Tonya Craft, a former Georgia kindergarten teacher who’s child molestation trial captured the nation’s attention, was acquitted Tuesday on charges of molesting three girls, ages 5 and 6. She was found not guilty on all counts including child molestation, sexual battery and aggravated child molestation. Had she been found guilty, she would have faced up to 400 years in jail.
Craft notes though that despite her acquittal, it doesn’t feel like a victory. She stated on the Today Show, “[t]here’s nobody that wins in this situation. My whole heart has been taken, and I got half of it back.”
Since her arrest nearly two years ago she has lost much:
Her two children were taken away from her. One of her daughters testified against her. Ms. Craft now has to fight to regain custody.
Craft lost her home and had to move.
Craft lost her job and was ostracized by her community. She has received death threats.
Craft wants to share her experience and make people aware “that this can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone.”
Sadly, false arrests are all too common. Sexual misconduct allegations can be made by anyone regardless of whether any physical evidence exists and are often pursued by overzealous prosecutors. In Craft’s case, one of the alleged victims admitting lying and another said she was promised a toy.
In cases involving children, the accusations can be particularly devastating and life altering. Often, the accusations are the result of contentious custody battle or vindictive ex-spouses seeking revenge.
At Grabel & Associates, we have specialized training in investigating allegations of sex crimes. We understand the profound and devastating nature these allegations can have and are dedicated to providing best possible defense.