Nine of 11 jurors at a press conference following the trial stated that they believed the children had been molested but the evidence did not allow them to state who had committed the abuse beyond a reasonable doubt. Some interviewed children talked of a game called "naked movie star" suggesting they were forcibly photographed nude. Recordings of these interviews were instrumental in the jury's refusal to convict, by demonstrating how children could be coerced to giving vivid and dramatic testimonies without having experienced the abuse. Do not contact or discuss the investigation with Raymond Buckey, any member of the accused defendant's family, or employees connected with the McMartin Pre-School. We ask you to please keep this investigation strictly confidential because of the nature of the charges and the highly emotional effect it could have on our community.
The judge ruled that there was no credible evidence or corroboration to lead to the license being suspended, and that a review of the videotaped interviews with McMartin children "reveal[ed] a pronounced absence of any evidence implicating [Peggy Ann] in any wrongdoing and Several excavations turned up evidence of old buildings on the site and other debris from before the school was built, but no evidence of any secret chambers or tunnels was found. Acquittal and dismissal[ edit ] In , after three years of testimony and nine weeks of deliberation by the jury, Peggy McMartin Buckey was acquitted on all counts. The media overwhelmingly focused on the two jurors who voted guilty at the expense of those who believed Buckey was not guilty. Maloney was highly critical of the interviewing techniques used, referring to them as improper, coercive, directive, problematic and adult-directed in a way that forced the children to follow a rigid script; he concluded that "many of the kids' statements in the interviews were generated by the examiner. We ask you to please keep this investigation strictly confidential because of the nature of the charges and the highly emotional effect it could have on our community. The prosecution then gave up trying to obtain a conviction, and the case was closed with all charges against Ray Buckey dismissed. When you once believed something that now strikes you as absurd, even unhinged, it can be almost impossible to summon that feeling of credulity again. This Department is conducting a criminal investigation involving child molestation P. I said a lot of things that didn't happen. Journalist John Earl believed that her findings were based on unsubstantiated medical histories. Johnson's belief that her son had been abused began when her son had painful bowel movements. Some sources state that at that time, Johnson's son denied her suggestion that his preschool teachers had molested him, whereas others say he confirmed the abuse. Initial allegations[ edit ] In , Judy Johnson, mother of one of the Manhattan Beach , California , preschool's young students, reported to the police that her son had been sodomized by her estranged husband and by McMartin teacher Ray Buckey. What happened next is still disputed. Please do not discuss this investigation with anyone outside your immediate family. Fischer in an article in Los Angeles magazine said the case was "simply invented", and transmogrified into a national cause celebre by the misplaced zeal of six people: Any information from your child regarding having ever observed Ray Buckey to leave a classroom alone with a child during any nap period, or if they have ever observed Ray Buckey tie up a child, is important. Maybe that is why it is easier for most of us to forget, rather than to try and explain, the Satanic-abuse scare that gripped this country in the early 80's — the myth that Devil-worshipers had set up shop in our day-care centers, where their clever adepts were raping and sodomizing children, practicing ritual sacrifice, shedding their clothes, drinking blood and eating feces, all unnoticed by parents, neighbors and the authorities. Judy Johnson, seriously mentally ill mother who died of alcoholism; Jane Hoag, the detective who investigated the complaints; Kee MacFarlane , the social worker who interviewed the children; Robert Philibosian , the district attorney who was in a losing battle for re-election; Wayne Satz , the television reporter who first reported the case, and Lael Rubin, the prosecutor. Some interviewed children talked of a game called "naked movie star" suggesting they were forcibly photographed nude. The police then sent a form letter to about parents of students at the McMartin school, stating that their children might have been abused, and asking the parents to question their children. Do not contact or discuss the investigation with Raymond Buckey, any member of the accused defendant's family, or employees connected with the McMartin Pre-School. We will contact you if circumstances dictate same. Nine of 11 jurors at a press conference following the trial stated that they believed the children had been molested but the evidence did not allow them to state who had committed the abuse beyond a reasonable doubt.
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