One of the people who interviewed the victims in the Tonya Craft child molestation case testified Tuesday.
Suzie Thorne, who is now working for the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, used to work as child abuse investigator at the Green House, a child advocacy center in Dalton.
Craft, the former Chickamauga Elementary School kindergarten teacher accused of molesting three children, is on trial in Catoosa County Superior Court in Ringgold, with Judge Brian House presiding. Her trial began April 12 with the jury selection process.
One of the three girl victims Craft has been accused of molesting told Thorne about Craft penetrating her with her fingers — after the interview, which had been videoed, had concluded.
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No video record of this information was made at the time.
“That was my fault,” Thorne said.
The information was disclosed off-camera after the child thanked Thorne, while Thorne was labeling the inter-view DVDs. A police detective was in the room.
She said it appeared that the detective was writing down what the girl said, but Thorne could not remember which detective had been in the room with her.
The prosecution played the videos of two interviews with Thorne. They were of two different victims.
Playing the video was a way to validate the accuracy of the videos as well as the transcripts, which were given to Thorne and to the jury.
One of the victims’ mother testified in the morning. She called Craft one of her “best friends.”
The mother told the court about an incident in which she found one of the other victims’ hand down her own daughter’s pants.
She spanked her child after the inappropriate behavior. She said Craft’s behavior was “odd” after the event. She did not seem to be as upset about it.
Court will resume Wednesday at 9 a.m. with another state witness.