June 14, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 07:00 PM ET

Tonya Craft, the former teacher found not guilty of child molestation charges fights for custody of her two kids, including the daughter who testified against her!


Did a father risk his 16-year-old daughter's life – sending her out ALONE on the open seas – for a reality TV show?  Laurence Sunderland is here – exclusively – to tell us!

We want to hear from you!

Should Tonya Craft regain custody of her children?

Weigh in below!

Filed under: Larry King Live

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jim clark   June 14th, 2010 7:25 pm ET

According media reports, what we have here is a bunch of media-craving and money-chasing people (an equivalent of organized public crime) trying to get a reality TV show. Like it or note, the publicity they are getting by being covered by LKL is even more than they could have asked for. But I hope that just like the balloon-boy case, this dysfunctional family is prosecuted to full extent of the law. The father and pregnant mother of the so-called sailor were all over the media last week; all of a sudden, they now have a spokesperson. This behaviour is really really disgusting and these parents need to be brought to justice. What a waste of resources!

Dodie   June 14th, 2010 8:18 pm ET

Larry King!

On another LKL site a week or two back, an individual had mentioned how American’s are trapped in the need to succeed starting prior to school age. I believe this is valid and true. I also believe this is a consequence of over-achievers like Abby Sunderland. The mentality of the achievement-seeking children who recklessly pursue their dream with no respect to the actual danger is a person who needs a challenge, an affirmation who wants to prove to the world that they did “this” therefore; they are extraordinary along with receiving much desired attention from their parents! Individuals between the ages of 13 and 20 are still struggling to form their identity, are particularly vulnerable to this kind of thinking.

Earlier this year, Sunderland's parents signed a reality-show deal; thus, allowing their daughter, Abby, to risk her life in venturing a dangerous undertaking. Abby writes that she has been experiencing rough weather for awhile with winds steady at 40-45 knots and higher gusts. Abby’s last communication with her family had reported 30-foot swells but was not experiencing any distress. It is also quite obvious from Abby’s communication; she is extraordinarily good at sailing. She would have not made it around the cape of Africa or survive without this ability.

On the flip side of this coin we must also realize by the age of 16, individuals can be considered emancipated minors meaning they have full jurisdiction akin to an adult by law. Therefore, the maturity of these adolescents should be viewed on an individual basis. I must tell you, I have met many adults over the age of 40 who are going on age 18 in maturity. Age is an indicator of maturity, but not always the case! That rests on the individual!

Colby smith   June 14th, 2010 8:20 pm ET

Tonya Craft shold be given custody of her children. She was found not Guilty and in the USA,that's suppose to be the law, that's what I hear all the time..
I am Canadian and watch CNN exclusively for all world news and I find I have been truly educated in law what with the O.J. trial and the Menendez Brothers and so on,but in the US I find people are guilty first and have to prove their inosence,Isn't that backwards?

jimcole   June 14th, 2010 8:40 pm ET

We have followed the last 4 16 year old sailors, starting with Zac Sunderland, then Mike Perham, then Jessica Watson and most recent Abby Sunderland. Only I repeat Only the Sunderlands have highlighted the parents in daily blogs, pictures etc. Daily blogs have been mostly talking of lack of sleep, fear and hard times. In the Blogs of Mike Perham and Jessica Watson who just completed her Solo, Non-Stop, Unassisted circumnavigation their parents NEVER were pictured. never blogged and never were in any way highlighted or hardly mentioned. The blogs were lighthearted, joyful and they told of the wonderful time they were having and the enjoyment they were experiencing. Two distinct different types of blogs for two different purposes.

B.Bernsten   June 14th, 2010 8:43 pm ET

Why isn't there a sense of urgency w/regard to the tropical storms starting to develop off the West African coast? If a tropical storm (small hurricane) hits the Gulf, all the work that has been done to date to prevent the oil from coming ashore, will be in vain. One storm is in route NOW.

Where's the news coverage? You will not mention until it's too late, then you call it "BREAKING NEWS!"

Prepare America, BP and America for it NOW, rather than reporting the storm after the fact.

Billie O'Neill   June 14th, 2010 8:44 pm ET

Of course she should have her children! They should have never been taken away to start with.

Freedom Watcher   June 14th, 2010 8:47 pm ET

Tonya Craft's full custody of the children should have been restored immediately after the number 22 "not guilty" was read off! Someone did not have to have a waiting period to make sure the children were calm when they TOOK the children! And Joal Henke should have had to have the children with the GAL ( Linda Hall ) when the verdict was read. This crap about going to court to get custody back is all about money – another way the attorneys get a paycheck.

jimcole   June 14th, 2010 8:48 pm ET

It was mentioned time and time again before Abby left that she was going to attempt a record circumnavigation, non-stop and un-assisted. Even seasoned experienced solo-sailers would not attempt such a sail in the southern hemisphere at this time of year. but because of the age record Abby needed to leave NOW. So now the mother is saying that a record was never in the thoughts.. B..;S...
Unfit parents??? Absolutely. Its too bad children of parents such as the Sunderlands follow their directions without question. Zac and Abby seem to be great kids, but misguided in their devotion to the parents.

Dodie   June 14th, 2010 8:57 pm ET

On another LKL site a week or two back, an individual had mentioned how American’s are trapped in the need to succeed starting prior to school age. I believe this is valid and true. I also believe this is a consequence of over-achievers like Abby Sunderland. The mentality of the achievement-seeking children who recklessly pursue their dream with no respect to the actual danger is a person who needs a challenge, an affirmation who wants to prove to the world that they did “this” therefore; they are extraordinary along with receiving much desired attention from their parents! Individuals between the ages of 13 and 20 are still struggling to form their identity, are particularly vulnerable to this kind of thinking.

Earlier this year, Sunderland's parents signed a reality-show deal; thus, allowing their daughter, Abby, to risk her life in venturing a dangerous undertaking. Abby writes that she has been experiencing rough weather for awhile with winds steady at 40-45 knots and higher gusts. Abby’s last communication with her family had reported 30-foot swells but was not experiencing any distress. It is also quite obvious from Abby’s communication; she is extraordinarily good at sailing. She would have not made it around the cape of Africa or survive without this ability.

On the flip side of this coin we must also realize by the age of 16, individuals can be considered emancipated minors meaning they have full jurisdiction akin to an adult by law. Therefore, the maturity of these adolescents should be viewed on an individual basis. I must tell you, I have met many adults over the age of 40 who are going on age 18 in maturity. Age is an indicator of maturity, but not always the case! That rests on the individual!

William Anderson   June 14th, 2010 9:01 pm ET

Yes, Ms. Craft should be given custody of her children. Don't forget that both her ex-husband AND his wife lied under oath during Tonya's trial. If a person commits perjury in trying to help wrongfully convict the mother of his children and send her to prison for the rest of her life, then he needs to forfeit custody. Lies are bad enough, but when it is perjury, there should be no statute of limitations when it comes to the children.

Bob Brophy   June 14th, 2010 9:03 pm ET

Isn't there an increasing number of false allegations and people using the system to ruin peoples lives for personal reasons?

Buddy   June 14th, 2010 9:05 pm ET

When are the people of Catoosa County going to be held responsible for their wrong doings against this woman? The so called therapist, who badgered the children into giving them an answers that THEY wanted, the parents who committed purgery on the stand, and the prosecution team who let it all happen! If I lived in Catoosa County I would want answers as to why my tax money paid for this atrocity and who is going to fix it! Tonya, I hope you get every penny!

Bob Brophy   June 14th, 2010 9:07 pm ET

Tonya Craft should be given custody of her children, however after being away from them for a long time, the court will no doubt require some type of evaluation. Shouldn't the evaluator have very specific credentials in dealing with false allegations, e.g. forensic familiarity?

ann kinstle   June 14th, 2010 9:08 pm ET

of course Tonya should have her children. Tonya was railroaded by misguided parents and an evil prosecutor. Further, the prosecutor should have to pay all her legal fees.
all best wishes to you Tonya.

Bob Brophy   June 14th, 2010 9:10 pm ET

Since it seems that there were so many intentional acts, malpractice and/or malfeasance, and just plain recklessness, shoudl there not be a National standard for investigating these case? Or is there and this county just did not follow them?

Stacy   June 14th, 2010 9:13 pm ET

I would love to see a reality show about the Sunderlands. I think their kids are amazing and are a testement to the family. They homeschool, they let them follow their dreams. I want to be more like them.

Cleveland, Ohio Resident   June 14th, 2010 9:16 pm ET

I think Mr. William Anderson should have been asked to make an appearance with Ms. Craft. For those of you wondering why, check out his blog on this case. He's done extensive research on ALL the people involved. It reads better than a #1 Bestseller!!

Jeanne Kenaston   June 14th, 2010 9:16 pm ET

Having sailed around the world, I simply cannot believe any knowledgeable person would sail into or send someone into the Roaring Forties in the Southern Ocean winter months, if they had an;y other choice. I understand that a Reality Show and breaking a record were paramount, but this is irresponsible sailing and very bad advice.

My husband and I sailed around the world from 1979-82 – 30,000 miles. We know the Indian Ocean, and the lower latitudes in winter are dangerous and treacherous. Age is not a consideration, but maybe should be, but wisdom seems lacking.

Pat Mooney   June 14th, 2010 9:17 pm ET

This guy is full of it. I struggled financialy raising one child. He has 7 and buys one a world class vessel. Who in the hell is buying her food tonight? Who is paying for her rescue? You are one irresponsible and selfish father.

carol greene   June 14th, 2010 9:17 pm ET

Tonya Craft was railroaded in the most obvious, malicious manner. The District Attorney and the Judicial Circuit members have gotten away with this sort of witchhunt for years. Fortunately, Tonya had the intelligence and fortitude to seek the best help, and to tell everyone who would listen that she was NOT guilty, and that she would fight until her children are returned to her. Her ex-husband was the impetus for this entire debacle.

Praying for Tonya to have her children returned to her soon.

Bob Brophy   June 14th, 2010 9:18 pm ET

It would be most interesting to know what the childrens father has been telling them about all of this. HE could have seen an opportunity to alienate them from their mother.

Lilarose in Bandon, OR   June 14th, 2010 9:20 pm ET

Young people even at age 16 have been sailing the world for centuries. Just because this is a young woman doesn't mean she isn't qualified to sail. Our seas are full of shipwrecks over the centuries, and the sailors included many 16 year olds and possibly younger. This girl was able to take care of herself and survive because of her training. Her age has nothing to do with her skills.
I admire this family for having educated and engaged kids compared to the wastes-of-time most kids are today.

john doe   June 14th, 2010 9:20 pm ET

ABBY GIRL, LARRY HI, NOW HERE'S the deal you the father did this for the money but your "DAUGHTER" ABBY DID IT FOR THE DREAM!!! Which almost "KILLED HER"!!! USA is the way!!! THIS is NOT THE WAY!!!

Yarub Al-Ahmad   June 14th, 2010 9:20 pm ET

Laurence, please explain how your "reality show' can be inspirational for any kid, or perhaps unprivileged inner city kids to watch Abby's proposed reality show. Most kids can't even afford a life vest, let alone a vessel.
You are out of touch with reality. You can call it whatever you wish, but the truth of the matter is that you were willing to risk your daugther's life for FAME, MONEY, and a reality show.

heather   June 14th, 2010 9:21 pm ET

How sad that society no longer believes that young men and women can accomplish amazing things and be amazing people when given the opportunity and the knowledge and the support. Every young woman should be as luck as Abby.

Sadder still that a parent's motives are questioned when they want to provide more than the school system can provide.

Every parent should ask themselves how do I provide more opportunities for my children? We can't all supply yachts, but there is a huge amount of potentional being wasted because we don't want to acknowledge the abilities of children, and minor adults.

STOPEXPARTEABUSE   June 14th, 2010 9:23 pm ET

Tonya Craft was the victim of Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit where the four Superior Court judges have been ganging up on women and families for years. They are notorious for causing exiled parents and destroying lives. Judge Ralph Van Pelt has a lawyer bringing cases before him in secret and still allowing the attorney to be his Election Chairman and Treasurer! Judge Katherine Cook Graham was not only reprimanded by the Judicial Commission for her court room antics on the day Tonya was freed but a few weeks later was discovered to have not paid her license fees in 5 years and had been practicing without one! Two of the four are up for election this year – VOTE NO TO RETAIN ALL JUDGES!

MarieH   June 14th, 2010 9:24 pm ET

How can so many people be so negative about another human being chasing their dream??? Abby's parents have done nothing but support their children to the fullest extent, which is demonstrated by the fact that she is safe!!! Maybe all you complainers should stop holding people back. There is nothing to prosecute (or persecute!) these people for. Have a little respect for people who support their children's dreams! And try listening to the is people like the producers trying to make money off of Abby's possible death that should be thrown to the wolves, not supportive, responsible parents like the Sunderlands.

Theresa   June 14th, 2010 9:25 pm ET

If Ms Craft's ex husband & wife lied under oath why were they not charged with perjury? Of course she should get her children back. Even though she was found not guilty there will always be people who say she is guilty. Her life is changed forever. I admire her that she stood her ground & continually stated she was not guilty!!!

Jennifer   June 14th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

I am so glad Tonya was found NOT GUILTY! As a society, until we learn to get it right and stop the false accusations, or this is going to continue to happen day in and day out. There will be another Tonya Craft around every corner. There will be parents who get mad at their teachers and attempt to do the same to them out of hate and anger. This can happen to ANYONE at ANYTIME! This has got to stop! I think Tonya Craft is just the person to change laws and stop this from happeneing to other people!

Bob Brophy   June 14th, 2010 9:28 pm ET

CAn DR Lorandos comment on how dificult the reunification process will be for Tonya, since it is clear that her child was manipulated and both have probably been intentionally alienated from her, even though she has done nothing wrong – How wrong is that.

Celia Johnson   June 14th, 2010 9:30 pm ET

Tonya's ex-husband Joal Henke seems to be a toxic parent. Why are either of Tonya's children with him at all??

Steve Salem, NH   June 14th, 2010 9:33 pm ET

There is a long history in the country of children being manipulated to say things they were coached to say. The last major incidence was in the late eighties when every day care provider was suddenly suspected of sexual abuse. People were ruined and jailed.
Those accusations did not stand the test of time when real due diligence was done. She should get the children back immediately.

rj   June 14th, 2010 9:43 pm ET

hey maybe abby is a sailing prodigy..should they have stopped Mozart
from composing at 14? Well I guess that’s one way to get ‘em out of
the house ! different strokes ))) for ‘different’ folks

john doe   June 14th, 2010 9:43 pm ET

TONYA, OK, THE LAWYER is DOING all the talking!!! SO, here's the DEAL, I think the lawyer is doing the Brainwashing!!! USA is the way!!!

Denise   June 14th, 2010 9:44 pm ET

Dr. Lorandos- You attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. What led you to law school and how was your experience?

kenny   June 14th, 2010 9:44 pm ET

i go to school in the area and know about this case through friends of mrs. craft. when i first heard of this case and knowing this area , i told a friend that this is a "WITCH HUNT , AND WHO DID SHE PISS OFF?

Helpmychildren   June 14th, 2010 9:45 pm ET

My two children were taken 5 years ago based on my husband's stories, and I do not even know why exactly he has the right to raise them and I don't: He strangled me and assaulted me and got custody. The case has been on hold for 5 long years.
Where is justice?

lisa jamison   June 14th, 2010 9:45 pm ET

I feel for Tonya, my husband went through something like this last year. Do to extremely poor investigating on the police's part he had to spend 70 days in jail and had bail set at 500,000. The charges were dropped a couple of months ago with no apology from the D.A. or the police department. There needs to be laws made to protect the thousands of people falsely accused of sex abuse. These children are being sent the message that they can do or say what they want with no consequences.

Janice Murphy   June 14th, 2010 9:49 pm ET

I have been following Tonya Craft case from day one. What I would like to find out is why the step-mother of Tonya Crafts children has
not been arrested for exposing herself before a six year old girl, letting the six year old girl to help her shave her private area. And Joal Henke should be arrested right along with his wife, for it was stated by him, it was O.K for his wife to take showers with his daughter. I moved from Florida to Georgia in the Catoosa County area and I must say I cannot believe the backwood nuts that call themself the law. I pray that none of my family ever have to be arrested by the idiots of Mayberry (Catoosa County).

Alex K   June 14th, 2010 9:49 pm ET

I have survived through a very similar ordeal, and at the end received my kids back. My ex (the author and orchestrator of false allegations) lost her parental rights. Kids had a whilte to recover and it was tough.
It was a complete hell and I am very thankfull to the judge, who unlike the alleged "activist judges" smelled fraud from the beginning. It didn't save me from going through almost 6 months of emberrasing investigations and not seeing my kids for a whilte.
Those things are very real and usually accompany divorce/separation situations.

Lisa   June 14th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

While child molestation is a terrible thing and can happen, kids can also say things that aren't true and even believe them.

When my son was a toddler, he once said to me, "Mommy, remember when there was a wolf in our kitchen, and you and me and my sister hid behind the counter and you stabbed the wolf with a knife?"

I responded, "Sweetie, I never stabbed a wolf in our kitchen, maybe that was a bad dream." He insisted that it really happened. I let it go, and am quite sure I never stabbed any wolf in my kitchen or anywhere else.

Anne-Elizabeth   June 14th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

Ask Tonya to contact Jan Guillou, a Swedish writer.

Kathy   June 14th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

YES! Give her children back! Enough damage has been done. A daughter needs her mother!

Ms. Erica   June 14th, 2010 9:51 pm ET

Tonya, my boyfriend has a child who at one point repeated some thing planned by adults in his family. The adults, a term I use very loosely had been brain washing this child for several years about my character. They basically created me out to be a bad person. i had to pull myself away from that child because this is a prime example of what can happen if some body has it out for you. These situations happen way more than we think. It's hard because I wanted to help raise the child, but my career and reputation was on the line. I think its sad that you had to spend all that time in jail until you were proven innocent. I don't think I would have lasted for more than one hour in prison for something that I didn't do. God bless you and keep your head up!

Steve Naumovski, Redondo Beach, CA   June 14th, 2010 9:54 pm ET

This case is a repeat of the McMartin case from 1984 it makes me sick to think what people can do to ruin a person's life when they know damn well NOTHING happened, I did not believe the parents in the McMartin case and I can remember seeing Ray Buckley working out my gym for years after the case ended and could not imagine how his life was changed just like Tonya and her family. The people that make these accuasitions need to be prosecuted and this nonsense will maybe stop. Just terrible that this continues to ruin innocent lives.

Marilyn   June 14th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

I have personnally watched custody cases with abuse allegations go through the court system and it sickens me how the court functions in these cases. Children are displaced from people that love them for years. Abuse cases cause undue hardship for everyone except the lawyers and the judges. Children are treated as pawns in a chess game. Winner take all. I believe "In the best interest of the children" is just a buzz word they all throw around to justify their incompitence for dealing with the hard facts. Which takes me to the next injustice. In a court room, utterances made by children to adults is not allowed in a court hearing unless that child has told a forensic interviewer. Only then can a childs disclosures be submitted to a judge. How can a judge get to the truth if all the truth cannot be told?

Kennesaw Jones   June 14th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

Should Tonya Craft regain custody of her children? Absolutely!

Deborah Sanchez   June 14th, 2010 10:01 pm ET

Dear Larry and Guests,

I watched 29 yrs ago as my 15 yo son was crucified via the judicial system that ruined his life until this day for an accusation similar to your guests tonight. I know how people are marked with the Scarlet Letter when something like this occurs. It ruined the quality of my life too to watch my only child be fausley accused of such horrific things. He was also aquitted. But the shame of it all was , it was a relative that filed the complaint because the relative was seeking revenge on me for something I had said , the kin told me he would make my son's life misirable forever and he did. The judicial system needs to cetique its' laws when it comes to cases that include small children and inocent adults..

ds of MA

Lynne   June 14th, 2010 10:02 pm ET


John W.   June 14th, 2010 10:05 pm ET

Congratulations Tonya! I so happy for you hearing that you won in court and were able to prove your innocence.
I'm a 45 yo male who was accused by my daughters pediatrician of inappropriately touching my 6 yo daughter. My daughter was taken from me by the local authorities and I was put in custody with my ex-wife, who orchestrated the the entire case.
I can't elaborate in detail my case on this blog, but would like talking to you. I'm intending to file a law suit against the pediatrician and the authorities to avoid similar cases in future and spare the legal trouble to other parents.
Could you please contact me. J.

Jim Pyatt   June 14th, 2010 10:09 pm ET

I went through the exact same thing during the summer of 1991 when I was a single father and I had allowed my son (then 6 yrs old) to visit with his mother in Connecticut. I was 24 and living in Florida at the time. After enduring months of investigation by both Florida's Health and Rehabilitation Services (now Department of Children and Families) and by Naval Investigative Services, even voluntarilly submitting to a polygraph examination against my attorney's recommendations, the case was dismissed and I got my son back only after school had started back in Florida. The records were soon espounged and a final determination by the investigation were deemed "Unfouded". I was extremely fortunate, being that I was a young single male and possibly faced much more adversity than Tonya did. Of course, I don't know her complete story. I do know that my ex-wife had an agenda and was trying to get custody of my son.

Sunni   June 14th, 2010 10:11 pm ET

Ever heard of a witch hunt? They still exist

Kim West   June 14th, 2010 10:11 pm ET

Someone needs to do alot of following up with the Lookout Mountain, Catossa County, & Dade County Georgia districts this happens more times than not. They have been so many people put in prison &/or on probation for being wrongly accused. My family went through a similar ordeal. And they had to drop the charges due to lack of evidence. Now we no longer get to she the children either. And it'sall because these districts are ruining so many innocent peoples lifes. And it damages the children for the rest of their lives. And it needs to be stopped.

Jessica Beason   June 14th, 2010 10:14 pm ET

Things are very corrupt here in north Georgia, my husband has been accused by his children, not or the same reasons, but because they couldn't get their way, we have proved with a letter that goes into the plot, and a police report stating that they have a history with accusations, the mother and her family put the children up to it, but they are right, your guilty until proven innocent, and child protective services has even threatened to put our our year old up for adoption, why not they make $4000 every time they move a child, we had 6. This is just SICK!!!

Smith in Oregon   June 14th, 2010 10:14 pm ET

BP placing Profits over Safety?! That is the very mantra of Republican led American corporations who has severe liability limits when they don't follow safety regulations. They make Billions by skirting safety regulations and if caught can expect at most a tiny fine while pocketing the enormous profit line because they skirted safety regulations.

At most a tiny fine? Yes Republican led Big Oil created conservative think tank organizations which have directly funded at least 50% of the federal judges across the entire Gulf region who would likely be called upon to hand down judgments against Big Oil, although Big Oil funded their election campaign and helped them into office!

Such doesn't occur overnight, but over a sustained period of decades to greatly isolate American corporations from a wide range of lawsuits and liability cases. During former President Clinton's administration dozens of projects were stopped and others were placed on hold over inadequate federal environmental impact studies being performed. That entirely changed under Bush jr.

In fact that was a pledge by Bush jr. in his wooing special interests and Corporate America to abolish environmental constrains for Big Business! And now we have the worst Oil spill disaster in the world's most fertile fishing region on a Oil Well that had NO federal environmental impact study nor federal emergency contingency plan being performed PRIOR to issuing the lease and drilling the Oil well.

Nancy Lufkin   June 14th, 2010 10:17 pm ET

Yes ,Tonya Craft should definitely regain custody of her children if there is any hope at all the children have't been irreparably damaged by the actions taken by our system of " justice."

Vicki M   June 14th, 2010 10:18 pm ET

We have had a similar incident happen in Vicki M daycare in which our Son and Vicki M were the victims of false accusations. My wife would like to contact Tonya Craft.
This incident has ruined our family. My wife will still stand trial in the incident soon !! Our son was convicted and is currently in prison. We just need to have someone one point us in the right direction in order to repair our family, ripped appart from false accusations.

David Thompson   June 14th, 2010 10:20 pm ET

I was the TV Tech who copied and distributed the " Puppet Lady" interviews. By the second day I thought [ this a witch hunt and indoctrination], her tactics seemed ridiculous. Good luck with your children.

Y.   June 14th, 2010 10:21 pm ET

I was not very shocked that this woman has not been able to get her kids back. Even though she has been found not guilty it is now the child protective services ( social services ) that wont let her have them. It was obvious that her lawyer Mr Landros could not go into detail and mention that it is in fact some social worker that just wont let it be. Social workers are like dogs that hang on to your pant leg and just wont let go no matter what. Social workers now is what has to be looked at because I am sure that they are telling her well yeah you have been found not guilty but you still got arrested so no you cant have your kids until we set up a case plan and see if you can meet the requirements. Dependency court is different that criminal court and social workers have way too much power. I am sure that her attorney will directing his attention to that dept because it definitely has to change. And of course the parent alienation situation by her ex-husband even isnt considered.
Best of luck to Ms Craft and her children. They need everyone's continued prayers.
There are many families that are going through what she and her children are enduring.......

Barbara Ridgdill   June 14th, 2010 10:24 pm ET

YES! She should get her children back! She was falsely accused and declared innocent by the court!! It is a shame that she has to fight for them. She did not cause the loss of her chilren. She was lied about and the"system" did her wrong along with her husband, the school children's parents etc.

Apparently the prosecutors and / or the department of children and child protective services and the therapist were not adequately trained and educated to handle a case of this manner!! I believe this is a crime that was committed against her and her life was on the line. She should be compensated and provided the best qualified and trained personnel to put her family back together in the quickest way possible. I also believe that as long as her children are living with the biological father ,that the father will continue to keep the child/children brainwashed unless they are removed from the household and put in a home where the adults are for the reconciliation and repairing of the whole family !! I ought to know because I am in a very similar situation as this lady and have lost my kids through lies and alienation of the other parent and the incompetencies of the "system"!

Jerry Nash   June 14th, 2010 10:39 pm ET

Most the comments on here are typical of ignorant people who do not know the facts and assume the worst in others.
I know the Sunderland family personally and what some of you are discussing is far from the truth. Try looking up 'Try Hard Things' if you want an idea as to what their intentions and planning was about.
They are very experienced sailors and most of the 'experts' quoted or interviewed in the media have no more sailing experience than an 8 foot dingy on a fresh water lake!
Wait for the real truth when Abby is back and can properly defend herself. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

theresa   June 14th, 2010 10:47 pm ET

This question should not even have to be asked. The minute she was found"not guilty" was the minute the custody should have been restored. I agree since it was two years, things should proceed slowly and safely to reestablish the relationship damaged by a lot of people in this situation. If the AG or a higher court does not look into the happenings in the Norh Georgia area, this farst will continue and more and more children will be forever damaged.

babycarie   June 14th, 2010 10:59 pm ET

Funny...this seemingly respectable teacher is to be exonerated of all wrongdoing because she was found not guilty, yet Michael Jackson is still viewed as a pedophile by many even though he too was found not guilty.
Yes, this woman should get her children back.

Stunned in North Georgia   June 14th, 2010 11:24 pm ET

The Tonya Craft trial brought to the forefront exactly how child molestation cases should NOT be investigated. Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) needs to employ only highly-qualified forensic interviewers and therapists, and they should function independently from law enforcement, instead of operating in tandem with them.

The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit in North Georgia has proven itself to be thorougly corrupt. It would be a godsend if the Department of Justice would step in and take a good look at the day-to-day operations in this district.

Kathryn   June 14th, 2010 11:27 pm ET

'Not guilty' does not necessarily mean innocent. Frequently those who scream 'INNOCENT' the loudest are the most guilty. No, she should NOT get her children back! Perhaps it's true that a daughter needs her mother, but it is not true that a daughter needs a mother who she fears and cannot love. Children are people and not possessions and their thoughts and feelings should be considered same as anyone's. Children cannot protect themselves, they trust that adults will protect them. Her children must be protected.

Meg   June 14th, 2010 11:53 pm ET

@ Kathryn...did you ever think her father & stepmother put the idea in her head....if you are constantly told something over \& over again whether it is true or not you begin to believeit. It was stated Ms Croft's husband & wife lied on the stand. I believe he & his wife should be charged with perjury. Ms Croft in my opinion should get her children back.

Kristy   June 14th, 2010 11:55 pm ET

I personally know how dirty the LMJC system is. Chattooga county has a small town magistrate judge Tracy Maddux who threw an innocent woman in jail last year for assult after being viciously beat by two men. Both men had a record of crimes against women and drug convictions. I hope Tonya Craft brings down that house of cards!

jack   June 15th, 2010 12:11 am ET

Mr. Sunderland, it seems your daughter had a dream , however, it is your responsibility, as an adult and parent to not place your daughter in such a dangerous situation. By the way you talk, I don't think you have learned much. Try doing something on your own for fame, rather than riding your daughter's shirt tails. Because your kids want to try something that is dangerous, you as a parent need to exercise your mature judgement , and try to set limits, where safety is concerned.

william Schmidt   June 15th, 2010 12:14 am ET

Larry give this man some respect. You've cut him off each time he talks about something you don't care to listen to. This is a man with more than a strong mind. You skinny old _____, you wouldn't last a second on the high seas, much less for the periods of time everyone in his family has. Some of us don't drive desks for a living n see so much as impossible simply because you live in the concrete jungle. You are no different than the rest and we that live our lives to the fullest appreciate people like you who make it all possible. Driving your desk for 12 hrs. a day is what makes America, AMERICA! THANK YOU!!

jack   June 15th, 2010 12:16 am ET

The "Baloon Boy" caper was a fake publicity stunt where no one was in real danger, except perhaps the people sent out on searches. This publicity stunt blatantly put a girl in danger, and also involved rescue people. So , no, it is not the Baloon Boy–it is actually worse.

Tami Miles   June 15th, 2010 12:32 am ET

150 – 200 years ago 16 year old females would have been married with kids, fighting for her life in a wagon crossing the praries of America. Where is the sense of adventure and pioneer spirit?

I don't say that flipantly either. My daughter wanted to be a model at 13 years old, she started to show strong interest. At age 14 we began talking to talent scouts, and at 15 years old she signed with Wilhelmina, NY. We spent two months together in the city. The first month I showed her how to get around, from appointment to apointment, learning the subway, building her confidence in self. The second month I had her plan each day, and map the route and which train to go on, etc... It was really no suprise to me that she was so capable. We don't give kids enough credit. She too, is home schooled, like to sailing girl, we know our kids.

From the age of 16 she went to her shoots on her own. She has flown from coast to coast from East to West – North to South on her own. At the age of 17 she continues to navigate the streets of American cities for a day, 10 days or 2 months at a time, what ever the job calls for.

Many people say, "Wow, she's lucky to be living her dream!". It isn't luck as much as upbringing and training and preparing our kids to take life head on. Remember what American was made of...people... with big dreams?

jack   June 15th, 2010 12:43 am ET

Since Tonya Craft was found innocent, give her her children back immediately. I understand there is a big law suit involved. And, if it is like the McMartin case and so many others, where spouses have made false allegations of child mollestation, I hope she wins. They need to train those investigators, and not make the false assumptions and leap to conclusions. This type of false allegation seems to have become the new witch hunt, where people "think" with their emotions. Everyone's rights must be protected.

Dodie   June 15th, 2010 12:44 am ET

@ jack

well stated.

You are correct. The balloon Boy was not in danger. He was at home the entire time. Thank You, Jack!

Ric S Jr   June 15th, 2010 12:45 am ET

On Sunderland: There should be a full inquiry about the possibility of risking the health and life of Abby Sunderland for financial gain. This is becoming a phenomenon in this country where children are innocent victims partly because of the "reality TV shows" and social networking technology that rewards popularity and money.

On Larry King Live replacement: Joy Behar is very much qualified and talented replacement to Larry King in the show. She hosted the Larry King Live several times in the past and was very well received by the followers and guests of the show.

Chris Staker   June 15th, 2010 12:46 am ET

I would love to see what Ms. Craft victims say when there 18 years old the truth will SET THEM FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope she is really not guilty because children grow up and then you get the cases like Aaron Vargas CNN please look at this POST!

Tonya Hardson   June 15th, 2010 12:50 am ET

Kuddos for Tonya Craft and she absolutely deserves her children back ASAP!!! Thank goodness she had the intellect and the gumption to stand up for her rights against what seems to have been an out right witch hunt. Being from the area myself, I know all too well how things work, and I am so proud to know that justice has prevailed in this case.....

jack   June 15th, 2010 12:57 am ET

@Dodie...Thanks. It seems people sometimes get so excited in trying to set records , that they lose common sense. He may have been well intended, but if he would step back from the situation, and use some mature judgement, perhaps he would do things differently. The man seems to be in more of a defense mode, rather than admitting that HE did something stupid. And all the apologists on here should think what might have happened if the man's misguided quest for records or whatever had ended in the child's death. Frankly I have more respect for the Baloon Boy's father. At least he knew he was doing a hoax for publicity, and the child was NOT sent foolishly into the sky. In this case , the child WAS sent foolishly, alone on the seas. Grow up are the father.

Chris   June 15th, 2010 12:59 am ET

Does Ms. Craft kids want to be with Ms. Craft ??? Please ask Mr. King to ask her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kevin   June 15th, 2010 1:06 am ET

Abby sailing around the world. She's 16 years old. It all comes down again to what the individual can do, how that person has been trained and raised for that matter. I know the family, not intimately but for many years at the same chruch. Yes, church and don't go blaming some misguided crazy church for this type of adventure for they have been sailing as a family I understand the length of the kids lives.
The character of mom and dad as I know are beyond reproach and have always demonstrated incredible skills as parents. It's a shame that more families aren't as unique as this family. About a 100 years ago a 16 year old could run a farm, shoot a gun spot on, and didn't need MTV to entertain them. Liberal minds and people are behind the slanderous attack on this family. What kind of parent wouldn't want their child to achieve such a greatness? Oh, don't forget to hold there hands till they turn 18 and make there beds and cook din din for them. Make sure they have there helmets on and bike lights and whistles before they cross the street.
Sure the Indian ocean isn't main street, but I guess other girls like Amelia Earhart should have stayed on the ground, too dangerous...a?

Carol   June 15th, 2010 1:08 am ET

This is all too familiar a scene. A Young man was accused of doing and making his own daughter do unthinkable things to and with him. The story actually started when this 14 year old's internet privileges were taken away from here after her father and stepmother found out she was talking to strange people online and making calls to these people at three o'clock in the morning. This young family had four other kids living with them. One daughter belonging to the stepmother and the other three belonged to both of them. The accuser had one of her friends to testify for but the the friend changed her mind when she arrived at the courtroom.

The father was acquitted of all charges but are now fighting to get all of their children back.

Larry James Hanshew   June 15th, 2010 1:11 am ET


DCM. Justice   June 15th, 2010 1:11 am ET

I am in the process of watching the Tonya Craft airing for the second time. This subject matter is really hitting home. Our family is currently going through the same ordeal. We will be going to trial this month. I would really like to get in touch with Tonya to find out what she found in her research on false accusations. My brother is looking at life in prison. It's a bit un-nerving though to hear that even the prosecution fabricated alligations. That's a very scary thought. But I have faith that the truth will come out during the trial. Tonya should get her children back and professional help provided to her and the kids for having to go through such a horrendous ordeal.

Sheila   June 15th, 2010 1:13 am ET

Tonya, like many parents out here has faced what is known in legal circles as "the system". It is a corruption between state agencies and the judicial system whereas parents are frequently falsely accused of child abuse/neglect and their children taken away from them. The system is not designed to "protect children". The alleged child protection system is nothing more than a deception to hide the real agenda of the state agencies to exercise government control and experimentation with families and society and to destroy the children and their families and the relationships therein. All this comes with the blessings of Federal and private monies and kickbacks from other sources. Good parents do not think it could happen to them. Your wrong, it happened to many of us and our kids were destroyed. Sometimes they died in state care, others were abused and neglected by the state, foster parents, adoptive parents, and relative placements. Many of the children to include babies are taken and used for medical experiments such as with psychiatric drugs, and all are part of a huge "social experiment" on "rearranging families". It is all sick, satanic and no one is listening to those of us sending out the can and may very well happen to your familiy. Should you be concerned ? Yes, children who are traumatized by CPS removals and alternative placements often become socially dysfunctional, engage in street crime later and fill up the prison systems. Todays, falsely accused family will be your nightmare tomorrow as these children are traumatized and drugged with psychiatric drugs to the point they become unfeeling, cold and can become violent as a result. Do we punish the victimized children, or do we stop the false accusations and kangaroo court proceedings by child protective services ?

Dan   June 15th, 2010 1:18 am ET

An excellent guest for the show would be Noam Chomsky talking about globalization, (free trade) and US foreign policy in recent history, the present day monetary system and why it is failing.

jack   June 15th, 2010 1:24 am ET

@kevin...So, why couldn't she have waited two years, and done it as an adult. If that had happened the father would not be in the picture, would he. She was obviously too young, the venture failed, and too bad the father doesn't seem to be out of the defense mode. Maybe she will be an adult before his next lapse of judgement. Where do you get the idea that "liberals" are responsible for children no longer having bygone skills, rather than the fact that we no longer use those agrarian skills as much? I don't see that many conservatives plowing the back forty with a mule these days.

Leslie   June 15th, 2010 1:25 am ET

Yes, Tonya's should regain custody of her kids, full custody. I know they are probably saying that the kids lives should not be disrupted again..but who worried about the kids when they jerked them out of Tonya's home the first time? and IF they don't feel like the kids should go straight back to Tonya, they should be allowed to live with Tonya's parents or something..they definitely should NOT be still in the custody of the father and stepmother who started the whole mess. I mean, how is that they can lie, manipulate those children for two years, commit perjury and yet STILL be considered fit to keep those kids in their home? The world is a SICK place! The Stepmom is the one who should have been investigated to begin with...and she has had two years to abuse Tonya's daughter with the authority's backing her up and she still has her and Lord only knows what they have told her and her brother about Tonya..If they can't go straight back to Tonya because of stupid legality crap they definitely SHOULD NOT still be with THOSE creeps!!

Tami Miles   June 15th, 2010 1:28 am ET

@ Kevin... Agreed,

What is it from 16 or 17 to 18 that maically makes one an adult?

At 18 one may be required to give his or her life for another American on soil far away from America, He or She becomes a Hero. Any thing under that age is to young to cross the street alone?

We should celebrate Abby's spirit and courage!

Tami Miles   June 15th, 2010 1:52 am ET

@jack. We don't grow if we don't take risks. Many successful companies or individuals are also riddled with failures no matter their age.

Jesus was but twelve when he stayed behind on a family trip in the temple to 'Be about his fathers' business'

In 1897, Picasso, age 16, set off for the first time on his own, to formal art training away from his family,with no internet or texting.

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation.
– Pearl S. Buck

mike   June 15th, 2010 2:38 am ET

what is in a person's heart if it be good or if it be bad, will come out of their mouth. give it time.

Liz   June 15th, 2010 4:03 am ET

My husband has been accused of a single instance of fondling during the only time he was with this child but was NEVER alone with her. The mother of the child is an E.R. nurse that "primed" the child and the "interviewer" of the child did the same as what Mrs. Kraft indicated. We have a witness who will testify that she was in the company of her sisters the whole time my husband was with them (he took them downstairs to see his railroad). We have wiped out our savings to retain an attorney to take the case but know fully well that more costs are to come with depositions etc. I would like to talk with Ms. Kraft for guidance and any suggestions she might be able to offer. Can you assist in any way? Instead of giving me contact information ... could you pass my email on to Mrs. Kraft? My husband's career is in danger an I am disabled ... the effect of this issue has had horrid ramifications on our finances and just day to day living. Thank you for your attention in this regard.

BlameTheParents   June 15th, 2010 5:34 am ET

People that are faced with life threatening circumstances will do what they have to do to survive at the moment, but people with PTSD will often ask questions like, Why wasn't I protected? Where were the people that were supposed to protect me? Was I used? There are plenty of parents that think they are encouraging their kids and their independence with extreme sports, but there are a lot of parents that don't understand what it means to protect their kids. When you are in over your head as far as she is, it becomes more obvious, albeit too late (still not clear that the parent gets it...he doesn't appear to have a clue that his role is not to make them famous, but to protect her and evidently a son). He failed on both counts and should be held responsible by an outside organization because he doesn't get it...and these kids are at risk. Society loses big time when we lose a child. Society loses. The parent is immature and doesn't understand this.

Sandra   June 15th, 2010 5:46 am ET

Agree that a lot of people are being falsely accused of child abuse lately. They must have decided that it's better to err on the side of too much than not enough. They appear to be getting false positives though. That's a problem.

Sandra   June 15th, 2010 5:52 am ET

The parent of the sailor is negligent of not protecting his children. He is immature and doesn't understand his role. A third party needs to step in.

Dodie   June 15th, 2010 6:02 am ET

@ jack

Your passion to protect the children is admirable! You sound like a wonderful father!

Tami Miles   June 15th, 2010 8:25 am ET

What of the 16 year old girl from Austraila who completed the same task Abby set out to do – sail solo around the world? Why are we not accusing her parents of wrong doing?

Oh, yeah, she was successful.

"I don't consider myself a hero. I'm an ordinary girl who believed in a dream. You don't have to be someone special or anything special to achieve something amazing. You've just got to have a dream, believe in it, and work hard." – Jessica Watson

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, calls her 'Australia's newest hero'.

What a different set of standards we use for those who are successful at the same task. We focus too much on the end result and not enough on the process of growth and knowledge learned from every trial.

formervictim   June 15th, 2010 11:37 am ET

Child Protective Services, which goes by different names in the various states, is nothing more than an unconstitutional baby snatching industry.

*The setup for CPS is a recipe for disaster*. Fueled by unlimited federal grant money for taking children from their parents and shuffling them around, this agency is allowed to work outside of the Constitution....with no evidence required that child abuse/neglect has occured. CPS effectivly abducts children (often going into homes WITHOUT a warrant), and their grieving parents have no recourse other than in a "family court" hearing where the U.S. Consitution does NOT apply. usually, parents are coerced into signing the "service plan", because of threats when CPS agents say, "sign this or you will never see your child again". What innocent parents may not know is what is ahead for them in family court, and that signing the "service" or "Safety Plan" is stipulating to guilt.

And so, even if parents refuse to sign a coerced confession, CPS does not have to prove or have evidence that a parent abused or neglected a child...the parent has to prove that they did not do the thing they did not do, and of course that is next to impossible. Our Constitutional rights have been replaced in family court with something called, "Best Interest of the Child" (losely translated: this means any way the moon moves the judge on that particular day). Even when parents have evidence to prove their innocence, judges can and do set that aside in favor of "Best Interest" of the child (a legal term in family court.

Shouldn't we require evidence of SOME kind that a parent was neglectful or abusive? In cases of murder or rape, or even the most dispicable crime against humanity, some measure of evidence is required before the guilty person is found guilty....but innocent parents do not have these rights in family court. No evidence of wrong doing is required. No jury of their peers....just one judge deciding, and almost always SIDING with CPS as a rubber stamp for their every whim and torturous deeds.

If all this weren't bad enough, CPS agents enjoy immunity from prosecution!!! Their only oversight is from within their own agency! And so, we have a government agency which is rewarded with boatloads of money for taking children and/or forcing their "services" on families....they can operate without worrying about that pesky U.S. Bill of Rights....and they answer to nothing more than their own individual consciences. Their big defense seems to always sound like, " We are good one working for CPS would harm families...I am a good CPS caseworker".

Since when do we allow ANYONE in position of power over us to operate using nothing more than their OWN conscience?! Not everyone HAS a good conscience.

History emphatically proves that uman beings have never been able to handle alot of money and power without proper oversight and strict laws to provide consequences for illegal actions. So why in the world would we as a nation allow an agency such as Child Protective Services to govern something so precious as our children?

CPS main /excuse against the above is that they need this "lattitude" and being able to work outside the Constitution in order to do the best job for children. But, if no child abuse or neglect has occured, as defined by law, then the abuse perpetrated by CPS is FAR more damaging than any imagined or invented infraction by a parent.

For some reason, the good citizens of this country have chosen to block from their minds the reality of what happens when innocent children are taken, abducted, from good and loving homes. This is government sanctioned child abuse/torture/abduction. When a child is abducted from a good home, that child suffers a pain and terror like no other...and there is no one he can even hope for to save him, because it is his own government sponsoring the abduction. This is the most helpless, terrifying feeling anyone can have.

All accross the nation children are being abused by the very agency sworn to protect them. Parents by the thousands, in every state, are living the ultimate nightmare and grieving like people without hope...because their children have been abducted by CPS and there is little recourse and no justice to be found.

Most cases are not as high profile as this one, because media is largely mute on the subject. IF CPS doesn't manufacture evidence against this poor woman, she will probably be cut lose and her family left to deal with the resulting post trauma. The only thing Child Protective Services is afraid of is public exposure...but any local newspaper will tell you that if they did stories on every instance when a child was wrongfully taken by CPS, their paper wouldn't have enough space to print them all. And, it's old news now....the public is getting numb to the despirate pleas of so many families....mothers, fathers, children and grandparents whose lives have been ruined by CPS.

I am not saying that real child abuse doens't happen. Sadly, it does. But if and when a child is abused or neglected, this is one woefully lacking agency to deal with it. We do not need an agency that operates (often behind closed courtroom doors) using lies, coercion, manipulation and unconstitutional means to deal with it....and rewarded with such unimaginable amounts of money for taking children. There are NO incentives within CPS, monitary or otherwise, to leave children in their families with good parents.

Thaddeus Arco   June 15th, 2010 12:01 pm ET

I watched your show,and I can tell Tonya that I fully relate to what she has been through. It happened to me as I was a single father raising an autistic child, who is now 26. I went through going to court to pull my daughter ,then not even 10 yrs. old , out of school programs that,when they couldn't get there ways would fling out dirty accusations and intimidating investigations based on hearsay. The attorney was right,it is a deep part of ugly America that needs to be addressed. Tonya was exact in stating the violation of a child,s view of there family and pollutes the child's view of social being,which I might add,is more detrimental when the child is autistic. Just to give you an example , even though I'm Catholic,and my aunt has been a nun with over 50 years in teaching, I was up against another nun in court who had verbally threatened me and had wanted to perpetrate a lie to keep my daughter in her program. Well,I won out months later when my attorney caught her lying on the witness stand. But,even though I won,it was no consolation to the weeks and months of walking alone with people avoiding you like you had the plague. This kind of scrutiny went on and it got to the point where your child has a disturbed view of the teachers,caseworkers,caregivers because of their motivation to look for filth that isn't there. Its sad to say that no autism group ever helped through my daughter's 20 yrs with me,let alone in most recent times. I never lost a battle about my honor,but the war took its toll on my daughter's education,our time,finances,and my view on American family justice. I wish Tonya the best,and thank you Larry for dedicating your show to autism,and these individuals ,they were true underdogs. Thad,Middletown NY

hippiechick   June 15th, 2010 12:40 pm ET

As someone stated earlier:

"What I would like to find out is why the step-mother of Tonya Crafts children has not been arrested for exposing herself before a six year old girl, letting the six year old girl to help her shave her private area. And Joal Henke should be arrested right along with his wife, for it was stated by him, it was O.K for his wife to take showers with his daughter."

That was in the court testimony, yes? So agreed, why is that woman walking around free instead of being charged with child abuse or molestation?

Linda Parker   June 15th, 2010 12:43 pm ET

I have a friend in almost the same situation as Tonya. Except my friends 15 year old son (at the time) was accused. The 5 year old daughter was taken from her mother custody granted to the father. Even every time he was accused, people could testify to his innescence. The judge, the improper representation, not having the qualified professionals to testify to the brainwashing of this little girl, all resulting in her permanent removal from the mother. It has been a five year battle. The brother has never been charged, because lack of evidence. The court appointed attorney for "Daleigh" even has admitted she is in a bad place, and needs to be away from the paternal parent and grandparents. Daleigh needs professional mental help. This is a cry for help, probably in vain, but we are reaching out any and everywhere we feel can help right this wrong Thank you

formervictim   June 15th, 2010 1:34 pm ET

For Liz: (and any other parent who is battling CPS because of false allegations): Please join the *CPS Watch Yahoo chat group*. CPS Watch is a place to go to find REAL help in dealing with CPS and family court problems.

This group consists of some amazing, brilliant legal minds as well as parents who have found themselves victimized by the very agency sworn to protect them. Here parents can find the information they need to fight back as well as support from other parents. One does not have to have alot of money to throw at attorneys in order to learn how deal with CPS & their army of associates.

Best of all, it's FREE!

DARLENE   June 15th, 2010 1:55 pm ET

I have a hard time believing everyone involved in the Craft trial was out to get her. Her own daughter acused her of the horrible crime. If I were Tonya I would forget about the $25 million and thank my lucky stars i skated on this one. I believe her media grabbing tour will hurt, not help, future child molestation cases. Who will come forward if they stand the chance of being sued?? I still believe where there is smoke once there was a fire.

Jim Aheartbrokendad   June 15th, 2010 2:05 pm ET

The show about Tonya Craft hit very close to home for me. Obviously, my experience with the court and my children is not as unique as I once thought. First, the agenda is about Tonya Craft so my vote is to return her children to her immediately. Larry King’s interview did not suggest that Tonya’s son accused his mother of anything. Therefore, Child Protective Services stepped out of bounds when they denied Tonya’s Universal Human Rights to raise her son. Naturally, child services must investigate all claims but the difference between abuse and revenge from a former spouse is also a topic that requires close scrutiny.
My case is very similar to Tonya Craft’s but Child Protective Services did not take my daughters. My outward personality appears harsh but in actuality, I am extremely soft hearted. Hence, seeing my daughter’s (involving only my eldest child) pouring tears, I could not insist that she testify in open court so to the judge’s chambers she went with the attorneys and the judge.
In the end, the judge awarded me extra visitation to me supposedly to make up for the 6-month period my ex-wife refused to bring my daughters for visitation. The duration was a mere 15 Sunday night to Monday morning extensions to my normal visitation that hardly makes up for missing time with my babies then crying in front of my wife when they never arrived. A guardian ad litem appointed to the case was to review the case and advise the court in 90 days. Six months later, I found myself sitting in the parking lot of my attorney at 8am because of unreturned phone calls. The guardian ad litem’s recommendation was to leave visitation as it is (per my lawyer). Since, visitation was from Friday to Monday morning at this time I assumed that visitation would continue in the same manner. My ignorance of the legal system allowed another surprise for this parent. Remember the original 15 extended visits, the police were at my door on Sunday at 6pm to put my daughters in the back of a police car and take them to the police station for their mother to pick up. After, a brief discussion with the police explaining the chain of events that were about to take place if they tried to place my daughters in a police car, I then drove the girls to the police station with an escort.

The injustice and denial of Universal Human Rights against Tonya Craft, I, and those of you who suffer from the same atrocities have endured pain that is beyond description. No monetary value that replaces lost time with our children.
1. How can a schoolteacher afford a team of lawyers?
2. Will Tonya Craft guide future parents who suffer from vengeful ex-spouses?
3. When is my interview with Larry the King of CNN?
Jim (A Heartbroken Father)

Miranda   June 15th, 2010 2:08 pm ET

Y'all should really look at this Lorandos guy. He has made allegations against social workers, parents, psychologists, attorneys, etc. on behalf of clients over and over and over again in Michigan–allegations that were found by the court or jury to be unsubstantiated, and in one case, frivolous (attorney had to pay attorney fees for the side he sued!). I also wonder why his psychology liscence was suspended for two years back in the 1990's? Anybody know?

Sat_hanu   June 15th, 2010 4:47 pm ET

Watching The teacher Tonya Craft I felt sorry . But glad that she was acquitted. I wonder if you would have info on those parents who filed that complain gainst her. What is their profession, education etc. Some time back I remember the whole family who was running s day care center was thrown in prison.
Some times back it was 'War on Drugs' and since last few years now it has been "War on Sex'.
I don't know who- politicians, media but the fear has been installed in general public that has to do with sex.

And now there is Mandatory Minimum sentencing rules that is creating havoc . Anyone texting a nude picture is a sex offender. Anyone downloadin9vailable free on Internet) or carrying porno pictures is a sex offender. Everybody must have read about that young man who got angry and send her girl friends nude pictures to other friends- he is a sex offender- this is what I have read.

No wonder United States is the worlds leader in incarceration with 2.3 million people currently in the nation's prisons or jails.- a 500 % increase over the past thirty years.

Now currently the society has a big social problem and that is young men getting addicted to porno websites. I am not talking about priests, teachers or politicians , but young educated young men without any past criminal records are thrown in prisons- because they may have done one of the things mentioned above- download and carry or as they say transport porno material or texting.

Recently Prof. Jason Caroll at the Brigham Young university studied some 813 college students from six schools across the USA. The students went on line and answered questions about their views on pornography. 86% reported that they viewed such material in the past year and almost 20% reported that they viewed porno material everyday. Out of these 20% one misstep and many would end up in prison – would be labeled as as Sex-offender. This is tragic.


Concerned in Chattanooga   June 15th, 2010 7:58 pm ET

After living in North Georgia for 20 years and now in Chattanooga, I can not jump on all of the trains; I leave that to the experts who have taken the time to read and investigate (i.e. William Anderson's blog -a must read). I know too many people who are family, friends and friends of family. It all has hit too close to home so I have to trust the experts to seek out what legally can be done and what truly went down over the last two years in N. GA. You also have to read about the 'black' private investigator that was arrested in this case and unable to share what he uncovered in proving Tonya's innocence. His case is coming up in September and I can guarantee that will be part of the story.
I can, however, jump on the Truth For Tonya train that is still running on Facebook. Many people have asked how to contact her and although not a personal, immediate contact, you can be in touch on the 'Truth For Tonya' facebook group.

jack   June 15th, 2010 8:59 pm ET

@Dodie...I think that safety is the primary role of parents. Without that the children may not grow into adults , and be able to sort things out as adults. If I were to go through the child rearing again I think I would do much better. A lot of our strengths and weaknesses are only seen in retrospect, after we see the big picture. lol

JOSIE PEREZ   June 16th, 2010 6:01 pm ET

Tonya Craft without a doubt should regain custody of her children immediately. I hope that those reading this story realize that this is just a taste of what is going on in America. The Department of HEalth and Human Services are sweeping up the children across our nation in the guise of abuse, abandonment and neglect. We are here to say that we want to set the record straight. We demand jury trials, and demand a fast and speedy trial as it is our children and grandchildren that you hold captive. This agency has a power that has spiraled out of control and "every" person who is alleged to have commited a crime against a child must do some type of case plan with this groupa and in return, you get a 50/50 chance of getting your kids back today. In Kansas, the returns are only 10% of the children go back home, the worse in the nation and to think that this agency was headed by Barak Obama's chosen Kathleen Sabillus who has the worse record in the nation where returning children home is concerned. Today in Olympia Washington, a grandmother has gone on a hunger strike in front of the office of DHS in hope to get the media and families out there to know the truth about CPS. We must come to understand that this system is returning real child abuse children back to their homes and taking the rest of the children (around 70%) of them and keeping those children who are in great condition. There are funding that this agency receives and they can only receive these funds when the cases of abuse, abandonment and neglect have been substanciated. Go to Kansas and ask their legislatures why did they have approximately 627 removals and only 147 substantiated cases and how many reimbursements did they receive, were they paid for the unsubstantiated cases? If so, this is fraud upon the government. If all families were given a jury trial, you would see that most of the cases did not warrant a removal, but with all of the files sealed and closed.... Until they are opened, and comments such as mine are not deleted, we must continue spreading this important information on our own.

HAW   June 17th, 2010 2:42 pm ET

If you want true stories, it would take years and years to tell all of the heartbreaking stories that dhs- 'destructive home servants'- has caused to the American people it is supposed to serve. Children are taken over by the government every day without any proof or evidence against the parents through dhs and the "family" court system. It is an outrage, but trying to get anyone with any power to listen is next to impossible. Arkansas has a horrid system and I've been up and down their ladder to have my voice heard to no avail as of yet. It is a crooked deceitful system that lines the state's pocket and its workers. It's not about the families or the child's best interests- no one would ever believe how this system works unless it happened to them- and our family is just another glaring example of the injustice system in Arkansas and in the USA. Won't someone step up and do what is right?????

nechama   June 23rd, 2010 9:51 am ET

I need to contact to TONYA as soon as possible...My situation is going out of hand because of the corrupted court system...I would like to contact to Dr.Lorandos as well...Tonya, u will be the mother FOREVER, no matter what ...My three kids also suffering because of the system and corruption in the court....Please , contact me ...Thank YOU!!! My prayers with you and your kids!!!

62luv   June 25th, 2010 9:28 pm ET

Until people realize what power the DHS, CPS system has, then no child or family is safe. This mother is a perfect example of what happens to parents by the thousands every day in US courts. They are "closed hearings" conducted and built up by DHS lawyers and ad litems to keep the federal and state money rolling in by the billions. It's called child slavery and it is big business from the doctors and foster care givers to the judges and police systems – they all make and need this constant supply and demand. Arkansas boasted 110 new case worker jobs last year and now they are having record numbers of child intake. The Indian Child Welfare Act passed due to mass child slavery and profiteering – the same thing needs to happen again for the American Families.

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