Tonya Craft Moves on With Her Life

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) – Tonya Craft says her life will never be the same…but she is moving on with her life 5 years after a jury acquitted her of child molestation.
The former Chickamauga kindergarten teacher is now telling her story in a book titled "Accused."
She spoke with Joe Legge on our morning show Thursday.

TONYA CRAFT, AUTHOR "…I mean we are doing extremely well …very positive things are happening …but one of the reasons for the book and to continue to tell the story..is that it will never be the same."

In 2008, the people of the tri-state area followed Tonya Craft’s case daily.. A kindergarten teacher accused of molesting three young girls, including her own daughter—it was hard to believe.

TONYA "If what happened to me on the inside showed on the outside, then people would be able to see the scars and the devastation of what happened."

After what some considered a witch-hunt, the Catoosa county jury found her not guilty in 2010. Tonya then regained custody of her children; and she filed a 25-million dollar lawsuit against the authorities and her accusers, which she later dropped.

TONYA CRAFT "Forgiveness is forgiveness and there’s no strings attached. But as we continue with some of the other families..and the other individuals ..it brought a lot of negativity…it made me..it brought back some anger I felt before and I did not want to go back there again."

But she says her goal is still to see that the officials who handled her case so poorly–are removed from office.

TONYA CRAFT "The people that once again I hold accountable are the ones in any of the positions that had any authority or power to make those decisions..and they did not do it correctly."

She is now in the final year of law school and is consulting on divorce and custody cases while serving as an intern in the Hamilton county District Attorney’s office.
Tonya has a warning for others.

TONYA CRAFT "It can happen to anybody…especially anybody whose around children..but who’s not around children."

Tonya Craft’s book, "Accused", co-authored by Mark Dagostino, is now on sale nationwide.

Categories: Catoosa County, Crime, Local News

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