Tonya Craft is very happy six years after her acquittal
Tonya Craft's life has taken a joyous turn upward in the past six years.
On May 11, 2010, a Catoosa County jury acquitted her on child molestation charges stemming from a sleepover at her house.
22 times the jury foreman said, "Not Guilty."
To this day, May 11th is a memorable day for her and her family. Craft said, "My kids were like, 'Oh this is the day we celebrate, this is the day the truth came out.' It's a big deal, but it's a happy day. It's a very happy day."
Now, the former Chickamauga Elementary school teacher has poured her heart and soul into criminal defense of the falsely accused.
She's driven back and forth the last four years to the Nashville School of Law. "Sometimes I got home at 2:00, 2:30 in the morning and have studied and am now going to graduate from law school."
She teared up when asked what it will be like to get her degree next Saturday. Craft pointed out the tears were happy tears. "It's going to feel very empowering, and it's going to feel very good because I'm very happy and there are fabulous things that have happened to me and to my life, but I would love to be in the classroom and teaching kindergartners."
Instead, she's become a consultant in cases where she believes defendants are falsely accused of child molestation.
Craft recently consulted a Florida case that ended in acquittal and a custody victory. That outcome drives her to continue on her new path.
"And it's his voicemail, that says Tonya Craft, 'Thank you so much. My kids told me they love me and I saw them for the first time in this many years and it wouldn't have happened without us working together. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing," Craft said.