Kindergarten Teacher from Atlanta, Not Guilty of 22 Counts of Molestation and How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You – California Penal Code section 288

By: Wallin & Klarich

It was recently reported by CBS that Tonya Craft, a Kindergarten teacher charged with 22 counts of child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, and aggravated child molestation, has been found not guilty on all counts. The 37-year-old teacher from Chickamauga Elementary School was accused of molesting three girls between August 2005 and May 2007. Prosecutors alleged that Craft would molest the girls by fondling and digitally penetrating them. Police had arrested Craft at her home, were it was alleged the three girls where molested.

Similarly in California, sexual assault against a minor is a very serious crime. Under California Penal Code section 288(a), it is against the law to for a person to commit lewd or lascivious acts on a child who is under the age of 14 years old with the intent to arouse, appeal, or gratify the sexual desires of the person or of the child. A lewd or lascivious act is defined as any act that constitutes a crime against the person involving sexual assault; for example, unlawful sexual intercourse. Violation of Penal Code section 288(a) is punishable as a felony and will result in state imprisonment. More importantly, under California Penal Code section 290, if a person is found guilty of Penal Code section 288(a), the person will be subject to lifetime sex offender registration. This means that a person, for the rest of their life, while living in California, must register with the local police their current residence and whereabouts. Failure to register will result in severe penalties and imprisonment.

If you or a loved one is facing charges of sexual assault on a minor, contact our Southern California Sex Crimes attorneys at Wallin and Klarich. Wallin & Klarich will help protect your rights and find the best defense strategy for your case. For over 30 years, our attorneys have been helping clients stay away from lifetime registration and helping clients get probation or community service in lieu of jail time. Please call us at (888) 280-6839 or visit our website at We will be there when you call.

Posted In: Sex Offenses