public statements regarding the actions of Arnt and Gregor. Please do not say that they made those assertions in “the heat of battle.” They were cold and calculated statements that were meant to tell jurors that Dr. Aldridge was committing perjury.

In fact, if you and your ADAs are so convinced that these four witnesses perjured themselves, then why don’t you have them arrested, charged, and put on trial? After all, if they are liars, and they lied to a jury, then you have all of the evidence you need to bring felony charges against them. That you would never even consider doing such a thing tells me that your ADAs figured that they could try to get away with lying themselves. (Ironically, one of the jurors said that all of the jurors believed that Arnt lied about previous testimony during his closing arguments.)

One question that people have asked me has been why your office has been so aggressive in pursuing this case. I believe that one of the main reasons that your office has prosecuted so many of these cases is that you receive lots of federal money through the Mondale Act. At the present time, I am engaged in research that looks at this relationship between certain kinds of prosecutions and the financial payout, and I have my suspicions that there will be a strong correlation. In other words, I don’t believe you have targeted so-called child molestation cases out of your love for children.

My last topic is the continued prosecution of Private Investigator Eric Echols, who was arrested for the trumped-up charge of “interfering with a witness” because he recorded Jerry McDonald, father of “accuser #2,” saying he had strong doubts about the veracity of your case. (Your prosecutors then threatened Mr. McDonald with “obstruction of justice” if he did not change his views.)

Unfortunately for you, Mr. Echols also has a video recording of being assaulted by Sandra Lamb while he was legally delivering a subpoena to her home. Furthermore, on that video, Ms. Lamb is recorded as calling him a “black bastard,” which gives a racial motive to her assault, as Mr. Echols is African-American. Your office ignored the fact that she both interfered with his legal duties and engaged in what would be classified as a “hate crime,” and I don’t believe that this failure of your office to do its legal duties here is an accident or just an oversight on your part. Instead, it seems to be part of the same pattern that characterized you and your ADAs all through the Craft case.

This has been a very long letter, and I believe I have made my points, and it is time to close. However, because of your public statement given on May 14, 2010, I will say emphatically that this episode is not over. You made very serious charges against me, and even though you did not mention my name, nonetheless I was the main blogger and you certainly were aiming your comments at least partially at me.

You said that I was part of a “shameless” defense strategy, except I was part of no strategy but my own. If you have proof that I was working at the direction of the defense, I sure would like to see it, although you would have to fabricate the evidence, and I know that your office never would fabricate anything like that.

Since you have no proof, perhaps you might want to understand that your comments are untrue and certainly need to be scrutinized by people who have authority over you. Your office brought transparently false charges against a woman, forcing her to be bankrupted and to lose everything in her effort to defend herself. Your ADAs brutalized her and all of the defense witnesses, referred to four very respected expert witnesses as “whores of the court” and “liars,” and engaged in brutal and disrupting behavior. Furthermore, they openly mimicked the defense attorneys in open court, which in most states would not be regarded as acceptable behavior.

Yet, you blame everyone else. You blame the jurors and imply that future juries had better “get it right.” You blame the media because not every media reporter acted like the people from Channel 9, and then you blame bloggers like me because you don’t like the First Amendment. Furthermore, you demonstrate remarkable ignorance about who is on trial during court proceedings (it is NOT the state, Mr. Franklin), and then act as though we should feel sorry for you because you did not get your cherished conviction.

As I see it, this case has been marked by prosecutorial misconduct at every turn. Before the trial, one of your ADAs was making nasty comments about the defense counsel on his Facebook page, and both of your prosecutors were trying desperately to keep out exculpatory material, and they also instructed police not to give any material to the defense. They also ordered a brutal police raid on the office of Dr. Ann Hazzard to seize records when, in fact, she would have given your office anything you had asked without the show of force. (I suspect you would not like a gang of police officers with guns drawn ransacking your office, and the fact you did it to a respected clinical psychologist demonstrates the lack of respect you have for the law and for other people.)

During the trial, your ADAs clearly suborned perjury, brutalized witnesses, intimidated spectators and news reporters, claimed that one of the most respected prosecution witnesses in the State of Georgia is a “whore of the court” and a “liar,” and after you lost your case, you blame jurors, the media, and people like me. Let’s face it, sir. Your record throughout this whole sorry affair has been abysmal, and so I hardly am surprised to see you closing the chapter with yet one more sorry pronouncement.

Would be that I had the kind of influence you attributed people like me, as well as to members of the local media. Furthermore, I only wish that you had the same ability to recognize a weak or even nonexistent criminal case against someone that many other people in the community – including 12 honest jurors – seemed to have done. My sense is that there are many people from the LMJC who were wrongfully convicted because you and your ADAs were able to roll over them in court, getting away with the same slimy tactics that were used against Tonya Craft. Thus, I will continue to investigate – and publicly criticize – you and your ADAs.


William L. Anderson

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rehearsal Footage for Monteverdi's "Orfeo" from Virgin Classics

Yes, this is "off-topic" from what this blog has covered the past few months, but in my world, NOTHING is off-topic! I am a lover of Early, Renaissance, and early Baroque, and especially love the works of Monteverdi. (I remember singing a piece by Monteverdi in the Chattanooga Bach Choir 20 years ago, and I would not trade that moment for anything. It was at a Sunday night concert at Christ Church, Episcopal, on McCallie Avenue. I remember Christ Church as the best acoustic in which I ever have sung.)

This is footage of some rehearsal for Monteverdi's opera "Orfeo," directed by the incomparable Emmanuelle Haim. Among the voices is Natalie Dessay, and just listening to her at any time is a real treat! I also enjoy the various period instruments, the recorders, and the strings.

My Letter to Buzz Franklin, Part I

Last month, after he made his infamous public statement claiming that the media and the blogosphere prevented the state "from receiving a fair trial," I wrote a long (very long) letter to Buzz Franklin.

Because it is nearly 5,000 words, I am putting it in two parts. Anyway, here is the first part:

Dear Mr. Franklin:

I am writing this letter to you in response to your press release given on Friday, May 14, and because I was the main blogger in this case (and I have no doubt that you and your staff read my comments), I believe that I need to give some answers in response to your accusations, many of which were absolutely untrue. Furthermore, much of what you have said in your release seems to be aimed at intimidating the jurors in the Tonya Craft case, as well as intimidating future jurors that will hear criminal cases in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit.

As one who has followed a large number of criminal trials and proceedings, I must say that the only case to which I can compare the trial against Ms. Craft was the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case, in which three lacrosse players from Duke University were falsely accused of raping Crystal Gail Mangum. However, District Attorney Michael B. Nifong indicted the players, and then lied, falsified evidence, and ultimately was caught and disbarred.

I bring up the Duke case because the kind of investigation that was done in that case mirrors the investigation your office carried on in the Craft case, as well as what happened in the infamous McMartin/Little Rascals/Bakersfield/Wenatchee and other such cases in which people were wrongfully convicted. (I find it interesting that your “expert” witnesses were not aware at all of these faux “child molestation” cases when asked about them by the defense during cross-examination.)

There are a number of things I would like to cover in this letter. The first is your conduct toward the Craft jury and its verdict, which you openly criticize, in violation of the ethical standards that govern your profession. I also will comment on your “fair trial” statement, which is puzzling to me, given that the state never was on trial.

I then will comment on the statements and behavior of the state’s witnesses, as well as the behavior or your prosecutors. Last, I want to deal with the way that your office falsely characterized the “expert” witnesses for the defense, calling them “whores of the court” as well as people who “lie for money.” This is a serious accusation, as all four are respected in their field, and Dr. Nancy Aldridge, who usually testifies for the prosecution, is highly-regarded across Georgia, and so your office in characterizing her as a liar also impugns the integrity of every prosecutor who has used her testimony in legal proceedings. To put it mildly, you need to answer for a number of things.

Obviously, I cannot cover everything that happened in the trial, but I believe that at very least I must address some of the merits of your statement, and explain why I believe that you are engaged in illegal intimidation. Let us begin with your comment on the verdict itself:
I was disappointed with the verdict in the Tonya Craft case. The State presented a strong and compelling case to support a conviction, however, the jury chose to acquit her and we must accept this decision.
There is nothing wrong with that statement, as it follows within the guidelines of the ABA’s ethical rules for prosecutors:

Standard 3-5.10 Comments by Prosecutor After Verdict

The prosecutor should not make public comments critical of a verdict, whether rendered by judge or jury.

Yet, you then declare the following, which clearly violates what the previously-listed standard:
Child molesters rarely commit their crime in public. Child molesters rarely confess. Child molesters are rarely caught on tape. Child molesters rarely leave behind physical evidence. A jury must often make a choice between the testimony of an abused child and the alleged perpetrator. If a jury refuses to convict without videotapes, confession or physical evidence, it will be impossible to convict most child molesters.

It was particularly troubling in this case to hear statements attributed to some jurors that they looked at the defendant and decided she just didn't look like someone who would commit such a crime. We must necessarily base our cases on the evidence and not how a defendant looks. We do not simply prosecute those who fit the unsavory profile a juror might have.
In reading the few interviews that exist with jurors in that case, it is utterly clear that your portrayal of them doing something akin to judging a beauty contest is dead wrong. These jurors spoke to the evidence presented and to the behavior of your prosecutors, and the especially cited what they believed to be “lies” told by Chris Arnt during the closing arguments by misrepresenting the testimony of Dr. Nancy Fajman. (The defense objected, but Judge Brian House, as he had done when prosecutors were badgering witnesses and he overruled defense objections by declaring, “He’s on cross,” then declared during the closing arguments that “He’s on close.”)

What you said clearly violates the rules of conduct that supposedly govern your office. You are not to attack jurors, and what you said earlier smacks of intimidation. In effect, you wrote something akin to this: The prosecution presented a strong case and jurors were too stupid or too craven to recognize the brilliance of what Arnt and Len Gregor did. They should have convicted Ms. Craft, and by not agreeing with my assessment of the case, the jurors did something terrible.

Indeed, by setting up a straw man and then ignoring what jurors actually told the media about the substance of the case, you have crossed the line, although this hardly is the first time you have done so in the prosecution of Ms. Craft. Your actions here are deceitful, and I believe you are trying to send a message to jurors that will hear future cases that are controversial that they had better bow to the prosecution’s desires.

After all, what did you say? You said that the state “presented a strong and compelling case to support a conviction” which implies that the jury should have rendered the verdict you wanted. Yet, the jurors disagreed with your assessment? Does that make them wrong? You imply that they should have come to the decision that you desired, but they are not obligated to bow down to your wishes, period.

It seems to me that you are telling potential jurors in the LMJC that the prosecutors are so superior and that they always are correct, so to contradict them is unacceptable. I don’t think so. First, your ADAs are not as good as you think and certainly not as good as they think. Second, your assessment that somehow the defense was dishonest and bullied witnesses is untruthful, as courtroom observers, as well as the videotape of the proceedings tell a much different story.

I now would like to examine the following statement that you make regarding the press and the bloggers:
In most cases, the media strives to present their coverage of criminal trials in a fair and even-handed way that serves to inform the public. In this case, a number of local reporters openly took sides and heavily slanted their coverage in favor of the defense.

Combined with the dynamics of the internet blogosphere, it created an environment hostile to the State's ability to receive a fair trial and portrayed the victims and their families in a false and negative light. This was an integral, purposeful and shameless part of the defense strategy. This will result in child victims and their supportive family members refusing to come forward for fear of a similar portrayal in the public. My office has never tried cases in the media and we won't start now.
First, I need to remind you, sir, that the State of Georgia was not on trial. Instead, it was the duty of the State of Georgia and your office to help to put on a fair trial, and I can tell you that despite your best efforts to replicate the court of Roland Friesler, the jurors still saw through your case.

Second, the jurors all said that they had not read the newspapers, saw news broadcasts, or read the blogs, so if you are saying that I and others influenced them, then you also must accuse these jurors of misconduct. If you are not ready to bring criminal charges against them, then perhaps you need to change your statements.

I would challenge you to name me one instance in which the news media or my blog “portrayed the victims and their families in a false and negative light.” First, they were “alleged” victims, and for you to declare that Tonya Craft is guilty after a jury has ruled “not guilty” is to spit in the face of the system you claim to support. Second, I want to challenge you to show one instance of the “false light” example. Disagreeing with what they were saying, by the way, does not count, for if your views are to be taken as ex cathedra, then there really is no need for a trial.

I did not know any of the families or their children, nor did I know Tonya Craft, so I had no incentive to put people I did not know in a “false light.” However, you made a statement that was so utterly untrue and calumnious that I must address it as my second point. You declare that that what I wrote was “an integral, purposeful and shameless part of the defense strategy.” It will tell you flat out that what you said is a lie.

During this trial, I had NO contact with the defense, none. There was a gag order and even had there been no such order, I still would not have coordinated anything with the defendant (who I did not know) or her attorneys. You can check my emails and my phone records and you will not find ANY contact with the defense, so to claim that my blog was part of a “defense strategy” is a lie. Let me repeat it: What you said was false.

What I wrote, I wrote because I was observing the day’s proceedings, watching your witnesses on the news, and observing the behavior of your ADAs, Arnt and Gregor. To be honest, what I was seeing was outrageous, and that was why I wrote what I did. For you to claim that I was writing what I did on order of Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos and the other attorneys is to engage in false speech, which also violates the ethical standards of your office.

Also, Len Gregor dressed down Melydia Clewell of WRCB-TV in open court. The idea of an ADA trying to intimidate a journalist in front of a judge (who apparently approved of this outrageous act) violates all ethical standards, and you know it. Furthermore, Ms. Clewell was not acting in concert with the defense, nor was she a source for my daily posts. That’s right. My sources included people you did not know and could not control through gag orders or anything else.

Don’t forget that your prosecutors made public statements to the press that by declaring she was innocent, Ms. Craft was “acting guilty,” which was quoted in the Catoosa News on March 8. Mr. Arnt also had an inflammatory posting on his Facebook page on January 27, 2010, which violated Rules 3.6 and 3.8, as prosecutors are not allowed to engage in Trial by Facebook. I have documentation of both things, so please do not try to say that this did not happen. As you know, Michael Nifong was disbarred in North Carolina in part because of his public statements, and while Georgia has different rules, the overall ethical standards are supposed to be similar. However, since your ADAs tried, in effect, to try the case in the media, your statement is false.

I next would like to address the conduct of your witnesses, and especially those from the Children’s Advocacy Centers of North Georgia. As was noted in a number of independent reports, your CAC witnesses, when questioned by the defense, rolled their eyes, made noises, shrugged their shoulders, and generally were hostile as opposed to acting like professionals. It is obvious that they are used to having their way in trials held in the LMJD, yet when we look both at their credentials and their performance, there is no way that they have been held to any professional standards.

As you know, therapists, interviewers, and medical professionals are supposed to document events, yet one of the things missing from almost all of them (with the exception of Sharon Anderson, who still faltered on a number of key questions during cross-examination, but has not updated her training, as she still is using outdated methods and analysis). Perhaps the most egregious example came from Suzi Thorne, who claimed that after she had interviewed Raegan Lamb (Accuser #1), and the girl had “disclosed” nothing, then suddenly after the cameras were turned off, she then made a claim of an act of sexual penetration that was so violent that it is certain there would have been terrible physical damage (which apparently never was the case).

Ms. Thorne, who does not even have a college degree and is not qualified under any circumstances to do this kind of work, said that she did nothing to document this “explosive” encounter. She did not turn back on the video camera, nor did she write anything in her notes. She then claimed that a detective (that she could not identify on the stand) took down notes, but nothing like that had been given the defense at discovery.

I will tell you, Mr. Franklin, that this testimony reeks of perjury, and it clearly does not pass any “smell test.” That Det. Tim Deal at the next session would claim to have been the one present, and then the prosecution suddenly “discovering” the document in question is something that you have to understand is going to make people like me very, very suspicious. I believe that one always should be suspicious of deus ex machina actions by either the defense or the prosecution, and the notion that Thorne’s testimony should not have been scrutinized to the hilt is laughable.

Would you have been willing to accept such a state of affairs had the defense suddenly come up with this kind of testimony? For that matter, the prosecution, working with House, managed to keep out reams of exculpatory material from the evidence file, including the notes that Dr. Ann Hazzard kept on her sessions with the two children of Tonya Craft. It is interesting that the prosecution considered those notes to be “hearsay,” but that you are willing to claim that the unmemorialized testimony of Suzi Thorne was “legitimate” evidence.

I will go even further. All of the prosecution “experts” associated with the Children’s Advocacy Centers admitted that they did not read any current academic and professional literature that deals with the techniques of interviewing children suspected of having been abused, sexually or otherwise. In fact, one of your witnesses, Stacy Long, laughed and said, “So what!” during cross-examination when asked about asking leading questions to children, yet one of the documented reasons that we have false accusations in cases like this is that interviewers ask leading questions.

(Part II tomorrow)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"I'm With Stupid"

"Stupid is as stupid does."
-- Forrest Gump

Today, I am taking a break from going over the transcripts of the interviews with the children to take a longer look at what we have witnessed these past two years, and especially in the last two months. I'm tempted to say that the principals of the LMJC, from the judges to the prosecutors, are stuck on stupid, and stupidity does seem to reign.

However, I don't think the stupidity we are seeing is from a lack of intelligence, as even Forrest Gump would have understood that Tonya Craft did not molest any children and that Eric Echols did not commit any crimes. No, I think that we are seeing a group of people who are dealing with the consequences of their own long-time arrogance to a point where now they are scared stupid.

Even now, the prosecutors and police are trying to claim that the jury gave an "O.J. Verdict," ignoring the fact that jurors were not stupid (even though the prosecutors thought they were) and could recognize lies from Chris Arnt, Len Gregor, and the witnesses. Did Arnt and Gregor really think that when they deliberately misrepresented testimony from the defense witnesses in speaking to the jury that jurors would not remember what actually was said? When Arnt and Gregor told jurors that they had "caught Tonya Craft telling lies" in her testimony, that the jurors would not be asking themselves the simply question: What lies?

No, it is obvious that Buzz Franklin, Arnt, Gregor, and "judge" Brian House believed that they had handpicked a jury of near-moronic people who would be enraged that the defense attorneys were not from Catoosa County, and that the expert witnesses for the defense were from Atlanta and Nashville. The prosecutors and "judge" tried to appeal to the worst instincts of jurors, thinking they were as malevolent as themselves.

As for the Echols case, the longer the LMJC principals try to hold onto the charges (thinking that Eric will plead to "something"), the worse off they will be. Does Franklin understand that if he continues to go down this road, that he will be dealing with organizations such as the NAACP and other groups that will take a special interest in the fact that Buzz is trying to railroad an African-American into prison, despite the fact that the only testimony Buzz can get will be that which is perjured?

Arnt and Gregor already are going to be turned into the Georgia State Bar, and now that they have dumped off the Echols case to a lower-level ADA, does Franklin not realize that if this guy tries to prosecute Eric via perjury, that he also is going to find himself a target by people who want him disbarred? Does Franklin not understand that he himself could face disbarment if he continues to press this Big Lie?

Arrogance and stupidity are a lethal combination, and it seems that the LMJC is full of that stuff. House's recent power play regarding the magistrates in Catoosa County is one more example of the LMJC being stuck on stupid.

There is nothing they can do about the past. However, I would tell Buzz and company that if they really want disbarment to be their future, then go ahead and continue with the prosecution of Eric Echols. True, Mr. Echols is likely to bring some lawsuits and there will be some political fallout should they drop the charges. However, at least Buzz might be able to salvage his law license if he bites the bullet and does the right thing.

But, it is hard to know what to think when Stupid and Stupid and Stupid join hands with Stupid and Stupid to claim they are Masters of the Universe. Indeed, Forrest Gump was right: Stupid is what stupid does.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Free Sholom Rubashkin!

This week, Sholom Rubashkin, who was the CEO of what was once the largest kosher meat processing supplier in the world, will be sentenced to federal prison for “financial fraud.” Prosecutors will ask for essentially a life sentence, while a lot of other people, including a number of former U.S. attorneys general, are asking for leniency.

I will go against all of them. Sholom Rubashkin, in my view, does not need “leniency.” He needs to be freed, period, for the man is not a criminal, which is more than I can say for the people who hounded and prosecuted him and destroyed his business, Glatt kosher Agriprocessors of Postville, Iowa. Let me begin.

Rubashkin is a Hasidic Jew, his family having fled the U.S.S.R. after the Nazi invasion. They came to the United States and set up a butcher shop in New York City. After marriage , he and his new bride moved to Atlanta on shlihut to do kiruv (Jewish outreach). At about the same time, Rubashkin’s father started a kosher meat processing business in Postville to better enable Jews living outside of main Jewish centers to be able to obtain kosher meat.

Before Glatt kosher Agriprocessors began to expand its business, Jewish families could only purchase kosher meat from small butchers and specialty stores that catered to Jews. This made things more difficult for Jewish families who did not leave near these kinds of stores, but by expanding the amount of kosher meat for sale, the firm was able to bring kosher meat to regular grocery stores, which was not a small development for jewish families.

Soon, Rubashkin joined his father’s company and the family moved to Postville. As the Jewish Daily Forward declared (more about the Forward later), the Rubashkins literally changed how Jewish people in the United States eat. Like many others who practice Hasidism, the Rubashkins were generous to people in the community, both Jews and non-Jews, and generated a lot of good will as a major employer in that area.

Unfortunately, being successful in the United States these days does not garner praise; it makes one a target of people who specialize in promoting strife and envy. In this Age of Envy and dominance by the state, it seems that the only entrepreneurship that is acceptable is political entrepreneurship, and the Rubashkins did not fall into that category. (Public Choice economists call such political entrepreneurship “rent seeking.”) The Rubashkins made their living from processing meat, and that meant slaughtering animals according to Jewish dietary laws that are thousands of years old, and that attracted the attention of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

First, PETA charged in magazine articles that the Rubashkin plant was a veritable house of horrors, something out of an Upton Sinclair novel. (Notice, I say that The Jungle is a novel, since it was written as socialist propaganda and had as much veracity as did PETA’s charges.) The organization charged that the place was a filthy hellhole with unsanitary (at best) facilities where animals were tortured and worse, and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Second, while it was clear that PETA’s charges were false, nonetheless the organization managed to put the kosher meat facility in the public eye, thus making it a bigger target for federal authorities. The next organization to go after Glatt kosher Agriprocessors was the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which had been unsuccessful in organizing the plant. Part of the problem was its workforce, and anyone who has been near a meat or chicken processing plant will know that a lot of immigrants from Mexico and Central America work there, as well as Asian immigrants.

Work in these plants is hard and low-paying, but low-skilled workers nonetheless are able to band together and make enough money to live in the United States and send money back home to relatives. However, they clearly were not candidates for union membership, which not only enraged the union leadership, but also caught the attention of liberal Jewish groups that don’t much care for the ultra-orthodox Hasidim, including the publishers of the Jewish Daily Forward.

The Forward ran a number of articles (sourced by the UFCW, of course) that claimed Rubashkin was hiring not only illegal immigrants, but also was exploiting child labor. At the same time, political conservatives such as Wesley Pruden of the Washington Times, were mounting a huge campaign against illegal immigration, and the Bush administration decided to make an example out of Agriprocessors and staged an extremely public raid on the facilities in 2008.

Keep in mind that the government went full-scale paramilitary on its raid, complete with a Blackhawk helicopter, and heavily-armed police carrying submachine guns and other weapons. The raid was no surprise; in fact, days earlier, Rubashkin knew the raid was coming and personally contacted the federal authorities and promised to cooperate with them.

Not surprisingly, the Bush administration did things its way, and its way was to be as brutal as possible. More than 300 workers were rounded up, denied legal representation, and forced to plead guilty to a number of charges. They were imprisoned for up to five months, and then deported. The feds then seized all of the company’s records and went on a fishing expedition.

Ultimately, the government charged Rubashkin with financial fraud, claiming that the company had faked invoices and other financial documents in order to inflate its financial assets in order to qualify for larger loan amounts from First Bank of St. Louis. In fact, Rubashkin’s firm had overstated its revenues, but that is much more common than one might think and generally does not land one in a criminal trial.

I will give an example that most readers can understand, a personal example. Last year, we refinanced our mortgage, and an appraiser came to our house to see if we would qualify for the best deals. There was a “magic” number for our house’s value, and he asked me at least twice if I believed that our place qualified.

My answer always was the same: “I have no idea. That is up to you.” Now, I was hoping that he would see to it that our house met the so-called value threshold, although I had serious doubts that we actually could sell our house on the open market at that price, and I was not going to say anything that legally could get me into trouble later on. In fact, during the refinancing boom of the last decade, appraisers generally overstated the market value of houses so that the owners or perspective buyers could qualify for certain loans.

Was this fraud? Legally, it was. How far did the fraud go, and who perpetrated it? It would determine who the feds wished to target before that decision could be made. For example, if the feds wished to crucify the homeowner, they can get the appraiser to testify and the homeowner lied to them, and, no doubt, the bankers would testify that they never would have approved the jumbo-sized loan had not the homeowner or perspective buyer defrauded them.

That would be a lie, but federal prosecutors regularly suborn perjury, something I have documented in dozens of articles over the years. For that matter, if the feds wished to nail the bankers or the appraisers, they would “convince” the others in that chain to testify to whatever would be the most damning testimony. It would not matter as to what really happened, as federal prosecutors famously create their own reality, or at least a reality that the courts, the political classes, and the media will swallow.

In the case of Agriprocessors, the loan was a revolving $35 million payout that enabled the company to keep a steady cash flow, meet payroll, and pay its bills. The firm was not arrears in payment, and all indications were that the company would be able to meet its obligations to the bank.

Because the federal courts have eviscerated the ancient doctrine of mens rea, which means that prosecutors needed to prove that a person charged intended to commit a crime, intent to defraud no longer matters. In fact, one can argue that Agriprocessors did not “defraud” First Bank at all, and there are indications that the bank knew that Agriprocessors was overstating its revenues and underestimating its costs (something the federal government does every year, but never results in anyone’s arrest), but did not care because its good customer paid its bills on time. The company was profitable, and so was the bank.

That was not all, according to the feds. Apparently, certain suppliers of cattle and other things are required by a little-known (and almost never enforced) law from the 1920s to be paid within 24 hours. No one had complained about the late payments, to my knowledge; instead, it was yet another of those “legal technicalities” that federal prosecutors use when they want to convict someone on something.

I won’t dwell on Sholom Rubashkin’s trial, except to say that there were some highly-prejudicial aspects that should be mentioned. Certainly, Hasidim are to people in Iowa what Old Order Amish might be to people from New York City: alien creatures from outer space. Hasidic Jews live a separate life, although it is clear to many people in Postville, Rubashkin, his family, and his company were heroes and important to the community and its well-being.

None of that mattered to the jury located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where the trial was held, and federal jurors quickly returned guilty verdicts. According to the New York Times, the damning testimony came when…
Former Agriprocessors employees testified that Mr. Rubashkin had personally directed them to create false invoices to show First Bank, which is based in St. Louis, that the plant had more money flowing in than it really did.
Knowing how federal prosecutors operate, I have no idea if any of those witnesses told the truth. Federal prosecutors are well-known for suborning perjury and are especially known to do it in high-profile cases, such as this one. One can be sure that the people who testified was told that if they did not testify according to a certain script, then the feds would levy fraud charges against them, too. (If the readers wishes to gain some insight into how federal prosecutors lie in order to gain testimony they want, read this link to what the feds did in the trial of Jeffrey Skilling of Enron. Because no federal prosecutor ever has to worry about being charged with suborning perjury, one can bet that this kind of behavior is the norm, not the exception, among U.S. attorneys.)

On another front, the State of Iowa originally charged Rubashkin with more than 9,000 counts of child labor law violations and he recently stood trial. Even after prosecutors amended the charges to just 83, they could not win a single conviction. (While state courts are known to be corrupt, unlike the federal courts, evidence generally matters in state trials.)

Unfortunately, there is more. After the feds originally charged Rubashkin with fraud charges, the prosecutors argued that he was a “flight risk” and should be imprisoned. Their reasoning? Rubashkin is a Jew and the nation of Israel grants expedited citizenship to Jews around the world. They further stretched the story by pointing out that Rubashkin kept about $20,000 in cash, as well as his passports and other documents in a lockbox in his home.

There are two aspects to that story. First, most of us keep some cash and papers in lockboxes, and we are among that “criminal” crowd that likes to keep these things in a single place just in case we need them. Second, one of the Rubashkin children is autistic, and the family knew they needed to keep certain papers secure in a place where that child would not be able to find and disturb or scatter them, not realizing what they were. Obviously, this is something that would affect literally every Jew charged with a crime, given that the vast majority of them are considered to be “citizens” of Israel, even if very, very few of them actually would do such a thing. (For that matter, anyone with a passport and cash would be considered a “flight risk” to somewhere, given those standards.)

There is another, more troubling, aspect of this case to me, and it goes to the heart of federal criminal law and how it is enforced. Bernie Madoff was guilty of fraud; he ran a Ponzi scheme, and no Ponzi scheme – including those run by the government – can survive over time. Madoff knew that sooner or later, his investors would lose their money, and that is exactly what happened.

Fraud goes to intent. One defrauds someone else if one purposely charts a course of action that will negatively affect the other party, while promising to give that party positive results. For example, if I borrow money in order to start a business, but then use those funds instead for a Caribbean cruise, that is fraud.

However, Sholom Rubashkin intended to pay back his loans, as he always had done, and he intended his business to continue to provide kosher meat to people who wanted to buy it. He had no plans to abscond with the money he borrowed, with people showing up to work one day and finding the place padlocked and Rubashkin and his family on a secret cruise to Israel.

There was no fraud in the historic sense of the word. If there was misrepresentation of his funds, that was a civil and contractual matter between Agriprocessors and First Bank, and, let’s face it, had the feds not invaded his plant and shut down the operation, Agriprocessors still would be in operation today and most of us never would have heard of Sholom Rubashkin.

To understand federal criminal law today, one must remember that it is something far removed from the roots of what criminal law used to be in the United States. In the past, a crime designated real harm done by one party to another, whether it was robbery, murder, assault, rape or something in which it was obvious that one party clearly injured another.

Today, however, most federal criminal law falls into the “public welfare” category, in which a person charged has failed to perform a certain so-called public duty, or has failed to follow a set of rules which often are arbitrarily set up and even more arbitrarily administered. Not surprisingly, we have seen federal criminal law put to an increasing number of political applications. The legal language might be similar to what it was in the past, but now it is describing certain things that might have political meaning, but describe simple disobedience from the federally-prescribed way of doing things.

The irony is that the feds are calling this a huge “fraud,” but the only people really being defrauded are the victims of this federal assault. Let us look at the real damage that the feds have inflicted upon people:
  • A thriving business has been shut down, and hundreds of people now are out of work, and a town is reeling economically and financially;
  • A woman will be deprived of her husband for many years, and a number of children will not have a father;
  • First Bank was heavily damaged by this action in a way that never would have been the case had the feds not decided to “rescue” the bank from its “fraudulent client;”
  • Kosher meat is more expensive and much less available than it was before the government destroyed Glatt.
No doubt, federal authorities consider this whole affair to be a great victory, and they are telling the rest of us how they are protecting us from fraudsters and exploiters. In truth, the real fraudsters and exploiters here are the federal agencies that took part in this action, and the various groups that were cheerleaders for it.

Literally, thousands of people were harmed by what the government did. However, no one from the federal government lost a dime.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just Doing Their Jobs? I Don't Think So

In a recent conversation with someone who plays a role in overseeing the behavior of prosecutors in Georgia, the person told me that the prosecutors in the Tonya Craft case simply were "doing their jobs." "Yeah," I replied, "If their jobs are suborning perjury, manufacturing evidence, and lying, then I guess you are right."

No matter how dishonest, how brutal, or how outrageous the conduct of police and prosecutors, it seems that they always are excused, as their "jobs" require them to be dishonest bullies. Unfortunately, it seems that the Tennessee-Georgia state line does not have any effect on the outrageousness of the police, as we see the story (as given us by Channel 3) of a young man charged with felonies because he didn't drop his wife on the concrete and bow down and lick the boots of a Chattanooga cop.

The story begins with a young woman who had been married four days earlier, a cancer survivor and an amputee, suffering from what appeared to be a stroke. As Callie Starns's story explains:
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – A patient believed to be having a stroke says a Chattanooga Police officer blocked her and her husband from entering the emergency room Wednesday night.

Aline Wright is a cancer survivor, amputee and a newlywed. Wednesday night she began to show signs that she was having a stroke.

"I started feeling some left arm numbness and a facial droop," said Aline, "it appeared to me that I was probably having a stroke."

That's when her husband of four days, and a nurse technician at Erlanger Medical Center, Jesse Wright, put her in the car and rushed her to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, Aline says Jesse stopped at then proceeded through two red lights, as if they were stop signs. After Jesse ran the second stop light one block from Erlanger, a Chattanooga Police Officer turned on his blue lights and followed the couple into the Emergency Room parking lot.

"At that point we figured because we were so close to Erlanger emergency department that the police would be aware that's where we were going," said Aline.

According to Aline, the Officer caught up with the couple as they were attempting to enter the emergency room at Erlanger Medical Center. Aline says her husband was carrying her in his arms because she could not walk. According to Aline, the Officer blocked the entrance and demanded answers for running the red lights.

"He picks me up in his arms and the officer continues to block the way into the emergency room," said Aline, "he's standing between Jesse and I and the emergency room doors."

Aline says eventually the Officer allowed them to enter the hospital, but says he didn't stop there.

Aline tells Channel 3 Eyewitness News that once the couple was placed in a hospital room, the Officer attempted to enter their room to arrest Jesse for evading the police.

Erlanger medical personnel turned the Officer away at that point, informing him that since Aline could not speak Jesse was needed to answer questions for the doctors.

Thursday morning Erlanger security informed the couple that a warrant for Jesse's arrest had been issued, and suggested he turn himself in. Aline says Jesse went to the Hamilton County Jail to turn himself in that evening. According to Aline, Jail employees told Jesse that they had no record of a warrant for him and told him he was free to go.

So Jesse returned to his ailing wife's bedside at Erlanger Medical Center.

"I thought it was over," said Aline, "but apparently it wasn't, I was awakened abruptly by people coming in the room."

On Friday morning the police were back at the hospital. This time Jesse surrendered to Erlanger Security who arrested him on behalf of the Chattanooga Police Department.

Eyewitness News was the only crew there as Jesse was released on $7,500 bond, about right hours after being arrested. He is facing seven charges related to Wednesday night's events, including felony evading arrest. He's due in court on July 9th.
Unfortunately, the outrage does not end there. The story continues:
Eyewitness News contacted Chattanooga Police today for their side of the story.

lLt. Kim Noorbergen says the officer was just "doing his job".

Beyond that, the department will not comment until a formal complaint is filed with the internal affairs department.
So, we have a brutal, egotistical cop who tries to prevent a stricken woman from receiving needed medical care because the man driving her stopped at red lights, and then went on when no traffic was approaching. And the Chattanooga Police Department wants this man to go to prison for several years?

The Times-Free Press has a good account, too, naming the officer (James Daves) and including this:
Lt. Kim Noorbergen, Chattanooga police spokeswoman, said there was a supervisory complaint filed against Officer Daves following the incident. The officer's supervisor, Sgt. Anthony Easter, reviewed the complaint and determined that "no policy violations, rules or procedures or laws were broken," she said.

If this case sounds familiar, it is because last year, a Dallas police officer held Dallas Cowboys player Ryan Moats literally at gunpoint because he and his family were trying to get to the hospital to be with his dying mother-in-law. The officer, or should I say FORMER officer, claimed that he was just "doing his job." After all, a football player who stops at red lights late at night (and then proceeds when no traffic is approaching) is a danger to us all.

So, while the Dallas Police Department ultimately fired the cop in that incident, we have the Chattanooga Police Department going all out to defend the undefendable. If this does not demonstrate the utter contempt with which the local cops have for the people they claim to "protect and serve," then nothing does. In Catoosa County, Det. Tim Deal fabricates documents that magically appear in the files. In Chattanooga, cops shoot unarmed people and brutalize a young couple who are trying to get emergency medical help.

When I lived in Chattanooga, the police cars had the slogan, "Let None Live in Fear," emblazoned on their sides. Seeing this latest incident makes me realize that decent, law-abiding citizens in Chattanooga should fear the police most of all. Indeed, Jesse and Aline Wright now know full well that Chattanooga cops are brutal, arrogant, and have a god complex.

I'm waiting to see how Mayor Ron Littlefield handles this one. My guess he will go along with the police union and try to make the claim that Jesse Wright is a dangerous criminal who needs to spend the next decade or so behind bars. So, I think we need to re-evaluate "Protect and Serve."

The purpose of the Chattanooga Police Department and the government of the City of Chattanooga is to protect the police from any consequences of their actions, no matter how outrageous. And serve means that Chattanoogans are expected to be the servants of the police.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Holly Kittle and the Escalation of Charges

[Update, Friday, June 18, 2010, 5:45 PM]: While this update is off-topic, nonetheless it tells us that the LMJC is not the only place where the police commit outrages. This story from WRCB-TV should make your blood boil:

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – A patient believed to be having a stroke says a Chattanooga Police officer blocked her and her husband from entering the emergency room Wednesday night.

Aline Wright is a cancer survivor, amputee and a newlywed. Wednesday night she began to show signs that she was having a stroke.

That's when her husband of four days, and a nurse technician at Erlanger Medical Center, Jesse Wright, put her in the car and rushed her to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, Aline says Jesse stopped at then proceeded through two red lights, as if they were stop signs. After Jesse ran the second stop light one block from Erlanger, a Chattanooga Police Officer turned on his blue lights and followed the couple into the Emergency Room parking lot.

According to Aline, the Officer caught up with the couple as they were attempting to enter the emergency room at Erlanger Medical Center. Aline says her husband was carrying her in his arms because she could not walk. According to Aline, the Officer blocked the entrance and demanded answers for running the red lights.

Aline says eventually the Officer allowed them to enter the hospital, but says he didn't stop there.

Aline tells Channel 3 Eyewitness News that once the couple was placed in a hospital room, the Officer attempted to enter their room to arrest Jesse for evading the police.

Erlanger medical personnel turned the Officer away at that point, informing him that since Aline could not speak Jesse was needed to answer questions for the doctors.

Thursday morning Erlanger security informed the couple that a warrant for Jesse's arrest had been issued, and suggested he turn himself in. Aline says Jesse went to the Hamilton County Jail to turn himself in that evening. According to Aline, Jail employees told Jesse that they had no record of a warrant for him and told him he was free to go.

So Jesse returned to his ailing wife's bedside at Erlanger Medical Center.

On Friday morning the police were back at the hospital. This time Jesse surrendered to Erlanger Security who arrested him on behalf of the Chattanooga Police Department.

Eyewitness News was the only crew there as Jesse was released on $7,500 bond, about right hours after being arrested. He is facing seven charges related to Wednesday night's events, including felony evading arrest. He's due in court on July 9th.

Eyewitness News contacted Chattanooga Police today for their side of the story.

lLt. Kim Noorbergen says the officer was just "doing his job".

Beyond that, the department will not comment until a formal complaint is filed with the internal affairs department.

Aline Wright says she plans to file the complaint. The couple has already hired an attorney to file a suit against the officer.

As for Erlanger, a spokesperson tells us by law their security guards are obligated to carry out an arrest warrant related to felony charges. An Erlanger spokesperson says once they learned the warrant for Wright's arrest was issued, and they learned he was in the building, they had to arrest him.

I guess all of us can be relieved that Chattanooga's "finest" are trying to keep people from receiving medical help so an officer can run around and try to pretend that he is king of the hill. How do jerks like this officer (who I am sure is being protected by the Usual Suspects at the CPD) ever wear a uniform, get a badge, and carry a gun?

A man's wife is having a stroke, and the cop is getting a stroke of his own because he is not considered the Most Important Person at the ER. Give me a break!
[End Update]

(This is the seventh in a series on the testimony of the child accusers)

Ten months after meeting with Suzi Thorne at the GreenHouse, Accuser #1 met with Holly Kittle of the Children’s Advocacy Center and gave much more graphic answers to questions than she had before. Perhaps it is appropriate that the interview took place on April 1, April Fool’s Day, for the answers she gave not only were contrived, but it is clear that she and someone else – perhaps her mother, Sandra Lamb – had been working on juicing up the account she would give.

As we follow this interview, remember that the interview process started in 2008 with “a girl has been mean to me,” and 10 months later escalates to outright sexual assault by “the evil one,” who (of course) is Tonya Craft. Remember that the bath idea did not come from Accuser #1, but rather from Stacey Long in the second interview on May 27, 2008. After stumbling a bit, Accuser #1 takes this story and builds on it.

There are other red flags as well. First, Accuser #1 never alleged “digital penetration” in her previous three interviews, so the fact that she suddenly remembers something that to a young child would have been a horrifying experience should make one suspicious. I am sure that the CAC crowd would claim that she had “suppressed” those terrible memories, but with the help of a “therapist,” she was liberated from that cage. All of this brings me to my second point.

She had spent nearly a year of “therapy” by none other than…Laurie Evans. Yes, this is the same Laurie Evans who was diagnosed with being mentally ill, the same Laurie Evans whom Judge Marie Williams had ordered to stay away from Tonya Craft’s children, and the same Laurie Evans who committed perjury in a deposition and on the stand during the trial of Ms. Craft.

Given Evans’ history, I only can imagine what “miracles” she managed to perpetrate on Accuser #1 and the other children during that time, and, apparently, continues to give “therapy” to at least two of the children that testified against Ms. Craft. However, given Evan’s vivid imagination and her utter lack of a moral compass, I am sure that she prepared Accuser #1 to go whole hog when the girl met with Kittle, and Accuser #1 delivered.

ACCUSER #1: We took tests...we took a test today and it was a test about perimeter and everything. And I went to P.E. I left because I didn't feel good.
HOLLY: Why didn't you feel good?
ACCUSER #1: Well, last night I told my mommy something that the evil one did that I call her.
ACCUSER #1: I told her one time I was taking a bath, well, she was giving me a bath and she stuck her finger up my butt.
ACCUSER #1: [re finger up butt] And she wouldn't say anything. She would always just not talk when she did it…
ACCUSER #1: [re finger up butt] and see, like, when her daughter Accuser #3 was in the bath she wouldn't do it because she would always wash me first and then Accuser #3 would get in the bath and she would do it... see like, if I was in the bath she would wash me until Accuser #3 would come in there and then she would give Accuser #3 a bath. Well, anytime me and Accuser #3 took a bath together, she wouldn't do it. So... I don't know if she did it to Accuser #3 because she would always wash me first. Anytime Accuser #3 would be in the bathroom she wouldn't do it. And so, and so, so I don't know if she did it to Accuser #3, but that's the thing she did to me.
HOLLY: Okay when was this [finger up butt]?
ACCUSER #1: I was like in kindergarten and first grade.
ACCUSER #1: Well, see I didn't...she just automatically started doing it. And so I don't know... and then that's... and she would sometimes also stick her finger up my private and that's all she would do to me in the bathtub, but that's all she used to do in the bathtub.

[Note: 5/27/08 interview AFTER Stacey Long leaves the room and then comes back in to ask out of the blue "did you ever take a bath over there?" .........
STACEY: Okay. All right. When she would wash you, did she wash, like, in between your legs too, on your private?
ACCUSER #1: Huh-uh. (Moves head from side to side)]

ACCUSER #1: She did this to my private and she stuck her finger up my butt with only this finger.
HOLLY: Okay. Was it that hand? Was it with that hand and that finger or was it…?
ACCUSER #1: I think it was this finger
HOLLY: And what do you call that finger? Do you have a name for it?
ACCUSER #1: Uh, index. [on pg 8 we see it was the left index finger]
HOLLY: Okay. Did that go inside your private or outside your private?
ACCUSER #1: Inside.
ACCUSER #1: I… I didn’t like it. Before she did it she said that you can’t say anything. And so…
HOLLY: What did you say when she said that?
ACCUSER #1: She covered my mouth. I couldn’t say anything. [states it was left hand a few lines down]
[Note: it is difficult to be both sexually assaulting someone and covering their mouth with the same hand at the same time.]

ACCUSER #1: And see, she told me if I told anyone she would hurt my mom. But when I started telling my mom, she said it was okay. I’m not the one who did it. And so it made me feel a lot better so I could tell everything I needed to tell. And that was the last thing I always kept inside because I was scared I would get in trouble.
HOLLY: Who were you scared you would get in trouble from?
ACCUSER #1: My mom.
HOLLY: Okay.
ACCUSER #1: My mom is the best mom ever, so I know…
HOLLY: Okay. When this happened in the bathtub, were you in her class then?
ACCUSER #1: Yes.
HOLLY: Okay. How old was Accuser #3 when this happened [finger up butt in bath]?
ACCUSER #1: I think she was four, five…
HOLLY: Okay.
ACCUSER #1: I was… yeah she was probably four or three.
ACCUSER #1: Because I was five then.
ACCUSER #1: The other day I sent Accuser #3 a picture of me and was... her friend "childs name" cut it out and then a picture of me and her mom. I cut her [Tonya] out and threw it in the garbage and put us together. And I put best friends forever and I sent it to her.
HOLLY: Okay. You said that… you said that when you were taking a bath… where was Accuser #3 when you were taking a bath?
ACCUSER #1: Accuser #3?
HOLLY: Uh-huh
ACCUSER #1: She was… I think she was playing or jumping on the trampoline.
HOLLY: Was she [Accuser #3] in the bathroom?
ACCUSER #1: No she was never in the bathroom when it happened.

[NOTE: This is an important part of this interview. She will dramatically change her story later, although the huge change does not seem to faze Kittle. Accuser 1 starts off making small changes and later goes for the gold by having ALL the children in the bath tub at once while Ms. Craft molests them in front of each other. Laurie Evans claims Accuser 1 told her that story.]

ACCUSER #1: [Tonya’s house was] down in Chickamauga down this road in a subdivision.
HOLLY: Did what you told me happen in the bathtub. Did this happen more than one time?
ACCUSER #1: Yes.
HOLLY: … was Accuser #3 ever in the bathtub with you?
ACCUSER #1: Once.
HOLLY: Once she was.
ACCUSER #1: Well, she was but when Tonya did the bad stuff to me she wasn’t. But sometimes Accuser #3 took a bath with me but she didn’t do it.
HOLLY: Okay. Do you know if Tonya did anything like this to Accuser #3?
HOLLY: She didn’t or you don’t know?
ACCUSER #1: I don’t know.
HOLLY: Did she ever touch you anywhere else besides your private and your butt?
ACCUSER #1: No. Well, sometimes she hit me.
[Note: This is the first time the claim of Ms. Craft hitting had been brought out.]
ACCUSER #1: Well, she always said that I've been bad at her house and anytime my mom called and said she was coming to pick me up, before I even left when my mom pulled in the driveway she would always hit me. I don't know why she would ever hit me.
ACCUSER #1: She hit me on my neck and my face and that’s all. And she also slapped me on my arm. And that’s where all she hit me.
ACCUSER #1:…like she pulled her hand and she slapped me really hard.
HOLLY: Where did she slap you?
ACCUSER #1: On my face. She hit me hard on my face
HOLLY: Okay. Which side?
ACCUSER #1: This one.
HOLLY: Okay. Which side is that?
ACCUSER #1: My right.
[Note: Tonya is RIGHT HANDED]

HOLLY: Did she say anything to you when she hit you?
ACCUSER #1: She said that’s what I get for being bad.
HOLLY: Did anybody see this [hitting] happen?
ACCUSER #1: Uh-uh.
HOLLY: Where was Accuser #3 [during hitting]?
ACCUSER #1: She was in her room.
HOLLY: Where was he [Tonya’s son during hitting]?
ACCUSER #1: I forgot where he was.
ACCUSER #1: Sometimes…sometimes she did this [finger in privates] out of the bathtub.
HOLLY: … where would you be when that happened?
ACCUSER #1: Some… mostly in the kitchen
HOLLY: Was it on top of your clothes or underneath your clothes?
ACCUSER #1: Underneath.
HOLLY: Did that go inside your private or outside your private?
ACCUSER #1: Inside.
HOLLY: What did that feel like?
ACCUSER #1: It hurt just like the bathtub.
HOLLY: Did it ever happen anywhere else?
ACCUSER #1: Just in the bathtub and in the kitchen.
HOLLY: Okay. Did she only touch your privates in the kitchen or did she touch something else?
ACCUSER #1: She only touched my private in the kitchen.
HOLLY: And what happened in first grade?
ACCUSER #1: She would keep on doing it and doing it.
HOLLY: When was the last time that anything happened?
ACCUSER #1: I was in first grade and then when I started to get in second grade, I started telling.
ACCUSER #1: [talking about the last time anything happened. She was spending the night] And then… then she did the same thing that she would always do. Like, she would stick her finger up my butt. And stick her fingers up my private. And when I was going to leave the next morning she would always hit me when my mom was in the driveway.
HOLLY: Did she always hit you when your mom was in the driveway?
ACCUSER #1: Yes. Or when she was pulling up the road.

[NOTE: Like the phantom injuries that occurred with the faux "hand rape," we see that no one ever complained that this little girl had been slapped around while at Tonya's house. Certainly, a mother as attentive as Sandra Lamb seems to be would have noticed marks or something that would logically follow if Ms. Craft were hitting her daughter, especially since Lamb was in the driveway. Amazingly, this seemed to pass right by Kittle, who by this time was all ears.]

[NOTE: This next section that goes to the end of the interview has some of the most fantastic -- and contradictory "disclosures" in the interview.]

[The child now has anatomical dolls]
ACCUSER #1: [demonstrating on doll] She did this. She tried to put all of her fingers together and what she would do would she would stick it up in me.
ACCUSER #1: [demonstrating on doll] And then she would…she would turn me around and stick this finger up my butt.
HOLLY: Okay. Did she ever ask you to touch Accuser #3?
ACCUSER #1: Uh-uh.
HOLLY: Okay. Did she ever ask Accuser #3 to touch you?
ACCUSER #1: Uh, once but I said Accuser #3 you don’t have to do it.
HOLLY: Okay.
ACCUSER #1: So she didn’t.

[NOTE: Here is the conversation she had with Stacey Long on May 27, 2008:
STACEY: Did Miss Tonya ever tell you and Accuser #3 to touch each other?
ACCUSER #1: No.]

ACCUSER #1: Well, see, we were in the bathtub and Tonya told Accuser #3 to touch me. And she said anywhere she wanted to and I said...I whispered to Accuser #3, like, I went Accuser #3 you don't have to do that. You don't have to listen to her.
HOLLY: Uh-huh.

[NOTE: At the risk of repeating ourselves, here is what she told Kittle earlier in the interview:
HOLLY: Okay. You said that… you said that when you were taking a bath… where was Accuser #3 when you were taking a bath?
ACCUSER #1: Accuser #3?
HOLLY: Uh-huh
ACCUSER #1: She was… I think she was playing or jumping on the trampoline.]

ACCUSER #1: And then she said, I know. I'm not going to do it. And so, and so she didn't do it. And so her mom just made a face at me and didn't say anything and so she just gave us a bath.

[Note: Tonya's daughter would have been three years old at this time. Accuser #1 makes the claim that this three-year-old had that kind of language and moral skills.]

HOLLY: Did Tonya ever ask you or Accuser #3 to touch each other outside the bathtub?
HOLLY: So the only time it happened was inside the bathtub.
ACCUSER #1: Uh-huh. But one time Accuser #3 touched me and her mom told her to. I heard her mom tell her to. And she forced her to do some... she said she would do something and Accuser #3 came in there and she said my mom said to touch you. And I said well, Accuser #3 please don't and she said well, she said she would do...l forgot what and then I said but Accuser #3, you don't have to do it and she said well, my mom said whatever she was mom said she would do that or. .. and so, and so Accuser #3 touched me on my private and she said I had to do it back or she would hurt my mom too, or she would hurt my mom.
HOLLY: Who said that you had to do it back or they would touch your mom, or hurt your mom?
ACCUSER #1: Accuser #3.
HOLLY: Accuser #3 said that?
ACCUSER #1: Because her mom… Tonya told her to say that to me and so…

[Note: The story has now morphed from Accuser #1 and #3 being caught playing "doctor" to Tonya forcibly making her child, accuser #3, sexually assault Accuser #1. From Tonya having never threatened anyone to her directing her child to make threats against Ms Lamb.]

[Note: Accuser #2 told a story to Det. Deal, where she claimed Tonya AND her daughter took turns molesting Accuser #1 and #2 and another child at the same time while in Accuser #3's bedroom after breakfast on one occasion.]

ACCUSER #1: And so Accuser #3 took my hand and stuck it down her pants to her private.
HOLLY: Did she [Accuser #3] touch you on top of your clothes or underneath?
ACCUSER #1: Underneath
HOLLY: Okay. Where were you when this happened?
ACCUSER #1: In her [Accuser #3’s] bedroom.
HOLLY: Okay. And then you said that she [Accuser #3] took your hand?
ACCUSER #1: Yes.
HOLLY: Okay. And what did she do with it?
ACCUSER #1: She stuck it down her pants.
HOLLY: When Accuser #3 touched your private, did she touch you inside...I mean inside your private or outside your private?
ACCUSER #1: Uh, she just touched and rubbed it.
HOLLY: The outside or the inside?
ACCUSER #1: Inside.
HOLLY: Inside?
ACCUSER #1: Well, no the outside is what I mean.
HOLLY: Okay. And then when she took your hand...
ACCUSER #1: Uh-huh.
HOLLY: Did you touch the inside or the outside of her private?
ACCUSER #1: The outside.

A few things should be clear to the reader. First, Kittle is utterly unqualified to be doing this interview, and it is clear that her job is simply to gain more incriminating “evidence” against Tonya Craft. Second, when a child is trying to make up things on the fly, even if he or she has been coached, there are going to be a lot of loose ends, and they are painfully obvious in this interview.

Was Tonya’s daughter taking a bath with this child or jumping on a trampoline or watching a movie, or whatever? Obviously, even in the LMJC, a little girl cannot be in two places at one time.

Why no mention of this alleged “digital penetration” in earlier interviews? The “suppressed memories” syndrome just won’t hunt here, as none of the children interviewed seemed particularly traumatized when they were interviewed in 2008. If you compare the three interviews you can see how the story changes from 2 girls caught playing "doctor" to not only Tonya committing sexual assault but her daughter as well at her mother’s direction.

This is not the product of children; it is the product of the adults, and the adults decided that the children were going to deliver one way or another – and they did. The parents and the principals of the LMJC had their agenda, and nothing – especially the truth – was going to stand in the way.