published Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Craft defense costs more than $500,000


by Adam Crisp

RINGGOLD, Ga. — Tonya Craft says she has spent more than $500,000 for her criminal defense against 22 counts of child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated child molestation.

Ms. Craft made the disclosure on the witness stand Friday while her lead defense attorney, Demosthenes Lorandos, asked her questions about the list of accusations being leveled by three young girls.

She said she’s held yard sales, sold her engagement ring and had her parents cash in their inheritance account, which would have gone to Mrs. Craft and her brother. She also said her parents refinanced their house to get money for her defense.

At one of the yard sales, she sold all of her kindergarten teaching supplies, items she had acquired over a 15-year period.

Part of the high cost of the defense, she said, is related to her decision to hire “the best” legal team and to bring in specialized experts to testify on her behalf.

View previous stories and videos

PDF: Craft order

Video: Tonya Craft on Nightline, June 2, 2010

Video: Tonya Craft interview with Good Morning America, June 2, 2010

PDF: Tonya Craft files a $25 million lawsuit against her accusers

PDF: Complaint by Eric Echols

PDF: Complaint by Sandra Lamb

PDF: Orders on Rule 22 Request for Media Coverage

Article: Craft custody attempt hits snag

Article: Pushing state to investigate

Article: Attorney questions Craigslist investigations

Article: Prosecutor introduces claim of Craft affair

Article: Witness: Mother of alleged victim made threat

Article: Craft trial entering third week

Article: Parents of child testify in Craft molestation trial

Article: Lead investigator testifies he didn't interview fathers

Article: Second forensic interviewer testifies in molestation trial

Article: Witness testimony recounted off camera

Article: Mother of alleged molestation victim testifies

Article: Second week of craft trial begins

Article: 2 more children testify in Craft trial

Article: First child testifies in molestation case

Article: Nurse who examined three alleged molestation victims testifies

Article: Juror dismissed in Craft trial

Article: Craft was framed, lawyer says

Article: Large jury pool in Craft trial, no jury selected

Article: Child molestation cases stirring emotions

Article: Refusal to recuse stirs legal debate

PDF: Tonya Craft’s defense attorney’s request for the judge to be dismissed from the case

Article: Attorney for Craft asks judge for recusal

Article: Molestation case leads to emotional divisions

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PDF: Tonya Craft's indictment

Mr. Lorandos is both a lawyer and a psychologist and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Ms. Craft said she chose him for his credentials.

“If your child has cancer, you don’t go to the Minute Clinic, you go to a specialist,” Ms. Craft said on the stand.

In addition to an out-of-town legal team, Ms. Craft visited a jury consultant in New Jersey, called experts in sex-crimes defense cases all over the country and contacted the Georgia attorney general and governor for intervention.

On cross-examination, Catoosa County Assistant District Attorney Len Gregor tried to turn the tables on Ms. Craft.

“Money doesn’t buy the truth, correct?” he said, and she agreed.

“The truth isn’t some sort of commodity, a product that you buy,” he said. “The truth is not a product. ... The truth simply exists, right?”

Continue reading by following this link to a related story:

Article: Craft testifies she and the children are victims

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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Tahuaya said...

I've come to believe that this lady is innocent and that the District Attorney has forced her to spend so much money to defend herself because he has the resources of government to fund his prosecution of her. If she is found innocent, the D.A. ought to have to refund her expenses.

May 8, 2010 at 9:07 a.m.
RJ said...

It would be interesting to see in this article the cost comparison from the state side of things.

When I was younger we said something having the following sentence "and justice for all". Do you remember? That was a long time ago and many things have changed. Today, if you do not have access to money in order to hire the best team available, then you get the other justice .........

May 8, 2010 at 9:51 a.m.
whatajoke said...

@ RJ It's just like the term "Innocent until proven guilty". She could be innocent, but she's always going to be guilty now, because of the accusations.

May 8, 2010 at 6:48 p.m.
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