Molestation case investigator questioned about fathers he did not interview

When one of child molestation defendant Tonya Craft's attorneys this morning asked the lead investigator in the case why he didn't interview two fathers of alleged victim, his answer was short.

"(The mother of one of the alleged victims) said the father was upset," Catoosa County Sheriff's Office Detective Tim Deal said.

Defense attorney Scott King turned on his heels in front of the jury in Catoosa County Superior Court and asked if the detective didn't interview the father because "(the mother) said you shouldn't talk with him?"

Detective Deal said that was not the reason, he just didn't think it was important to do so because the child had talked with her mother about the alleged incidents.

The detective was on the witness stand all morning in the trial of Ms. Craft, a former Chickamauga Elementary School teacher charged with 22 counts of child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated child molestation. The charges involve three children.

The detective also testified that he conducted both interviews with the second alleged child victim.

In the first interview on May 27, 2008, the child didn't report any incident involving Ms. Craft touching her inappropriately. It was only when the detective interviewed her a second time in April 2009 that she told him she had been molested by Ms. Craft.

Questioned by Assistant District Attorney Len Gregor after the videos were shown, the detective said that sometimes children don't reveal sexual abuse right away.

Detective Deal will be back on the stand when court resumes at 1:15 p.m.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.