The decision Tuesday by Howard County prosecutors not to pursue a retrial of sexual child abuse charges against former day school owner Sandra A. Craig presumably clears the docket of this long-troublesome case. But frustratingly, it leaves the community with only some lessons -- not comprehension -- about whatever happened five years ago at Craig Country Day School in Clarksville.
Cases against Mrs. Craig and her son stand closed because prosecutors felt that without testimony from children who were osaid to be abused they could not successfully pursue the matter. Understandably, virtually all the parents involved have opted not to subject their children to more of the criminal justice system's grindings. Their children are older, but still children. Would the risks of reopening old wounds be worthwhile?
Unfortunately, the basic issues in this matter of whether pre-school age children suffered sexual abuse and who was responsible have been skirted. Prosecutors and a judge pursued closed-circuit television interviews with the children on sensitive matters essential to the charges, commendably intending to protect the children as much as possible in this sordid matter. But use of this new methodology gave Mrs. Craig's lawyers an opening to argue successfully -- all the way to the Supreme Court -- that she was denied a fair trial in having been convicted of sexually and physically abusing a 6-year-old. The case against her son, Jamal, never even went to trial. That's the way the legal system works sometimes.