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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Did a Father Risk Daughter's Life for Reality TV Show?; Two Men Arrested at MacDill Air Force Base
Aired June 14, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive -- did a father risk his 16-year-old daughter's life sending her out alone on the open seas for a reality show?
Laurence Sunderland is here to tell us the truth about Abby and her attempt to circle the globe by herself in a small boat.
Then, the kindergarten teacher falsely accused and acquitted of sexually molesting three little girls, Tonya Craft, joins us -- an unlikely suspect falsely accused of heinous crimes. Her own daughter testified against her.
All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Laurence Sunderland joins us.
His daughter, 16-year-old Abby, set out to circumnavigate the globe, made it about half way around the world when she activated the emergency beacon on her boat. She was rescued alive two days later. And now allegations are surfacing that it was all done for a reality show -- a stunt on which the Sunderlands could cash in.
We think Laurence for coming here tonight.
LAURENCE SUNDERLAND, FATHER OF 16-YEAR-OLD SAILOR, ABBY: Thank you.
KING: First, before we get to that, how is Abby?
SUNDERLAND: Abby is doing well. She's aboard a French fishing vessel at this time. And she is very relieved to be rescued. And the delayed shock is -- is setting in a little bit, of losing the vessel.
KING: Where is she, specifically, do you know?
SUNDERLAND: She's right in the middle of the Indian Ocean. She's heading to a little island with this sailing -- fishing vessel, about 46 degrees south, called Kagulin Island (ph).
KING: When do you expect to see her again?
SUNDERLAND: We won't see her for probably about another 10 to 14 days. She'll be transported to a French research vessel. And then she'll be steaming toward a little island called La Reunion, off Madagascar, where they have international flights. That will be the first time that we'll make contact with her.
KING: Do you live here?
SUNDERLAND: I live in Thousand Oaks, California, yes.
KING:, where are you from originally?
SUNDERLAND: England, originally.
KING: So who are you rooting for in the World Cup?
SUNDERLAND: Oh, I'll have to say England. It was a good result between England and the U.S. over the weekend.
KING: How was Abby rescued?
SUNDERLAND: It was a in -- it was a very interesting rescue. It was coordinated by the French, originally, from La Reunion Island. And then it switched over to the Australians out of Perth, that had an incredible -- just -- just they -- they did an incredible job. Abigail couldn't have been in a more obscure place in the world. She was 2,000 miles away from Perth, 2,000 miles away from South Africa. And there was literally nothing around her apart from this little island that was about 600 miles south of her.
KING: Have you spoken to her?
SUNDERLAND: Absolutely. Yes.
KING: All right, now, the obvious, why would you let a 16-year- old daughter sail alone around the world?
SUNDERLAND: Well, that's -- that's a question that's been raised by many people, of course and rightly so. You know, people that don't know the ocean, if they didn't ask me that question, there would be something wrong.
But Abigail and Zach's upbringing have been very unique.
KING: Who is Zach?
SUNDERLAND: Zach Sunderland is my oldest son. And he was successfully circumnavigated the world a year before, being the youngest man and the first man under 18 to solely circumnavigate the world.
So my whole life is in the yachting arena. I was raised with it. I did an apprenticeship as a boat builder as a young man. I now work as a yacht manager in Marina del Rey. And it's been my whole life. I -- I have a great passion for the ocean. And it's carried through to my children. And I -- I love to be able to encourage them in this endeavor.
However, they -- they were raised with this. They cruised for three years.
KING: Whose idea was it?
SUNDERLAND: It was their idea.
KING: How was your brother involved -- how was your son involved with her journey?
Did he help her prepare and everything?
SUNDERLAND: He -- Zach helped Abigail prepare. He advised her on a -- a few issues. He was -- he was a -- he was great.
And, you know, when she pulled into South Africa, she said, "Is Zach coming?"
You know, it's brought them very much closer together.
KING: Did she say to you one day, dad, I want to do what Zach did and I want to sail around the world alone?
SUNDERLAND: Well, actually, it was always Abigail's idea. She has wanted to do this from age of 13 years old. And, of course, at 13, evaluated the situation. It took about one second. And I said you are too young at this age, but let's see where it leads.
And she started soloing in 30-foot, 35-foot Crafts at that age, at a young age. And over the years, I took her through some rougher and rougher circumstances. And I -- my goal was to dissuade her, that the ocean is not really a friendly place. It doesn't care who you are or what you are or how old you are.
But when I took her through these -- these trials, she just came through with flying colors. And when she was wet through and been on a yacht for over 24 hours with no sleep and little food and I would say, so are you ready to sail around the world now?, to which she replied at 14 years old, show me my boat.
KING: But she's a minor at 16...
KING: You could have prevented it.
SUNDERLAND: I could have prevented it.
KING: You said you originally tried to dissuade her.
KING: So you had total confidence she would do this?
KING: Did you have total confidence in the boat?
SUNDERLAND: Absolutely. Yes.
KING: Well, what went wrong?
SUNDERLAND: Well, Abigail got caught by a -- a rogue wave. It was unfortunate.
Isabelle Autissier, who's classed as one of the world's top sailors, got caught by a rogue wave in a similar instance down there in the Indian Ocean.
Isabelle was in her 30s. Abigail is 16.
Abigail handled everything perfectly and executed everything in a perfect way. It was an unfortunate circumstance that happened.
KING: All right. Some people say all this was done as a stunt.
Was this done -- and this is a direct question -- to get a reality show?
SUNDERLAND: That's absolutely ridiculous. My passion, first and foremost, is for my children and -- and their endeavors. And it -- it's absolutely totally ridiculous and totally unfounded.
KING: OK. Earlier this evening, the man who claims to have knowledge of the reality deal spoke to "HEADLINE NEWS."
Watch what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED CALOROSO, APPROACHED SUNDERLANDS ABOUT REALITY SHOW: Larry did not figure out the proper power consumption of the vessel. He didn't figure out a lot of things. He basically pushed her out. He -- for a sponsorship deadline. She immediately had to stop in Cabo, which Team Abby already knew that she was going to have to stop. And he basically put batteries and fuel and all these things to the boat. Her autopilots didn't work correctly throughout her voyage.
Even when she got down near Cape Horn -- and, you know, we -- basically, from what I saw in Cabo. We had a deal with a company Revele (ph).
And when I got back, I was just -- I was just shooting the stuff for a potential reality show, which we were trying to sell to a network.
And after what I saw in Cabo, I came back. We had a meeting with Revele and we just pulled the plug on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Is he lying?
SUNDERLAND: He's -- Ted Caloroso, first of all, has a personal vendetta against me. And it's just farcical. And he got up at Natinelle's (ph) before Abigail left and told everybody how proud he was to be a part of it. That was when he thought he was going to make money out of the endeavor. And...
KING: Did you have a deal with him?
SUNDERLAND: We had a shopping agreement with Ted Caloroso.
KING: To a network -- you would shop what to a network?
SUNDERLAND: Shop a reality TV show. And in -- it was supposed to be an inspirational reality TV show based on Zach and Abigail as being an inspiration to the youth of today, which I'm all for, by the way. I think if there's something that's -- that's great and inspirational that could pluck these kids away from computers...
KING: But you said there wasn't a reality show planned?
SUNDERLAND: No, there's not a reality show now. There was a reality show shopping agreement that we had.
KING: You had an agreement with a company and they would shop it to a network...
SUNDERLAND: That -- exactly.
KING: And you had a deal if a network took it.
SUNDERLAND: Magnetic had a shopping agreement before Abigail left to shop a reality TV show based on in -- based on the inspiration of Zach and Abigail. Absolutely. And that was null and void when they realized they couldn't get a deal. And Ted and Chris Bates' partnership split up because Ted Caloroso wanted to take this in an unethical direction, which we would not be a part of.
KING: Unethical how?
SUNDERLAND: He was -- he was going to try to exploit me and throw me under the bus as an irrespon -- irresponsible parent that knew nothing about what I -- about yachting and boating, which is something I've been involved in all my life.
(A PORTION OF THIS TRANSCRIPT HAS BEEN REMOVED)
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more with Laurence Sunderland, this puzzling story. But thank heaven she's OK.
KING: Don't go away.
KING: Abby is one of seven children. There's an eighth on the way. And her older brother had done this voyage.
We asked the production company that had a deal with the Sunderlands for a statement tonight and we have yet to receive one. So in all fairness, we report that.
Why wasn't she in school?
SUNDERLAND: She's actually home schooled. In fact, all our children are home schooled.
KING: Why do you home school?
SUNDERLAND: Because it allows us to take their strengths and develop them at young ages. And we do sail rather a lot. We -- and travel a lot.
KING: Are you annoyed at being compared to the father of the balloon boy, who pulled the hoax to get a reality show?
SUNDERLAND: I just think it's -- it's ridiculous, you know?
It really is ridiculous. I mean if there was any merit in that, I would be able to get into it. But it -- it's absolutely farcical. This is about two young people, Zach, who completed his journey and is a hero, and Abigail, that was caught by a rogue wave. And her vessel sustained her life and she followed the safety procedures to the letter and to the T and was rescued.
KING: Did you talk to her every time?
What is -- what phone did she have?
SUNDERLAND: She has an Iridium satellite telephone. And we speak twice a day, giving her updates of weather and information. She speaks to Jeff Casher, one of the tech guys, every day, as well. And she sends over all the pertinent information -- weather, mechanical information or...
KING: Were any companies involved in sponsoring this?
SUNDERLAND: Yes, there were. Shoe City was first to jump in very early on in the stages. And we're very, very thankful for their sponsorship. And then Krikorian Theaters, S.S. Aqua Friends and Lucky Cat TV are all part of another part of the sponsorship. It was always (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: And is it ever going to be a television thing?
SUNDERLAND: You know, is it ever going to be a television thing?
You know, the -- my premise for that is if it's going to be inspirational, and it's going to -- an inspiration...
KING: By inspiration, you mean, what, religious?
SUNDERLAND: Not necessarily. Inspirational to -- to young folks, to peel them away from their computer games, to get out there and do something.
Why not? I -- I'm all for inspiring young people, as I have the been an inspiration to Zach and Abigail.
KING: Why didn't you do a TV deal with Zach?
SUNDERLAND: You know, there was -- there was talk of -- of various opportunities. But none of them have come to fruition.
KING: Why does this guy have a vendetta against you?
SUNDERLAND: You know, to be honest with you, I -- it's -- it spans...
KING: You were his friend?
SUNDERLAND: I beg your pardon?
KING: You were once his friend?
SUNDERLAND: He -- he professed to be a friend of ours and he came in on the inner circle. He was trying to find out bad stuff about us and -- and throw us under the truck. I...
KING: By what, selling it to someone...
SUNDERLAND: Yes, I...
KING: -- selling a bad story about you?
SUNDERLAND: Absolutely. That's -- that's his -- that's his agenda, I believe, because there's no merit. He knows nothing about the yachting arena. This guy has never actually stepped foot on a yacht or sailed on a boat prior to his involvement with us. And...
KING: Didn't he say when you -- when he wanted to do a documentary, you didn't want that, you wanted a reality show?
SUNDERLAND: No, I didn't say that. Initially, they were shoo -- they had a reality TV show based on Abigail and Zach, a shopping agreement. And...
KING: You mean the boat would have been just part of the show?
SUNDERLAND: Yes, absolutely. And -- and then they wanted to film for the documentary. They would use some of the footage that they -- they had for a documentary. But that had not been signed. We -- we had -- that was a -- just a -- a kind of something that was spoken about and talked about. And, by the way, I think something of this magnitude that Abigail has undertaken -- and Zach's undertaken -- should be a documentary. People should know about this. Right...
KING: If she's all alone, who's filming her?
SUNDERLAND: She's been filming herself. She's got about five cameras on board. But they're -- right now, she basically stepped off the boat with the -- with the clothes on her back and her passport. KING: Is she very depressed?
Is she down?
SUNDERLAND: You know, she is a remarkable young lady. She's got some delayed shock, yes, definitely -- getting used to the reality that her home, her -- her yacht, something that sustained her over halfway around the world, around Cape Horn, around the Cape of Good Hope, is now gone. It's adrift in the Indian Ocean.
But she is so thankful for the Australian search and rescue and the French search and rescue efforts that came and -- and plucked her off her -- her compromised boat.
KING: And we're thankful for you coming over here to tell us about it.
SUNDERLAND: Thank you very much, Larry.
SUNDERLAND: Laurence Sunderland.
Tonya Craft is here.
Now she lived a nightmare.
Could -- could this happen to you?
Don't go away.
KING: All right. We have breaking news for you.
An Air Force spokesperson says two individuals were trying to make an illegal entry onto MacDill Air Force Base. There is currently a 500 foot cordon around their car. Authorities were probing its interior with a robot. The two people are in quest -- are in custody and being questioned. That's what we have for now.
We'll get more information to you when we get it.
MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
Tonya Craft, a former kindergarten teacher, was found not guilty last month of 22 charges in an emotional child molestation case that divided the small community of Chickamauga, Georgia. One of the three children who testified against her was her own daughter. She lost custody of her two children and is now still fighting to get them back.
Tonya Craft is here with us tonight in our studios.
So is Dr. DEMOSTHENES Lorandos. He is Tonya Craft's attorney.
As well as David Craft, Tonya's husband.
Take us back now. This started innocently enough when children slept over the house.
What was the situation that occurred that night?
TONYA CRAFT, ACQUITTED OF CHILD MOLESTATION: Actually, I'm not completely sure because even the prosecution, when they presented their case, they never gave a clear cut, definitive time. So I...
KING: Basically the story was what?
T. CRAFT: Basically, the story was that there were children at my home. And when they were at my home, they were given baths and inappropriate touching happened during bath time.
KING: Were they your students?
T. CRAFT: One was my student. But they both were friends of my daughter.
KING: How old were the girls?
T. CRAFT: At the time, they were -- well, the -- the actual allegations were several years. So like as far as the span went, they were anywhere from four to six years old.
KING: This was taking place over a number of months and years?
T. CRAFT: A number of years. Yes, sir.
KING: How did they come about to charge you?
Who came forward to say, Mrs. Craft is bothering us?
T. CRAFT: That actually is another situation that's not definitive. There were multiple stories that the prosecution's witnesses told. There were multiple adults that said that they were told first by one of the children. And then the children told different stories. And, actually, the interviewers told different stories, as well.
KING: How did they come to arrest you?
T. CRAFT: Apparently, one of the mothers of one of the children went to the authorities, made phone calls and talked to other parents and actually made some threats with some other parents in order to try to get...
KING: And they filed charges against you?
T. CRAFT: Yes.
KING: What -- what grade do you teach?
T. CRAFT: Did I? I taught kindergarten.
KING: Did you know the girls from school?
T. CRAFT: Yes, I knew the girls from school. I knew their parents. And, like I said, they had befriended and become friends with my daughter and my children.
KING: And you have two children -- three children of your own?
T. CRAFT: I have two.
A daughter and?
T. CRAFT: A son, yes.
KING: And they're not with you now, right?
T. CRAFT: Currently, no.
KING: How old is the daughter?
T. CRAFT: She is eight.
KING: And the son?
T. CRAFT: Eleven.
KING: The 8-year-old testified against you?
T. CRAFT: Yes, sir.
KING: What -- Larry. Call me Larry.
T. CRAFT: I'm sorry. OK.
KING: I understand.
What did she say?
What did your 8-year-old say you did?
T. CRAFT: When I -- I put medicine on my child and...
KING: You put what?
T. CRAFT: Medicine on my child for a diaper rash type of scenario. And to be quite honest, I'm not -- I would have to go back and look at the transcripts, because I was that -- it had been close to 700 days since I had seen my daughter. And it was very, very emotional while she was on the stand.
KING: They took the daughter and son away from you when the charges were filed? T. CRAFT: Yes, sir.
KING: And where are they being -- where are they?
T. CRAFT: With their father.
KING: You're separated or divorced?
T. CRAFT: Divorced, yes.
KING: So your 8-year-old testifies that you sexually did things to her or attempted to or what -- what did you -- I know it's cloudy, but what do you remember she said?
T. CRAFT: I remember that we -- we've actually played the interview of -- the first interview. And the gist of it was that she had some stomach problems and I put medication on my child to take care of my child.
KING: And what did you do to the other child, supposedly?
T. CRAFT: I was going to say nothing. Supposedly...
KING: What did they say?
T. CRAFT: They said that there were -- there was touching and that there was penetration and that...
KING: Penetration how?
T. CRAFT: Vaginally and anally. And that I had had them touch my breast, is what the allegations -- there were 22 counts.
KING: Was all of this a total shock to you?
T. CRAFT: Absolutely, yes.
KING: David, are you her second husband?
DAVID CRAFT, TONYA CRAFT'S HUSBAND: I'm her third husband, actually, Larry.
KING: But these are not your children?
D. CRAFT: No, sir, they're not.
KING: You were married at the time the charges were filed, David?
D. CRAFT: Yes. We were.
KING: What did you make of this?
D. CRAFT: It's just -- it's been a very difficult time for the last two years and...
KING: No kidding.
D. CRAFT: -- we...
KING: Were you shocked?
D. CRAFT: Yes, we were. We were actually separated at the time. And we reconciled after that.
KING: You're back together now?
D. CRAFT: Yes, we are, sir.
KING: Were you in court with her when the verdict came down?
D. CRAFT: Yes, I was.
KING: We'll take a break and come back and bring in Dr. Lorandos to explain how, with all that testimony, she was not guilty.
She wants her two children back.
There were developments in court today.
We'll be right back.
KING: We're back.
By the way, Dr. Lorandos is a psychologist and an attorney both. And he practices all over the United States, based in Ann Arbor.
And you're going to get paid if this is sold into a movie, right?
You haven't been paid, have you?
DR. DEMOSTHENES LORANDOS, TONYA CRAFT'S ATTORNEY: No comment.
KING: I mean it had to be -- this had to be very expensive.
LORANDOS: Extremely expensive to bring this kind of defense together, yes.
KING: How did you win this having her own daughter testify against her?
LORANDOS: Tonya pulled a legal team together and insisted on experts to be able to tell the jury how these things happened. We had Cary King and Scott King from Atlanta. We had Clancy Covert from Tennessee...
KING: These are who?
LORANDOS: Lawyers, very good lawyers. And Tonya showed up on my doorstep and insisted that I come down and run the team.
KING: How did you know about Dr. Lorandos, Tonya?
T. CRAFT: I had throughout -- well, with these allegations, I was very proactive and I researched. I actually had come to California when one -- at one time and met with John van de Kamp, which is the former attorney general, because he had handled the Bakersfield case.
And in my research, I had found where he had testified as an expert -- where Dr. Lorandos testified as an expert. I was very impressed.
So I -- with no return phone calls or e-mails, I decided to get in the car and show up. And that's what happened.
KING: You have the heck of a client here. All right. What did it?
LORANDOS: Well, I never take these cases unless the clients go through at least a couple of polygraphs, good polygraphs, unless I believe in them. I don't need to. I have a very small litigation team. We are very aggressive litigators, we are very busy. But Tonya showed up and told me the story of what happened. And told me what she had done in terms of meeting the people that had been through this before. She actually went and talked to the people that, Sean Penn did a documentary about a couple of years ago.
KING: Now, the people falsely charged?
LORANDOS: Yes, and she talked to the victims, to the children, they were now adults that had been manipulated into this and talked to many of the nationally renowned experts.
KING: Remember the McMartin case. Those children were manipulated.
KING: I interviewed the children. I knew they were manipulated.
LORANDOS: I remember that you did. I was teaching in university, psychology at that time. And I remember that you did that. And you were as shocked as all of us.
KING: Halfway through the show, I knew that the kids were not lying. They were being coached.
LORANDOS: And it was pretty clear that you picked that up immediately. Unfortunately, Larry, the kinds of interviews that were done in Tonya's case and done repeatedly throughout the country put ideas into kids' heads so that the kids are really victims of false memory.
KING: Who was after her?
KING: I mean, the child had to come home and say something the parent wouldn't just say, well.
LORANDOS: Actually, I got to cross-examine the children. And the story.
KING: How old when you cross-examined them?
LORANDOS: They were eight and then when I cross-examined them. And the -- the stories that came out were that the children said innocent things and that the parents questioning them repeatedly, over and over and over again and suggesting that Ms. Tonya had done something to them caused the children to eventually conform their stories to the parents' questions.
KING: But who was suggesting it to her daughter?
LORANDOS: Her ex-husband, repeatedly, over and over. Because her daughter never said that her mommy did terrible things or bad things to her when she was originally questioned. But the idea of bad and medicine were paired by the interviewer and were paired by the ex- husband. So, mommy and bad, bad and mommy, medicine is bad.
KING: Medicine, you mean, medicine applied to the parts of body?
LORANDOS: Of course. Of course. And so, at, this was done by the interviewers, this was done by the father, this was done repeatedly and so the child testified that mommy put medicine on me and it was bad. And mommy did this. Mommy did that. But she never testified that mommy had penetrated her nor had any sexual motive. She just testified about the paring.
KING: How were you reacting during all of this, David, in court?
D. CRAFT: I was actually outside the courtroom. I was a witness in the trial. So, I wasn't allowed to be in the courtroom.
KING: Why were you a witness?
D. CRAFT: Because I was around, married to Tonya, around the children.
KING: And so, he testified for the defense that he never saw anything.
LORANDOS: David was an excellent witness. A truer guy you couldn't find. He just sat there and endured tremendously vicious cross-examination and said she didn't do it. She wouldn't do it. This would never happen. I was there. These kids weren't there. Unfortunately, the two little girls that have been convinced that this happened to them and now they're really victims of this process, testified about things that happened when David and other people were there and they weren't.
KING: Did the parents testify?
LORANDOS: Yes, they did.
KING: They weren't there. What did they have to say?
LORANDOS: They -- well, Tonya has filed a federal lawsuit in which she says, quite clearly, that they perjured themselves. Lied about what had occurred.
KING: Parents other than the ones that were manipulated? You say parents, she is one of the parents.
LORANDOS: That is correct. The parents of the two little -- the two main accusing parents.
KING: The father?
LORANDOS: Yes. The people that were involved in repeatedly questioning and manipulating the children are all the subject of the lawsuit that Tonya's filed to try to put a stop to this business.
KING: Did, in your opinion, the prosecution jump the gun? In other words, should they have prosecuted this case? Would you? That is hard to be objective?
LORANDOS: I testified as an expert for the prosecution in cases like this for a decade.
LORANDOS: I quit being a psychologist and went to law school to try to put a stop to this business. Not only did they jump the gun, it is our sense that they fraudulently created evidence, that they suborn perjury, that they did a variety of terrible things to these families and children and according to the community, they've been doing it for years.
KING: Why don't you have your children back?
T. CRAFT: Unfortunately, in these situations, that's what happens, that's why I want America to know that when these allegations come out, your children are taken from you in a matter of one second.
KING: Guilty before innocent?
T. CRAFT: Guilty until proven innocent absolutely. And I honestly feel like I'm having to prove my innocence over and over.
KING: Do you get to see your kids?
T. CRAFT: On occasions.
KING: What does your son think of all this?
T. CRAFT: I don't talk about it.
KING: He doesn't?
T. CRAFT: It's just a normal, just, having fun, relaxed, normal, normal parent natural fun time. KING: What do the other lawyers do in this case? You mention others that were assisted.
LORANDOS: These are very competent criminal defense lawyers. You can imagine the egos in the room and trying to pull this team together. These guys were tremendous. They were terrific lawyers. And they pitched in on all over the cross-examinations. They helped write all of the legal reference material. They constantly, insisted that I go back and redo the stuff that I had written. It was a very, well functioning team.
KING: David seems look a reserved quiet guy. And you are saying he was a terrific witness.
LORANDOS: He was a heck of a witness.
KING: They never broke him down?
LORANDOS: David is an honest guy who started in his company pushing the broom and 28 years later is the executive vice president. David is as honest as the day is long, he was there, he saw it, he loves his wife. He admitted on the stand that, that he was at fault and she never quit on him, he quit on her, and beg ford reconciliation. They reconciled and the best thing for both of them.
KING: We'll be back with more of this extraordinary story after these words.
KING: Are you saying, Dr. Lorandos that there are a lot of cases like this. People falsely accused of touching children, teachers and others?
LORANDOS: If they would just listen to the interview you did back in the McMartin era, and watch that again, all those many years ago and realize that the 9th circuit left those parents -- left those families hanging out to dry. Then the 9th circuit didn't do anything about the Alcorn County cases and most of the terrible things that happened there. And then when all the parents that have been falsely accused in jail that went out this case went to the 9th circuit and ask for help again, they couldn't get any help again. There are many true stories about parents trying to change the system and getting nowhere because activist judges simply won't follow the law of the legislature wrote.
KING: Tonya, you are a teacher, you are bright, what does a parent do if her 7-year-old daughter comes home and says, mommy, my -- my teacher touched me in my privates today? What does she do?
T. CRAFT: Well, absolutely, you look into it.
KING: By doing what?
T. CRAFT: One you, do not question the child. You take them to a qualified interviewer, forensic interviewer. By qualified, I don't mean two day's training. I mean look into the resume. Figure out who is qualified. Take them. And get to the bottom of the truth. And figure out what the truth is with, with you being unbiased and going to an interviewer that is unbiased that wants to find the truth.
KING: And in some case that does happen, right?
T. CRAFT: Absolutely. And if it does happen then it needs to be addressed completely.
KING: How did you emotionally handle this? Your own daughter?
T. CRAFT: Well, the emotions have been up and down. There have been thousand of tears. There have been research as I had discussed earlier that helped me emotionally, as far as research and learning what to do. And I intend to go back to law school.
KING: Tonya testified in her own defense. Let's hear a little of that. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it is a conspiracy?
T. CRAFT: Actually if think it is kind of offensive to use that word. I think what has happened is more than a travesty. I think that the experts have explained how something this horrible can happen. But I think there is a lot of thing that have been done wrong. But I know, I did not do anything to these children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You molest a child if you touch a child's genitalia, inappropriately you are a child molester.
T. CRAFT: If you do that, if you do that, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Was the prosecution rough on you, Tonya?
T. CRAFT: The prosecution was not just rough on me. They attacked my friends. They attacked my family.
KING: There are other people testified for you?
T. CRAFT: Absolutely. I had more people, we had more people that would testify for me. They attacked my character. Completely. They made things up. There were complete lies by prosecution's witnesses as along with my ex-husband that were just completely hurt.
KING: They had a -- against you.
T. CRAFT: You can describe the hell ever you like but it was -- they made things up and attacks my character to the point that it was not even seemingly about the children anymore.
KING: You weren't allowed to teach once the charges were filed?
T. CRAFT: No, I was not.
KING: Can you teach now?
T. CRAFT: At this point I am fighting to get my certificate back. Because I will fight that fight.
KING: Why was your certificate not given back to you the day you were found not guilty?
T. CRAFT: That's a very good question. And not guilty is the beginning of the fight, it's not the end.
KING: Why not, Dr. Lorandos, I don't understand that. Isn't not guilty the end?
LORANDOS: No. In these cases once you have been accused, you are forever tarnished. And that's why we are trying to get, trying to cause changes in the way children are interviewed. Because these kids that have been put through this process, not just Tonya's daughter but these two other little girls have been badly damaged by this process.
KING: There were two other girls and Tonya's daughter. Three altogether.
LORANDOS: Yes. And the jurors who have come forward and talked to us since this were outraged at the kind of things that the prosecution did in this case. And have asked to help with the process of reconciliation and seeing to it that this never happens again.
KING: Let's hear the dramatic moment when you were found not guilty. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We, the jury, find the defendant, count number one, not guilty. Count number two, not guilty. Count number three, not guilty. Count number four, not guilty. Count number 21, not guilty. Count number 22, not guilty. This 11th day of May, 2010, signed...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now, frankly, were you a little shocked?
LORANDOS: No. I trusted the jury. I am a litigator. This is what I do.
KING: Were you shocked? And you knew you were innocent to yourself. But still your daughter testified.
T. CRAFT: I knew I was innocent. I had researched. And these cases are prosecuted. And I was scared but I had gotten to the point that I had accepted. I would fight whether there was a guilty or not guilty. I would fight until my last breast to prove my innocent.
KING: What was it punishable by? What could she have... LORANDOS: She was looking at hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years of imprisonment. And that's why we are trying how to get the federal courts to step in...
KING: And do what?
LORANDOS: Well, and follow the law the way Congress wrote it. The people that -- that have done this to Tonya, Tonya filed a lawsuit against them to try to put a stop to this. The people that have done this to Tonya, as we speak are racing to the courthouse to make certain that I don't talk to another jury, to make certain that Tonya's claims never see a jury. And if they get an activist judge that won't follow the law that was laid down.
KING: What do you want to -- are you suing?
LORANDOS: We are suing to get the federal courts to step in and stop this. We're suing to get the people that did this to Tonya to pay her back for what they did.
KING: Suing for money?
LORANDOS: To endow a foundation to see to it that these people get properly educated and it doesn't happen to another set of children.
KING: David, were you shocked at the verdict?
D. CRAFT: I won't say I was shocked. I refused to prepare for anything else. I honestly wasn't prepared if the outcome had been different. I know it was very much a possibility but I just refused to consider it.
KING: Your phone calls for Tonya are next.
KING: We're back, right back with our guests. First let's check in with Anderson Cooper still down in the gulf there. Anchor AC360 of the top of the hour, what's the lead?
ANDERSON COOPER, AC 360 HOST: Well, the lead, of course Larry, oil gushing into the gulf on day 56 of this catastrophe. More damning details there today of the hours and days ahead of the rig explosion released by congress. Details we learned today, the BP CEO was warned he will have to answer for when he heads to the hill on Thursday. Details that show BP according to allegations put profits before safety, and that fateful decision eventually led to the mess that BP still has no real plan for dealing with. Tonight, we are keeping in mind as live from Louisiana, those stories a lot more at the top of the hour -- Larry.
KING: That's AC 360 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. The president will address the nation tomorrow night about this at 8 p.m. Eastern. We'll be on at 9 Eastern with the complete program dealing with the tragedy in the gulf. Tonya Craft, Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos, and David Craft are with us. We have some phone calls, the first is Lake Mary, California. Hello.
CALLER: I have a question for Tonya.
KING: Go ahead.
Caller: Were you harassed by the community based on character assassination or gang stalking?
T. CRAFT: Actually, to my surprise, the support has been phenomenal, I've had support from all over the world, all over the United States, I've had thousands of e-mails.
KING: How would they know to support you based on these terrible allegations?
T. CRAFT: Well, I have a friend of mine who created a website called truth for Tonya, and people had gotten to know about the website like I said it was a national. I get calls today, we can't go anywhere without people saying even in New York and different areas that their entire household was crying when they heard the verdict. And I didn't know the individuals. It's been humbling, the support. So, actually, it has been amazingly surprising, the support.
KING: Dr. Lorandos, isn't it in most cases like this, the support is the other way?
LORANDOS: Well, yes.
KING: With the little children that were harmed?
LORANDOS: Well, we're supporting the children that were harmed. We're trying to put a stop to this to see that little children aren't harmed like this again. We're the first ones who want the people that actually harm little children to be nailed down on the 405 and driven over all day and if they make it OK, if they don't...
KING: Who harmed these children, the parents? Who harmed the children? Who accused her? Who?
LORANDOS: To the best of our ability, we had Nancy Aldridge there, we had Bill Burnett there, some of the best experts in the country. Their idea as well as mine as a doctor was that the overzealous questioning, were the questioning trying to involve Tonya in this somehow, that was picked up by the interviewers and repeated and gone over and over where Tonya was vilified and the children were manipulated, that's what harmed the children, and going over and over again. They actually gave these children a therapist that was mentally ill, and then tried to conceal that she was mentally ill, who went over this and over that and over and then injured herself about her mental illness. And I tried to bring that into court and I got blocked every chance...
KING: We'll be back with our many moments. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: We have more on the breaking news from MacDill Air Force Base where two people were arrested tonight.
Let's go to Beau Zimmer of WTSP Tampa, he's on the phone for more. Beau, what's the latest on this? I'm sorry, we lost Beau. I hope we can get him back and get the latest, if not, of course, we will be following it throughout the night. Two men arrested in a car at strange looking apparently at MacDill Air Force Base, that's in Tampa.
You're going to see Sony (ph) tomorrow? I mean, do you think this is going to be a made for TV movie?
LORANDOS: Yes. It's a compelling story. And the more people that know about it, the more kids we can protect from this happening again. Because at 9th circuit court, simply isn't helping, they just throw the cases out, somebody's got to put a stop to this.
KING: You expect to get your kids back?
T. CRAFT: I'm going to fight until I do, yes.
KING: Why do you have to fight?
T. CRAFT: Once again, that's a good question.
KING: You're an innocent person?
T. CRAFT: Absolutely.
KING: You're a licensed schoolteacher?
LORANDOS: She has to fight because Tennessee has a really good law about the best interest of the children. And they're going to make a very good decision about what's best for her children. They've been through hell and Tennessee has got good law, they've got jurisdiction, and that's why she's fighting.
KING: Why does she have to fight?
LORANDOS: In crazy family circumstances, like parental alienation that's happened to Tonya, the judge is in a terrible position and has to take in all the evidence, has to get good information and make the best decision for the kids. That's why she wants to fight.
KING: Thank you very much. We have a quick close but we've got Beau Zimmer back on the phone in Tampa. Beau, what's the latest on this incident?
BEAU ZIMMER, WTSP.COM REPORTER (on the phone): Well, good evening Larry, yes. They've got the entire south end of MacDill Air Force Base shut down right now. This is the Bayshore entrance gate. Apparently, they had a light blue colored SUV that pulled into the gate and stopped by security officers and at that point, we don't know exactly what happened, but they have started unloading everything out that SUV, including a number of -- what should be sniper rifles, large ammunition, military paraphernalia, and we're waiting right now for more work from MacDill Air Force base as to what all this means. And why this vehicle was stopped here at the main entrance gate.
KING: Did it try to get through the gate?
ZIMMER: It does not appear that it tried to ram the gate or anything like that. But we don't know exactly what happened when it approached the gate, why it was stopped. Why it wasn't allowed to continue on in. All we can say is that for some reason, they did stop this vehicle and found something suspicious, and they actually had a robot and some bomb squad type technicians approach the vehicle a couple hours ago, they circled the vehicle and they've been looking at it ever since.
KING: Were there two men in it?
ZIMMER: I don't have official word on that. I heard reports of that, but don't have that confirmed yet.
KING: So, you don't know if they've taken any people out of the car or held them for questioning or anything?
ZIMMER: Yes, we talked to one of the military police, detectives here on scene, he could provide us no information, said just wait, we've got a military spokesperson on the way out to us, and we are waiting for official word on all that.
KING: Is MacDill right in Tampa?
ZIMMER: MacDill is on the very southern tip of Tampa, in fact, it borders up against the city's limits of Tampa, and Tampa police were actually working, diverting traffic away from this particular entrance gate. So, yes, it is the very southern tip of Tampa, and also we can tell you that there are -- apparently this is a special week at MacDill Air Force base, some of the military personnel tell us that there are some high ranking officials on base this week, they had a big golf tournament earlier today, so that may have to do with all this obviously some the increased security.
KING: Thanks, Beau, excellent reporting. Thanks to our guests, good luck with all of that. We'll have reaction to President Obama Address to the Nation tomorrow on Larry King Live.
"AC 360" with Anderson Cooper right now.