Tonya Craft Trial - Local Media Soap Opera Makes The Large Time

Tonya Craft, a kindergarten teacher at Chickamauga Elementary School in Chickamauga, Ga., is on trial in Catoosa County for 22 counts of child molestation and other charges. Since being arrested and charged in 2008, Craft has maintained her innocence. This whole time the Tonya Craft trial had been a local media soup opera up until Thursday, when NBC's Today show team descended upon Chickamauga to give local merchants' a pay day. On the "Today" show Thursday morning, reporter Michelle Kosinski and legal pundit Dan Abrams put together a piece called "Witch Hunt or Child Molester?"

Is Tonya Craft a Chickamauga witch?

Following her arrest and booking, Tonya Craft was colored the Chickamauga witch. After warrants were issued for her arrest, Craft turned herself into the Catoosa Sheriff's Office. According to her attorney, Craft was not given the opportunity to voice her side of the story, and denied the charges. The alleged crimes committed by Craft involved fondling little girls in her home during a slumber party. Given that her release on a $ 50,000 bond, she has not been able to see her own daughter.

Tonya Craft trial a media circus

The Tonya Craft trial commenced April 13. Before Michelle Kosinski and the "Today" show arrived Thursday, the proceedings had been a local media circus. TV News programs within the local areas have branded the case with logos and tag lines. Blow-dried, breathless anchors attracted viewers with promise of reports on "graphic testimony." The "Tonya Craft Trial" on News channel 9 and "Tonya Craft: Teacher on Trial" on "WCRB-News you are able to count on," compete for ratings and site hits with constant updates on all the sordid information.

Tonya Craft trial - judicial misconduct?

Judicial misconduct appear to be summoned by numerous curious aspects in the Tonya Craft trial. reports the judge sitting on the case represented the defendant's husband in their divorce, but refused to recuse himself from the case. Closely following the trial, blogger Williams Anderson reports that with the trial pending, Len Gregor, the prosecutor, wrote Facebook status updates that involved comments by witnesses. During the trial Wednesday, Anderson wrote that Gregor:

"has been screaming at the female witnesses that Tonya Craft is a 'narcissist' because she goes to a gym and is a personal trainer. having established that Ms. Craft is a 'narcissist,' he demands that jurors and the public accept the following chain of logic: (1) Some narcissists have molested children; (2) Tonya Craft is a narcissist; (3) therefore, Tonya Craft definitely molested children."

The Tonya Craft trial, according to Noah Arenstein, a lawyer writing for,'has devolved into a ludicrous, back-and-forth character assassination of everyone involved. Prosecutors Chris Arnt and Len Gregor, in particular, have asked lurid and wholly irrelevant questions about Craft's sexual history, while her attorneys have been barred from introducing evidence of Craft's good character'."

Tonya Craft trial: stay tuned

Tonya Craft's defense is trying to convince the Catoosa County jury the former kindergarten teacher is a victim of "soured friendships, lies and revenge," as outlined by News Channel 9. The defense presented one theory conjecturing the mother of one of the alleged victims was upset as the relationship between Craft and her husband was souring. Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, the "Today" show's Michelle Kosinski was doing live updates for NBC from outside the courthouse. Stay tuned.

No votes yet

Remember the McMartin Preschool trial? The Bible has a more realistic view of children. That some lie, especially to please adults, cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Old South End Broadway

Yes, I remember the McMartin School. This was in 1983, and my mom, who is very knowledgeable about children, stated that children are extremely unreliable and can be coerced into saying anything. As a result of accusations too fantastic to be believed, seven adults had their lives ruined forever.

Tonya has been acquitted (here and blogger William L. Anderson is worth reading here. The behavior of the judge and the prosecutor should land them both in jail, but it won't. They'll continue as before, ignoring the law in favor of a good lynching.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

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