May 12, 2010

Child Sexual Abuse does not have to happen!

Posted: 06:59 PM ET

By Anne Lee
President & CEO, Darkness to Light

“Tonya Craft, Former Georgia Teacher, Acquitted of Molestation Charges”

The headlines read the same for most networks and cable news.  But what is not being said is that verified research (see below) indicates that the vast majority of children who disclose sexual abuse are telling the truth.  Adults need to listen, believe and take action on behalf of all children who tell of being sexually violated. When there are false accusations it most frequently occurs in and around a contested or heated custody battle.  But here’s the real headline – Child Sexual Abuse does not have to happen! We can stop it in real time…. When adults are trained how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the issue – the reality of sexual abuse – we create a totally different outcome.  Imagine if the adults in this story knew common sense proactive ways to keep their children safe – we wouldn’t be blogging about this.  But we have to get trained, organized and create a shift in our culture.  We have to acknowledge that we are experiencing an endemic and we’re passively condoning it but not preventing it.  In fact as a nation of taxpayers we spend over $35B annually for the long term cost of child sexual abuse. 60% of first time teen pregnancies are preceded by sexual abuse, eating disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicide – the list of the fall out from sexual abuse is long and nasty. But still….we are not seeing the movement of prevention take off the way it should.  Unlike other issues and diseases where we need to raise hundreds of millions and billions of dollars to go into a laboratory and one day find a cure – the cure, the end of sexual abuse is right in front of us.  It’s on every street corner, in homes and conference rooms all across our country – responsible adults saying no more;  I’m going to get trained, I’m going to insist that the youth serving organizations my child attends do child sexual abuse prevention training.  Let’s get going!  Let’s end the tragedy of child sexual abuse for all of us. Go to DARKNESS TO LIGHT to do your part to end the insanity.

The Truth About False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse

Research has found that that children rarely make up false allegations of their own accord. (18)(19)(20) One study determined that children only fabricate ½% of the time.

Most false allegations originate with an adult bringing the accusations on behalf of a child, primarily in the context of divorce and child-custody battles.[1][5]

Multiple studies of child abuse allegations suggest that the overall rate of false accusation by both adults and children is under 10%.[1][2][3][4] A 1992 meta-analysis suggests that false allegations represent between two and ten percent of all allegations.[6]

It has been shown that children will make false allegations if coercively questioned by individuals who believe abuse has occurred and refuse to accept children's statements that they were not abused. This type of questioning was common practice during the satanic ritual abuse moral panic of the early 1980’s.

Professional questioning methods have evolved. Many children are interviewed at Children’s Advocacy Centers, which typically employ specially-trained and objective forensic interviewers.

References Cited:

  1. Ney, T (1995). True and False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse: Assessment and Case Management. Psychology Press. pp. 23-33. ISBN 0876307586.
  1. Hobbs, CJ; Hanks HGI; Wynne JM (1999). Child Abuse and Neglect: A Clinician's Handbook. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 197. ISBN 0443058962.
  1. Schetky, DH; Green AH (1988). Child Sexual Abuse: A Handbook for Health Care and Legal Professionals. Psychology Press. pp. 105. ISBN 0876304951.
  1. Bolen, RM (2001). Child Sexual Abuse: Its Scope and Our Failure. Springer. pp. 109. ISBN 0306465760.
  1. Robin, M (1991). Assessing Child Maltreatment Reports: The Problem of False Allegations. Haworth Press. pp. 21–24. ISBN 0866569316.
  1. Mikkelsen EJ, Gutheil TG, Emens M (October 1992). "False sexual-abuse allegations by children and adolescents: contextual factors and clinical subtypes". Am J Psychother 46 (4): 556–70. PMID 1443285

Other Helpful References:

  • Irving B. Weiner; Donald K. Freedheim (2003). Handbook of Psychology. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 438. ISBN 0471176699.
  • .Mikkelsen EJ, Gutheil TG, Emens M (October 1992). "False sexual-abuse allegations by children and adolescents: contextual factors and clinical subtypes". Am J Psychother 46 (4): 556–70. PMID 1443285.
  • Benedek, E. P.; Schetky, D. H. (1987). "Problems in Validating Allegations of Sexual Abuse. Part 1". Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 26: 912. doi:10.1097/00004583-198726060-00016.
  • Green, A. (1986). "True and false allegations of sexual abuse in child custody disputes.". Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry 25 (4): 449.456.
  • Green, A. (1991). "Factors Contributing to False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse in Custody Disputes". Child & Youth Services 15: 177–189.
  • Green, A. (1986). "True and false allegations of sexual abuse in child custody disputes.". Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry 25 (4): 449.456.
  • Green, A. (1991). "Factors Contributing to False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse in Custody Disputes". Child & Youth Services 15: 177–189.
  • Faller, K. C. (1984). "Is the child victim of sexual abuse telling the truth?☆". Child Abuse & Neglect 8: 473–481

Filed under: Abuse

Share this on:
Shari   May 12th, 2010 7:21 pm ET

How do we fight Stockholm Syndrome? It is something that empowers predators, and imprisons victims. To send our children to relatives or to school or to friend's homes and feel confident they are safe seems to be an oxymoron. Children can be fondled by a favorite basketball coach, or be touched inappropriately at a birthday party by a favorite aunt, or kissed by their doting neighbor. Unless they are willing to "tattle" on these people, how can parents know when to ask? This subject makes me both angry and sick to my stomach.

Shannon   May 12th, 2010 7:55 pm ET

Tanya Craft did not abuse those 3 children in ANY way.... i dont think anyone realizes how mean and vindictive the mothers in the small town of Chickamauga, Ga are. These woman rule the school in this town and someone dared to cross their path so they got even.

Ed Jones   May 12th, 2010 8:29 pm ET

LOOK at Lookout Mountian Judical System....Judge House was Toynas husbands divorce attorney.....One was reprimanded this week for cussing out the police (connley) One got DUI in the middle of the night and where was Buzz Franklin????? Hire a lawyer around here and go straight to jail.....great for her to have money to get a real lawyer so people can see how it works in Walker, Dade and Catoosa County.........She would have 400 years had she not gotten these lawyers.

Kathie Shaffer   May 12th, 2010 9:14 pm ET

What a travisty that this woman was even put on trial !!!!!

Angie   May 12th, 2010 9:52 pm ET

There is justice in this world! Now someone needs to go after the heartless monsters that put her through this – the families of the alleged victims and the prosecutors in the town. False accusations happen to innocent people all the time. Their lives are turned upside down and the accusers walk away, knowing they made false accusations, without punishment. It's sick!

Justina Lee   May 12th, 2010 9:54 pm ET

AG Martha Coakley (Ma) cut her teeth on the Fells Acres case, Quite similar .She lost to Scott Brown and had NEVER come clean about Fells Acres for the benefit of her political career.

A disgrace – I hope you reveal this – mistakes are made and covered up

Martha is running unopposed. She los Kennedy's set – she needs to be called on this! NOW.

Dennis DeMille   May 12th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

This looks like it amounts to a modern day "Salem Witch Trial". How is this decent woman ever going to repair her life? If I had a law degree, I would sue, sue, sue at no cost to her. I hope there is an attorney, with a sense of what is right and not looking for press (of course I'm delusional), that will help her recover what she can of her life!

Loretta   May 12th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

SAD so sad. Sad for the children that had this damaging coaching, sad for the mother daughter trauma done by coaching. Permenant damage. Child molesters are evil truly evil. Witch hunting "a town without pity" man. New laws on how to carefully interview a child with out damaging them for life.

Karen   May 12th, 2010 10:10 pm ET

She has my support and prayers for healing. What an ordeal for any teacher to face. It has ruined her professional life, and I'm sure shook her faith in general. She has to be a very strong woman to have survived to point. I wish her all the best and a much better future.

Dodie   May 12th, 2010 10:32 pm ET

@ Anne Lee

While I agree with a large majority of your report, you negate one very large area. Over 98% of sexual abuse crimes are a result of a family member or neighbor who has access to the child routinely. When you have a mother in a relationship with a man, she will turn a 'blind' eye to the situation due to her "fear" of being alone. Therefore, she will not protect her child and deny the situation. How do you plan to protect against that?

How can you strategize a prevention plan when the 'protecting parent' is in denial??? Before you create such a report, my advise to you would be to work for Child Protective Services (CPS) on the front line as an investigating officer of child sex crimes. Only then, will you fully understand the nature and gravity of this tragic situation.

With mothers selling their 6 month or less old babies for sex in exchange for drugs or the step father who has his 8 year old daughter sitting on his unclothed lap watching porn while the mother is getting high, or the 4 year old girl telling a social worker her mother did not believe her story of the man next door who made her gag and stated ‘it’ tasted bad……

Now some of you may say, Ah, but that is only in the poorest of places or city ghettos. This does not happen in my city, on my block or in my home!

What the human mind does not want to see, our eyes will not! Next time take a good look at your neighbor’s children as you take off the blinders… Only then you will be able to see with clarity! And along with that comes the harshest of realities!

zoe   May 13th, 2010 5:09 am ET

There truly is evil in this world and those individual who viciously went after this woman are the epitome of evil. But nothing good will ever come their way and they will never prosper.

anne lee   May 13th, 2010 7:11 am ET

Dodie – i agree w/ you! there will be people who will offend and will be sheilded by others. but here's the hope – when we engage, train the community how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly, then you have eyes all around. then other responsible adults who care for the molested child will see, sense, something wrong and can move into action. we call it relentless compassion! go to and learn more. we have communities where we know this is happening. it's a drop in the bucket but it's encouraging. join us!

Mike   May 13th, 2010 8:24 am ET

If you are a teacher and you help a 5 year old go to the bathroom you can be charged for sexual molestation. It has happened. You should just let the kid wet on him/herself and cal the parents.

This woman should not have been charged. Most kids will lie. Especially to get attention and please adults.

The mothers of the kids in this case coerced their kids to lie. They should be prosecuted.

Lynne   May 13th, 2010 8:41 am ET

I support Tanya Craft 100%. Bless her and her family. I pray she gets full custody of her children soon. Now just think, the ones that did this to her thought they would ruin her.. She is getting so much media attention. She is not ruined, her life has only begun.

Mark   May 13th, 2010 9:13 am ET

@Dodie, seriously, what is your beef with Anne Lee? darkness to light does great work. great reporting on her part. and what you highlight is equally important. and don't come at me with CPS...I am cps. I have been for 10 years, so i know. we're all on the same page, Dodie...don't hate.

helen   May 13th, 2010 10:38 am ET

This is exactly what happened to Michael Jackson. The allegations were completely false, concocted by a mother who was a cheat, a liar, and a fraud, who coached and used her own children in hopes of a big payoff. She and her children admitted under oath that they had lied under oath on previous claims of sex abuse and had concocted them falsely. The trial transcripts prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt. The charges were totally unfounded and only because of Tom Sneddon's vendetta were they brought. When the trial was all over, it was the mother who was jailed and arrested. She was the criminal, not Michael Jackson. I'm glad this innocent mother as well as Michael Jackson walked free. Both of their hearts are broken. Can you imagine devoting your life, time and money to helping children all over the world and then have that one passion used against you? God bless you, Michael Jackson, for enduring your tribulations with the utmost dignity and always doing it with love. We love you more.

Susan Stearns   May 13th, 2010 1:12 pm ET

I was saddened by this story, not only if the allegations were true, but also based upon the verdict that this teacher was acquitted, because it is horrible for anyone to be falsely accused, especially our teachers.
However, this story provides us with an opportunity to have a healthy and fact based dialog regarding child sexual abuse in our communities. This problem affects thousands of children in all walks of life and has no boundaries, as to ethnic, economic or religion. False accusations can be devastating, but equally devastating are true situations where no one is taking steps to help the children at risk. As a Stewards of Children (sex abuse prevention program) facilitator and seeing first hand the positive affects of this program, I hope national media programs like Larry King and CNN can put a spotlight on actions that all adults can take to educate themselves on this issue and learn how to help children in need.

T   May 13th, 2010 1:38 pm ET

I'd like to see more discussion around the topic of prevention in the area of child sexual assault. Why can't we, as a society, offer the same amount of time and energy towards prevention efforts as we do writing in to forums such as this and complaining about false accusations?
I do not know every detail of Tonya's case, but I am aware of all the media publicity that she has received in terms of "false accusations" and a supposed "witch hunt". Why haven't we seen the same amount of media time given to address the trauma and impact on a child's life when sexual assault/molestation is perpetrated on them? Or how about the prevention efforts that are available to help it stop from happening in the first place.

Dodie   May 13th, 2010 1:53 pm ET

@ anne lee

Thank you for your response! I am delighted you have the fortitude to discuss issues relating to child-custody battles between spouses or other family members. It is very complicated when removing a child for protection as the law must incorporate those areas as well. It is far from being a perfect system, but it is the best we can offer considering the nature and surrounding issues involved.

The law in my state is explicit: The child or an immediate family member residing in the home during the alleged incident must come forward and substantiate the sexual abuse or the child cannot be removed from the home and protected. The ideology and the reality are two different concepts when relating to the law [California Penal Code Section 273d].

Case Example: The child I cited above, where she was sitting on her step father's undressed lap watching porn; was telephoned into Child Protective Services (CPS) by the aunt who walked into the home and viewed the situation. Naturally I was summoned to investigate and called the local police for assistance as it takes more than one person's signature or agency for the removal of a child on a situation not occurring at that moment. We are all trained and have expertise in Forensic interviewing which was carried out to the letter of the law. Because all denied the allegation, the child could not be removed. This child's step father had a history of sexually abusing this child as she had been removed 3 times prior to this incident. Both parents were well known drug addicts; however, under California Penal Code Section 273d, the police could not search the home. I called my program manager and the police officer called his Captain. The law is firm regarding the removal of a child. The police officer and I both left that night without the child, knowing she was still being sexually abused. The Captain of the police department called me at home because this case was so disturbing, he could not sleep.

My point being....... what is ideal, sometimes cannot be carried out in reality.

I do appreciate the public awareness you are helping to create. Most Americans have this concept that child sexual abuse is somewhere else. I still sometimes have nightmares about this child, as I know she, to this day, is still being sexually abused.

Cindy   May 13th, 2010 1:56 pm ET

There are no winners in a situation like this...whether true or false, the children are scarred because either they were really abused or because they were coerced into saying that they were abused. The teacher, guilty or innocent, will always have a veil of suspicion hanging over her and, if guilty, there should be much more than that.

I, too, have been trained in D2L, albiet a couple of years ago. What I wanted to do was to train school system employees, being a retired school administrator, and having witnessed cases of abuse over the years. Here is a prime example of why school system training is so desperately needed. Unfortunately, I ran into road blocks at every turn, excuses for not having employees time, no money, inservices needed to be about academics/testing, they already had a program (good touch, bad touch, which puts the onus on the child), "we don't have that problem here", "the parents don't want it" and myriad other excuses. But, pick up a newspaper almost any day and there's a story about a child being molested by a custodian, coach, teacher, preacher, priest, parent/guardian, sibling, uncle/'s not the homeless person on the street, it's someone known and trusted by the child.

D2L teaches adults, and puts the onus on them, by establishing practical ways that alleviate situations that my lend themselves to some sort of impropriety (no closed doors, no use of rooms out of sight, ask questions regarding the atmosphere in which children will be place, questions about the backgrounds of employees, etc.) and how to recognize, investigate and prevent child abuse.

If one child is saved the horror and trauma of child sexual abuse, it is worth any amount of money, time and angered parents.

Kimberly Steward   May 13th, 2010 1:59 pm ET

Have we all missed the point of Ann Lee's comments? She was talking about PREVENTION. She chose to address how this story might never have even existed if, instead of remaining ignorant of prevention methodologies we, in community and as caregivers, took a few hours to educate ourselves as to the hows, whys and wherefores of protecting our children from this crime to begin with.

She offers empathy to the wrongly accused but, rightfully, asserts that this incident, along with many others may never have happened if caregivers weren't so afraid of the topic of Child Sexual Abuse that their choice is to ignore it, hoping it will go away or believing it will never touch their children.

For the price of one dinner out, Darkness to Light offers a plethera of information that is enlightening, empowering and clearly defines steps to take to keep children safe. If parents and caregivers faced their fear(s), stepped away from denial, and became better educated regarding prevention, children would be better armed with information that would empower them, if faced with a threatening situation.

Remember, prevention also protects adults from being wrongly accused. I hope you will all make the choice to become educated and proactive regarding the elimination of this crime.

Paul Frank   May 13th, 2010 2:01 pm ET

I want to add my voice to the call for prevention. There are many of us who are ready and willing to present the Stewards of Children training to help communities deal more carefully, constructively, and proactively with child sexual abuse.

Despite the reality of false accusations, please do note Anne Lee's statement that "children rarely make up false allegations of their own accord." That's demonstrated by solid research. Don't let the existence of false accusations lead you to discount all allegations! All allegations need to be investigated by competent people.

Marcia Hicklin   May 13th, 2010 2:48 pm ET

I, too, am a trained Darkness to Light Facilitator and understand the importance of community awareness and accountability. We know there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in this country, however, we don't always know what to do about it, how to report it, how to react, or how to prevent it. The media, local and national, has a responsiblity to its viewers to provide helpful information in the wake of these situations. After the interviews, the stories, the articles in the paper, let's leave the public with optomism, eqipped with knowledge, resources and tools to use in protecting our children.

Kristen Ajamian   May 13th, 2010 2:54 pm ET

As a Licensed Social Worker who has worked with survivors for years, many who disclosed the abuse but were not believed, and a Facilitator of the Stewards of Children Program of D2L, I wholeheartedly agree with Anne Lee's and many other comments regarding prevention. As Anne Lee stated, Child Sexual Abuse does have to happen! D2L has provided the tools for prevention and facilitators exist throughout the U.S to guide parents, teachers, professionals and concerned adults through the 7 steps towards responding, recognizing and preventing child sexual abuse. Let's use this unfortunate incident as a spring board towards educating our communities on the PREVENTION of child sexual abuse. Imagine the lives of children that we will save.

Cat   May 13th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

Those poor little girls that they have to grow up in a society that still believes young (not teenagers) children are capable of making up horrendeous stories about something they wouldn't know anything about unless truly exposed to it. When will we ever grow up and take care of our children?

Dee Sizler   May 13th, 2010 3:45 pm ET

There is a large population of childhood sexual abuse survivors in our midst and we are all affected by the wounding due to this crime against children. The wounding of each of us, in part, is manifested in the taboo existing against discussing the topic. This blogging is hopeful.
I think we all can agree that children need protection and have a right to be children. As adults we have an obligation to do all we can in all instances to stand for the rights of children. If laws in your locale are unjust, bring that to the light. If social services are remiss, bring that to the light., If you are afraid to do any of these things find support and get over your fear. Children are counting on you. The Darkness to Light efforts are making a difference. Go to them with your concerns. But do something. Get trained and join the prevention community.

If we would stop focusing on the circumstances of accusations and look at the child it might be easier to find our courage. I, for one am grateful for the Stewards of Children training I had.

Kim   May 13th, 2010 4:16 pm ET

I fervently believe Anne Lee and Darkness to Light are on the right track with prevention training. Child sexual abuse doesn't have to happen nearly as often as it does. Whether or not Ms Craft was guilty (though I've read the research that shows that kids mis-accusing is extremely low) the issue is that if parents, teachers, coaches, etc were educated on how to prevent, it just wouldn't happen as often.

I heard that in Delaware where a Dr (I think) was found to be a pedophile, they are expanding CHILD training. But how do you train a child to resist an adult they are told to trust? It's impossible.

Adult prevention is the answer and the sooner adults are trained, the sooner children will be safe.

Kevin   May 13th, 2010 5:29 pm ET

I've just gone through an experience where a Social Services employee and a Guardian Ad Litem were brought into a home to evaluate an allegation of sexual abuse and MISSED it. The girl later disclosed that she was afraid to tell the workers for fear of what the attacker that was living with her (her older cousin) would do to her. Why did they miss it? Because they were not properly trained to recognize the symptoms. This training goes both ways! Perhaps if the authorities in Georgia were properly trained they would have recognized the farce.
In either case, Ann is absolutely correct! Child sexual abuse can and should be prevented. Please insist that all people working in this environment get the training they need. And as a parent, I urge you to get the Stewards of Children training yourself through Darkness to Light!

Robin   May 13th, 2010 5:43 pm ET

I am familiar with the Darkness to Light program, and I feel it has an advantage over other programs due to the fact that it places the responsibility for protecting children squarely on the shoulders of adults. Although it seems necessary to some extent in today's society, I believe it is a shame that young children have to be instructed in what is appropriate or inappropriate touch! Have we gone mad?! Adults have a responsibility to look out for children – and not just our own.

One of the most beautiful things about children is their open and honest love and affection for people. Can we sit idly by and allow that lovely, refreshing innocence to be taken away simply because we did not want to be seen as getting into someone else's business or making much ado about nothing? Fear is killing us here!

Molly Schultz   May 13th, 2010 5:47 pm ET

The D2L Facilitator Training and the Stewards of Children Training are very helpful for education and creating awareness about the problem and impact of child sexual abuse and offenders, and most importantly to help communities focus on creating a culture – or climate – of prevention and child protection. Every adult should take the time – only 2.5 hours! – to attend a Stewards of Children Training, and get educated about child sexual abuse.

The Good-Touch/Bad-Touch Facilitator Training educates adults about the problem of child sexual abuse and how to recognize it, about offenders and about mandated reporting; and the GT/BT Curriculum itself teaches children body safety "rules" or rights. The GT/BT Curriculum teaches children in pre-K through 6th grade that they have the right to be safe from abuse or threats of any kind; that they have the right to tell a trusted adult if it happens to them (or if they feel threatened); that abuse happens generally from people they know; and that abuse is never the child victim's fault if it happens to them.

Stop It Now! is an organization that also educates adults about child sexual abuse and offenders, and has many helpful tips for protecting children on their website.

Bottom line, our society owes it to ourselves to put more funding and more focus on PREVENTION of child sexual abuse – to recognize dynamics of abuse or potential offenders and take action to stop it before the damage begins. We can prevent child sexual abuse, and truly protect children from its many horrific and long-term consequences – but only if we're willing to do it. And if we don't act to PREVENT – we ALL pay the costs of intervention and treatment afterwards.

Mary-Jane   May 13th, 2010 7:02 pm ET

@ Kevin

It was NOT missed. The law has specifications in which the investigation is conducted. If there is no disclosure, there is nothing the social worker can do. That is the reason the child is always interviewed first, so the parents cannot persuade the child to lie. The parents cannot watch or have view of the children being interviewed. The best case scenario is to interview the children at school away from their parents and threat of their home. Sometimes that cannot occur.

This is one of the main reasons I quit being a child abuse investigator after 5 years. It is a short term employment due to massive burn out! I lasted longer than anyone else on my unit! There were numerous times in which I would work 24 hours in a 24 hour day. Yes, NO sleep! When you remove a child, you have to provide a TDM (team decision meeting) within 12 hours of the removal and a court date within 36 hours of the removal. No time to sleep. The case loads were ((( Huge )))

And people want smaller government! Who do you think we are....we are the government trying to protect YOUR children!!!!!

Jan Nash   May 13th, 2010 9:28 pm ET

We need to fine out the truth of this matter rather than dismiss it. We should step up and protect our (all) children.

Jan Nash
D2L Facilitator

Kim   May 14th, 2010 5:54 am ET

Had I become a D2L facilitator sooner.....I would have been able to stop the sexual abuse happening right in my daughters daycare! When I dropped her off everyday and saw the odd behavior of all the the little girls I would have been able to come forward with confidence and speak with their parents sooner. I live in a wealthy community and would have never thought it could happen here...but it did and sexual abuse happens everywhere. Parents reach out to your closest D2L faciliator and educate yourself!

Theresa   May 14th, 2010 12:56 pm ET

Even though Tonya Craft was aquitted ...her repuatation is destroyed ..there will still be people who say she's guilty. If the mothers of these children are so vindictive...I wonder if any of them are the type that would have approved of the 7 year olds dance recital where the costumes were definitely inappropriate , the dance moves much too sexual for these children to approve. I have no idea where any dult could have approved this type of behaviour for their children. These poor 7 yr. olds have no concept of what they were portraying. Once again adults who are themselves immature...are raising these innocent children without any morals. Why do some people think a 5 yr. old should have no childhood? I feel so bad that Tonya Croft was put thro' the grrill. NOONE deserves treatment like that!!!!!

Wayne L. Gay   May 14th, 2010 2:20 pm ET

Recently the entire staff at Carrollton Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Depratment in Carrollton, Georgia underwent training on the identification of sexual abuse. Ninty Five of the full and part-time staff listend intently to the stagerring statistics related to this issue. To a person, we feel that we are beeeter equipped to see the signs of someone that is a potential child abuser or someone that has been abused. The Darkness to Light workshop is well worth the time it takes to be trained.

Benny   May 16th, 2010 7:47 am ET

I disagree with the concept that Tonya's reputation is ruined.
The perception of the prosecution is another story.
I think that laws are in place to over-empower the state and this is wrong. Normally I have no use for the ACLU, but somehow they need to be involved in a defendants rights.
The law assumes the state KNOWS the truth, and acts honorably.
This, is simply not always the case.
However guilty someone is, they STILL deserve a fair trial.
The judge in this particular case was not only biased, but seemingly stupid. The DA was and still is a joke.
The case was so weak, it's hard to believe it actually went to trial.
The laws are written to protect children, but with mistakes in the system innocent people go to jail unless they can afford good lawyers.
And the saddest part is that normally the court appoints them a cheap lawyer because they cannot afford one at all.

Erika   May 17th, 2010 6:44 pm ET

In today's culture, even with the increased openness about sexuality we have now, there are still lingering hangups and inhibitions when it comes to sex and this is a major one of those. If we could get over these last inhibitions, and finally accept sexuality as a completely normal thing, perhaps when children were exposed to it it would not be traumatic for them and result in so much unnecessary pain and suffering. It's not the sexual contact itself that causes the damage, it's the fact that because of our cultural hangups, those who seek out children for sexual purposes are forced to hide it, forced to threaten the child in order to maintain that secrecy. It is these threats and the fear of their being carried out that hurts the child.

Deborah   May 23rd, 2010 11:39 am ET

Your comments are troubling and sad to say the least. A child should be protected at all cost and measure from sexual contact because it is inappropriate and very damaging to a child's emotional, mental, physical and spiritual development. It is not the cultural hang-up about sex that is the problem, it is right for our society to protect the innocence of children. Adults who harbor desires to make sexual contact with children and act upon them should be banned from our community until they can get help for their deviate behavior. If they are threatening children because of their indecent acts, they should be held accountable to the law for evoking fear and threatening violence. Child abusers need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. You will always be able to determine the character and longevity of a community by how its children and seniors are treated. May we continue to be sensitive to the needs of the least amongst us.

Comments have been closed for this article

Keep up to date with Larry

Follow him on Twitter

Become a fan on Facebook

Contact us
Go Behind The Scenes


LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.

With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.

Order from:
Barnes & Noble

King of Hearts

Larry King's King of Hearts

Saving a heart a day is the goal! Learn more about the Foundation and it's efforts to help the uninsured

Visit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation.

subscribe RSS Icon
Powered by VIP