RINGGOLD, Ga. — Tonya Craft has been found not guilty on all 22 counts of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and aggravated sexual battery.
The jury returned the verdict after a day of deliberation.
Ms. Craft, a 37-year-old former kindergarten teacher in Chickamauga, was charged with child molestation based on the accounts of three alleged victims.
During the four-week trial, however, the little girls’ stories were called into question during cross-examination by the defense team.
At times the trial became contentious, with the defense using elaborate timelines on posterboards to poke holes in the case and the prosecution accusing the defense of playing to the media.
Some of the families and friends of the alleged victims waited in a room set aside for them in the courthouse.
See tomorrow’s Times Free Press for complete coverage.
Tonya Craft acquittedStaff photo by Patrick Smith/Chattanooga Times Free Press Tonya Craft, center, holds her husband, David's, hand while surrounded by her attorneys Tuesday as they enter the Catoosa County Court House to hear the verdict. Mrs. Craft was found not guilty on all 22 counts of child molestation.
Joy Lukachick is a crime reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing down ...