Defense attorney Demosthenes Lorandos opened Tuesday’s proceedings by calling Dr. William Bernet, a psy-chiatrist from Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville.
Craft, 37, a former Chickamauga Elementary School kindergarten teacher, is accused of molesting three chil-dren. Her trial is being held in Catoosa County Superior Court in downtown Ringgold, with Judge Brian House pre-siding.
According to Bernet, children can be lead in questioning by their parents, professional interviewers and police.
“Interviewers need to know how to ask questions the right way and how to allow the child to tell a free narrative of what happened to them,” Bernet said.
Bernet also pointed out concerns regarding some statements made by the girls in the interviews. One girl notes she is going to receive a toy after her interview and another child talks about getting her hair done afterwards. He says it seems like the children were being rewarded for what they said in the interviews.
Bernet said that, after reviewing the case, he believes the girls were heavily influenced by their parents. He be-lieves the girls were involved in touching one another and that after they were caught doing so, it got the parents to talking and concerns then arose.
Bernet also discussed his evaluation of how Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office detective Tim Deal conducted inter-views. He described Deal's interviewing skills as "shoddy." He said Deal, for example, seemed to notice a statement by the child, that the child was going to receive a toy after the interview. "Mr. Deal then asked more leading ques-tions after that," Bernet said.
The trial will resume Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Craft is facing 22 counts, including 10 counts of child molestation, six counts of aggravated sexual battery and six counts of aggravated child molestation.
She has maintained her innocence since her arrest in June 2008. She was fired from her job at Chickamauga Elementary.
Her trial began April 12 with the jury selection process and is expected to last four weeks. The jury consists of seven men and five women.