Crime

Day 2 of Deliberations in Tonya Craft Child Molestation Trial

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The jury in the Tonya Craft child molestation trial began its second day of deliberations on Tuesday. The panel got the case Monday afternoon, and deliberated for about two and a half hours before retiring for the evening.

The 37-year-old Craft is a former Georgia kindergarten teacher accused of molesting three children. She is facing 22 counts, including child molestation, sexual battery and aggravated child molestation.

Craft testified on her own behalf at the trial, saying she was innocent. She said she was a victim of a "conspiracy." She and her attorneys claim the children falsely believe they were molested because of constant suggestions by their parents and social workers.

Prosecutors, however, say she molested the girls -- some of whom had been in her class -- at her home on several occasions. They say there are too many consistencies between their stories for the incidents to be made up.

In closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Chris Arnt asked the jury how so many friends of Craft could have conspired to get their children to make up such allegations. He called the defense "flimsy."

But Defense attorney Demosthenes Lorandos followed Gregor said, "The only thing that matters is what you in your hearts believe from the witnesses you watched and what you believe to be true.

“Somewhere along the way these little girls were made to believe that these terrible things happened to them."