UPDATE May 11, 2010: FOUND NOT GUILTY
Chickamuaga, GA (The Weekly Vice) -- Tonya Henke Craft, a 36 year old kindergarten teacher at Chickamauga Elementary School in Chickamauga, Georgia, has been arrested and charged with four counts of child molestation and one count of aggravated sexual battery against a child.
According to police, Craft engaged in sexual contact with three female students, which included fondling and digital penetration. Police say the alleged incidence occurred between August 10th, 2005 and May 10th, 2007. The alleged sexual contact occurred at Craft's residence during sleepovers, according to Sheriff's Dept. Capt. Scott Jordan.
The mother of one of the victims has stated that she was a friend of Craft at one time.
Craft's attorney is stating that his client adamantly denies the charges and says she was never given the opportunity to explain her side of the story. Craft also states that she was told the charges would not be pursued if Craft passed a polygraph test, according to defense attorney Chris Townley. That test, according to the defense, was never implemented.
Tonya Craft turned herself into the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday, but was later released on a $50,000 bond.
The Catoosa County Sheriff's Department issued a statement today disputing the claims made by Craft's attorney in regards to allowing the defendant to respond to the allegations and to his claim of the polygraph test.
"I disagree with the information provided yesterday by (Townley) in regards to the handling of this case. It appears statements were made that law enforcement never attempted to interview Ms. Craft and that she agreed to a polygraph test but law enforcement refused to administer this test. I feel it is important to correct statements made to the news media in regards to this case," said Phil Summers of the Catoosa County Sheriff's Dept.
The Sheriff also addressed the issues of the polygraph test claim by stating "Ms. Craft's attorney would not agree for her to take a 'stipulated' polygraph test. Mr. Townley discussed with the District Attorney's Office the possibility of an 'unstipulated' polygraph test which ultimately the District Attorney's Office declined."
The Weekly Vice