Craft custody attempt hits snag

Craft custody attempt hits snag

May 13th, 2010 by Joy Lukachick Smith in News

Hours after a Hamilton County judge told attorneys to work together to allow Tonya Craft to see her children, her lawyers say they have hit a snag.

Ms. Craft's lawyers say the attorney for her ex-husband has ignored their calls, even after they visited his office. The ex-husband's attorney, meanwhile, said he never got any calls or messages.

"Top priority is getting her contact with the kids," said Scott King, who represents Ms. Craft. "We're trying to work it out."

But Charles Dupree, attorney for Ms. Craft's ex-husband, Joal Henke, said Wednesday, "Nobody has called me."

"I don't know anything about it, and if I do (hear from them), I'll talk with my client to see what the best route is," he said.

After Ms. Craft was found not guilty Tuesday on 22 counts of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and sexual battery, she said her top priority was to regain custody of her son and daughter.

"The only thing that's kept me going and fighting is my two children," Ms. Craft said Tuesday.

On national television, Ms. Craft said her own daughter was one of the three alleged victims in the case and that Mr. Henke had made the molestation accusations regarding their daughter.

Mr. Henke filed for immediate custody in Hamilton County after the allegations arose in 2008.

Attempts to reach Mr. Henke were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Mr. King and fellow attorney Clancy Covert went to Hamilton County Circuit Court on Wednesday morning to file a motion on Ms. Craft's behalf. Judge Marie Williams told them to try to work out a deal with Mr. Dupree so Ms. Craft could see her children before an official court hearing is set.

"It worked out it was best to try to resolve it first," Mr. King said.

He said he and Mr. Covert tried numerous times to contact Mr. Dupree to discuss what happens next but got no response.

Mr. Dupree said he doesn't know anything about the conversation between the judge and Ms. Craft's attorneys.

Ms. Craft testified that she and Mr. Henke went through a bitter divorce in 2004. She said that when they first split, Mr. Henke asked if their son could live with him and their daughter with her. She refused and got full custody but lost it during the criminal case.

Ms. Craft said that after Mr. Henke gained custody, she fought for more than a year to see her son. She was never allowed to see her daughter because of the molestation allegations.

Ms. Craft's mother, Betty Faires, said the family is focused on getting Ms. Craft's children back.

"Our main concern is for her children to be brought back to her," Mrs. Faires said.

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