UPn 07/13 1943 McMartin jury ends first week of deliberations with... McMartin jury ends f

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UPn 07/13 1943 McMartin jury ends first week of deliberations with... McMartin jury ends first week of deliberations without verdict LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Jurors in the McMartin Pre-School molestation case ended their first week of deliberations Friday without reaching verdicts in the retrial of Raymond Buckey. The Superior Court jury of seven women and five men went home for the weekend after completing their fifth day of deliberations. Due back Monday, the jurors are not being sequestered, but were once again advised by Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg to avoid exposure to any media coverage of the retrial. Buckey, 32, is being retried on eight molestation charges stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of three girls at the now-closed Virginia McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach from 1979 until 1983. He testified he is innocent of the charges and has never molested any child. At the end of his first trial, Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, 63, were acquitted in January of 52 other molestation counts stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of 11 children. The first jury deadlocked on the eight charges on which Buckey was retried. The verdicts in January climaxed a trial that lasted nearly three years and cost $13.2 million, making it the longest, costliest criminal trial in U.S. history. The retrial, greatly reduced in scope, has lasted just over three months. If convicted, Buckey could be sentenced to up to 22 years in state prison. The nearly five years he spent in custody following his 1984 arrest would be taken off that total. The case was the largest sex abuse case in U.S. history when the county grand jury handed down its initial indictments in March 1984. But five co-defendants, including Buckey's sister and grandmother, and dozens of charges against them were dismissed prior to the first trial for insufficient evidence. APn 07/20 2218 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The jury deciding the fate of the last defendant in the McMartin Pre-School child molestation case reached its first sealed verdict Friday, and resumed deliberations on the seven remaining charges. Jurors in Raymond Buckey's second trial heard nearly three months of testimony, and have been discussing the case for two weeks. The panelists appeared to be following the same procedure used by the jury in Buckey's first trial earlier this year. That jury submitted separate verdicts in sealed envelopes, but none was announced until all the verdicts were reached. A clerk for Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg said the first verdict was sealed and would remain that way for the time being. Jurors were told to continue their talks. Buckey, 32, is charged with molesting three young girls at his family's Manhattan Beach nursery school in the early 1980s. He and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, 63, were acquitted of 52 molestation charges last Jan. 18 after a trial lasting nearly three years. The jury in that trial deadlocked on 13 counts against Buckey alone, and District Attorney Ira Reiner decided to retry him on eight of those charges. In the second trial, the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of the three girls, now teen-agers, who had trouble remembering events alleged to have occurred when they were toddlers. However, they said Buckey molested them. Buckey took the witness stand and swore he never molested any children. Earlier this week, jurors asked to hear again the testimony of a British doctor who testified for the defense. It took nearly three days for a court stenographer to read them Dr. David Paul's testimony. The reading ended Thursday. UPn 07/21 0014 Buckey jury returns first sealed verdict By MICHAEL D. HARRIS LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Jurors in the retrial of Raymond Buckey reached their first verdict Friday, but it was sealed and they were ordered to continue deliberating seven other counts against the former McMartin Pre-School teacher. The Superior Court jury returned its single verdict on its 10th day of deliberations in the once-massive molestation case. In ordering the verdict sealed, Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg said he will not have any of the verdicts announced until jurors reach a decision on all eight counts. The jury recessed for the weekend late Friday afternoon without reaching any additional verdicts. The panel, which is not being sequestered, is scheduled to resume its deliberations Monday. Buckey, 32, is being retried on the charges stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of three girls at the now-closed Virginia McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach from 1979 until 1983. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence. Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, 63, were acquitted in January at the end of the first trial in the case of 52 other molestation counts stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of 11 children. Jurors at the first trial deadlocked on the eight counts on which Buckey is being retried. The verdicts in January climaxed a trial that lasted nearly three years and cost $13.2 million, making it the longest, costliest criminal trial in U.S. history. The retrial, greatly reduced in scope, has lasted over three months. If convicted, Buckey could be sentenced to up to 22 years in state prison. The nearly five years he spent in custody following his 1984 arrest would be subtracted from that total. The case was the largest sex abuse case in U.S. history when the county grand jury handed down its initial indictments in March 1984. But five co-defendants, including Buckey's sister and grandmother, and dozens of charges were dismissed because of insufficient evidence. APn 07/21 0531 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A jury deliberating the fate of the only remaining defendant in the 7-year-old McMartin Pre-School molestation case has returned its first sealed verdict and resumed consideration of seven other charges. "It's almost like waiting to wonder if you're going to get the electric chair or if they're going to let you go," Raymond Buckey told reporters Friday after the first verdict was delivered. Jurors in Buckey's second trial heard nearly three months of testimony and have been discussing the case for two weeks. The jury appeared to be following the same procedure used by the jury in Buckey's first trial, which ended earlier this year. That jury submitted separate verdicts in sealed envelopes, but none was announced until all of the verdicts were reached. A clerk in the court of Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg said the first verdict was sealed and would remain that way for the time being. Jurors were told to continue their talks. Buckey, 32, is charged with molesting three young girls at his family's now-defunct Manhattan Beach nursery school in the early 1980s. He and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, 63, were acquitted of 52 molestation charges on Jan. 18 after a trial lasting nearly three years. The jury in that trial deadlocked on 13 counts against Buckey alone, and District Attorney Ira Reiner decided to retry him on eight of those charges. In the second trial, the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of the three girls, now in adolescence, who had trouble remembering events alleged to have occurred when they were toddlers. However, they said Buckey molested them. Buckey took the witness stand and swore he never molested any children. The case is the nation's longest criminal court proceeding. UPn 07/23 2046 McMartin deadlock averted; jury to press on in deli... McMartin deadlock averted; jury to press on in deliberations By MICHAEL C. TIPPING LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Jurors in the McMartin Pre-School molestation retrial said Monday they could not reach verdicts on six of the eight charges against Raymond Buckey, but the judge ordered them to press on in their deliberations. The jury on Monday also reached a verdict on a second charge against the former nursery teacher. That verdict remained sealed, as did a first verdict reached Friday. About midway through their 11th day of discussion, the jury sent a note to the judge saying, "We have gone through all eight counts twice and reached verdicts on only two. We appear to be hung on six counts." But Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg encouraged the jurors to keep working to reach unanimous decisions on all eight counts. About 15 minutes later he excused them for the day. They will return Tuesday morning for a 12th day of deliberations. Buckey, suntanned and smiling at times, said his ordeal had left him "basically tired." "I just want it to end, like everyone else," he said. Declining to speculate what the jury might be thinking, Buckey said. "Of course I'm optimistic because I know the truth of my innocence." Buckey, 32, is accused of molesting three young girls at the now-closed Virginia McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach from 1979 until 1983. The former preschool teacher has steadfastly maintained his innocence. At the end of a marathon first trial in January, Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, 63, were acquitted of 52 other molestation counts involving a total of 11 children. The first jury deadlocked on the eight counts on which Buckey is being retried. The verdicts in January climaxed a trial that lasted nearly three years and cost $13.2 million, making it the longest, costliest criminal trial in U.S. history. The greatly scaled down retrial has lasted more than three months. If convicted, Buckey could be sentenced to up to 22 years in state prison. He would be credited for the nearly five years he spent in custody following his 1984 arrest. The core of the prosecution was the testimony of the three girls, who said Buckey molested them, forced them to play sex games such as "Naked Movie Star" and frightened them into silence. But when pressed by defense lawyer Danny Davis for details of the alleged sex abuse, all three girls repeatedly said, "I don't remember." From the beginning, the defense has argued that the children were brainwashed by overzealous therapists at the Children's Institute International in Los Angeles. The therapists, the defense argued, manipulated the children into leveling false allegations. The girls, now ages 14, 12, and 11, were allegedly molested when they were ages 2 to 5. During his cross-examination of the girls, Davis noted that their testimony at the retrial often contradicted testimony they gave at the first trial and in videotaped interviews with the child therapists. The county grand jury handed down its initial indictments containing scores of charges in March 1984. But all charges against five co-defendants, including Buckey's sister and grandmother, were dismissed for lack of evidence. The preschool was closed by the state in January 1984 after the molestation allegations surfaced. In May, it was razed to make way for an office building, but not before a group of parents dug up the foundation in an inconclusive search for secret tunnels mentioned by some children. APn 07/23 2132 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The jury in the second McMartin Pre School molestation trial announced a partial verdict Monday, but was ordered to resume deliberations on 6 counts on which it was deadlocked. Superior Court Judge Stanley M. Weisberg allowed jurors to go home for the night before resuming consideration of charges that Raymond Buckey molested three girls at his family's nursery school in the early 1980s. Weisberg disclosed in a brief court session that jurors had asked for further legal instruction, but didn't explain further. Jurors had said in a foreman's note the panel had considered all eight charges twice before concluding that they were "hung" on six counts. The judge urged them to deliberate further, telling them, "Each of you must decide the case for yourself and should do so after deliberating with the other jurors." All eight felony charges are child molestation. Outside court, Buckey said he was nervous but optimistic. "Of course, I'm optimistic because I know the truth of my innocence," he told reporters. Asked how he felt about the prospect of a third trial if the jury hopelessly deadlocks, he said, "I think everyone is tired of the McMartin case. I think it should end." The jury's announcement that verdicts had been reached came at the start of the panel's third week of deliberations in a case that has stretched over six years with two trials and lengthy preliminary hearings. Buckey was acquitted along with his mother of a number of other charges in the first trial. His second trial lasted three months, far shorter than the first, which was the nation's longest criminal proceeding and cost Los Angeles County $13.5 million. APn 07/23 2228 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The jury in the second McMartin Pre School molestation trial announced it had reached a partial verdict Monday, but was ordered to resume deliberations on 6 counts on which it was deadlocked. Superior Court Judge Stanley M. Weisberg allowed jurors to go home for the night before resuming consideration of charges that Raymond Buckey molested three girls at his family's nursery school in the early 1980s. Weisberg disclosed in a brief court session that jurors had asked for further legal instruction, but didn't explain further. It wasn't revealed what charges the jurors agreed on, or whether they voted for conviction or acquittal. Jurors had said in a foreman's note the panel had considered all eight charges twice before concluding that they were "hung" on six counts. The judge urged them to deliberate further, telling them, "Each of you must decide the case for yourself and should do so after deliberating with the other jurors." All eight felony charges are child molestation. Outside court, Buckey said he was nervous but optimistic. "Of course, I'm optimistic because I know the truth of my innocence," he told reporters. Asked how he felt about the prospect of a third trial if the jury hopelessly deadlocks, he said, "I think everyone is tired of the McMartin case. I think it should end." The jury's announcement that verdicts had been reached came at the start of the panel's third week of deliberations in a case that has stretched over six years with two trials and lengthy preliminary hearings. Buckey was acquitted along with his mother of a number of other charges in the first trial. His second trial lasted three months, far shorter than the first, which was the nation's longest criminal proceeding and cost Los Angeles County $13.5 million. UPn 07/24 1658 McMartin jury asks to re-hear testimony of girl By MICHAEL C. TIPPING LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- The jury in the McMartin Pre-School molestation case retrial asked Tuesday to re-hear the testimony of one of the girls allegedly sexually abused by Raymond Buckey. The jurors' request was made as they returned to deliberations after announcing Monday they were at an impasse on six of the eight molestation counts facing Buckey. In a note to the judge, the jury asked to re-hear the testimony of a girl who said Buckey molested her when she was 2 to 4 years old. The jury also asked to hear the testimony of the girl's mother. Three of the eight charges stem from the alleged molestation of the girl, who is now 11. The seven-woman, five-man panel has reached verdicts on two charges. However, those decisions have been kept sealed while deliberations, in their 12th day Tuesday, continue. On Monday, Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg had offered to give the jury further instructions and have testimony read again if that would help them reach unanimous agreement. In all, Buckey, 32, is accused of molesting three girls at the now-closed Virginia McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach from 1979 until 1983. The former preschool teacher has steadfastly maintained his innocence. At the end of a marathon first trial in January, Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, 63, were acquitted of 52 other molestation counts involving a total of 11 children. The first jury deadlocked on the eight counts on which Buckey is being retried. The first trial lasted nearly three years and cost $13.2 million, making it the longest, costliest criminal trial in U.S. history. The greatly scaled down retrial has lasted more than three months. If convicted, Buckey could be sentenced to up to 22 years in state prison. He would be credited for the nearly five years he spent in custody following his 1984 arrest. APn 07/27 1712 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A mistrial was declared Friday in Raymond Buckey's molestation retrial after a jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on eight sex counts involving children at the McMartin Pre-School. "We are hopelessly and irreversibly hung on all counts," the jury reported to Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg. Weisberg declared a mistrial on those eight counts, saying, "it is clear to me that the jury will not reach a verdict in this .... therefore it necessitates a mistrial in this case." Buckey could be tried again on those counts. There was no immediate word from District Attorney Ira Reiner's office on whether charges would be refiled and a third trial held. It was the latest unusual twist in the highly publicized case. The first trial set U.S. records for time and cost, taking nearly three years and costing the county $13.5 million. It ended Jan. 18 when the jury acquitted Peggy McMartin Buckey, Ray's mother, of 12 charges, and absolved her son on 40 counts. The panel was deadlocked on an additional 13 charges against him and prosecutors went to trial for a second time on eight counts. In the second trial, three adolescent girls took the stand to tell about a time when they were toddlers attending the suburban Manhattan Beach preschool. The three girls said Buckey, 32, molested them, but they were hazy on details and often pleaded lack of memory. One girl flatly denied that Buckey committed the sexual acts with which he was charged. Another girl recanted testimony she had given against Mrs. Buckey at the first trial. ------ By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer UPn 07/27 1811 mcmartin-chronology LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- The following is a chronology of key events in the McMartin Pre-School molestation case. --Aug. 12, 1983: The case begins as a woman with a history of mental illness reports to Manhattan Beach police that she believes her 2 1/2-year-old son has been molested at the Virginia McMartin Pre-School. --Sept. 7, 1983: Pre-School teacher Raymond Buckey is arrested on suspicion of child molestation. No formal charges are filed against him and he is released two days later. --January, 1984: Amid molestation allegations, the state Department of Social Services suspends the preschool's license and the nursery is forced to close. --March 22, 1984: Seven teachers at the school are indicted by the Los Angeles County grand jury on charges they molested dozens of their pupils. All seven, including Raymond Buckey and his grandmother, Virginia McMartin, are arrested in what is the largest molestation case in U.S. history. --Aug. 17, 1984: A preliminary hearing begins for all seven defendants. Fourteen children eventually testify that they were molested and forced to participate in bizarre satanic rituals and sex games. --Jan. 9, 1986: The 18-month, $4 million hearing concludes with Municipal Court Judge Aviva Bobb finding that there was a reasonable suspicion that the crimes occurred and ordering all seven defendants to stand trial in Superior Court. --Jan. 17, 1986: Los Angeles County District Attorney Ira Reiner declines to press prosecution against five of the defendants, saying the evidence against them is "incredibly weak." The only defendants remaining to stand trial are Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey. --Jan. 23, 1986: After nearly two years behind bars, Peggy McMartin Buckey is released on $495,000 bail. --April 20, 1987: After numerous delays, the Buckeys' trial on 99 counts of child molestation and one count of conspiracy, stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of 11 children, begins with jury selection. --Oct. 12, 1988: Citing insufficient evidence, prosecutors drop an additional 27 molestation charges against Buckey and eight against his mother. --Feb. 15, 1989: After spending nearly five years in County Jail, Raymond Buckey is released on a $3 million property bond. --April 23, 1989: The McMartin trial, three days into its third year, becomes the longest and costliest criminal trial in U.S. history. --Jan. 18, 1990: After deliberating 36 days, jurors acquit the Buckeys of 52 molestation counts. Juror deadlock on 13 other charges against Raymond Buckey. --Jan. 31, 1990: Following a campaign by parents outraged over the acquittals, Reiner announces his office will retry Buckey on the deadlocked counts. --April 10, 1990: Buckey's retrial on eight molestation counts stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of three children commences with jury selection. --July 27, 1990: The jury in the retrial deadlocks and a mistrial is declared. APn 07/27 2018 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A mistrial was declared Friday in Raymond Buckey's second trial on charges he molested children at the McMartin Pre-School, and prosecutors said they wouldn't try him a third time. The prosecutors' decision following a jury deadlock on eight sex counts ended the longest, costliest criminal case in U.S. history. "It is clear to me that the jury will not reach a verdict in this case on any of the counts," Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg said in declaring the mistrial. Votes on seven of the eight counts leaned toward acquittal, and deputy District Attorney Joseph Martinez said Buckey would not be tried again. "The community has had enough. We gave it our best shot," Martinez said. "These kids cannot be McMartin kids for the rest of their lives. It's been a horrible experience." Buckey said he would not be happy until Weisberg makes a final ruling at a hearing Wednesday on whether to abide by the prosecution motion to dismiss. "No one has won in the McMartin case, one or two," Buckey said. "I was innocent coming in and I'm still innocent because I wasn't found guilty." The lack of resolution was another bizarre development in the McMartin case, which has consumed seven years of court time and cost Los Angeles County more than $13.5 million. During a news conference, District Attorney Ira Reiner conceded there were "fundamental problems with the evidence in this case that go back six or seven years." But he said he did not regret going through with the second trial. "The parents felt it was important there would be a resolution," he said. "I think it's clear now there cannot be." Defense attorney Danny Davis said the ordeal would never be over for the parents. "It's a horrible predicament to ... consider it didn't happen and they bought into a circus," he said. Even one of the most outspoken parents, who had demanded the retrial, said she had tired of the battle. "I really wasn't surprised," Jackie McGauley said of the mistrial. "People are real divided on this issue. ... I feel such relief that it's over. I'd like to get on with the work of seeing that the justice system is changed to accommodate children." Asked what he would do with the rest of his life, Buckey said, "I'm just going to go on. I've learned to endure a lot of things in seven years. ... I would like to be just left alone." "I'll have to get a job now," he added with a smile. Buckey's father, Charles, said he was disappointed his son was not acquitted. "I've lost faith in the district attorney's office," he said. "Every one of these people has lied and been very deceitful." Divided on all counts, the jurors were unanimous on one thing: That the case should not be tried again. "There are too many questions, too many gaping holes and it's too much time to spend," said juror Michael Carapella, a 25-year-old musician. Jury Foreman Richard Dunham told the judge that an extra week of deliberation, which came after the panel reported earlier deadlocks, only resulted in splitting jurors further. Early Friday, they retracted two unanimous verdicts they submitted in sealed envelopes, reporting they were deadlocked on those counts as well. Dunham said the panelists had divided their votes differently on the eight counts, with the splits ranging from 6-6 to 11-1. The jurors took the same route an earlier jury took last January, choosing not to decide because they could not agree whether Buckey was guilty or innocent of molesting three young girls as long as 10 years ago at his family's Manhattan Beach preschool. A number of jurors said they felt the crucial pieces of evidence dividing them were the videotapes made by Childrens Institute International, in which therapists interviewed toddlers about whether they were molested. "The CII tapes were in my mind very bad," said Dunham. "We did not put a lot of credibility in them. Most of us felt the techniques of the interviews were very leading." Another juror complained there was insufficient corroborating evidence from witnesses other than the parents to back up the children's stories. "All the evidence I saw in the process, to me he's not guilty," said juror Sylvia Scrigna, 30, a bank employee. The second, abbreviated Buckey trial had the feeling of a postscript, following the first so closely. Before the first trial, an 18-month preliminary hearing for seven original defendants strained the court system and spurred calls for reform. Charges against five defendants, all teachers, were dismissed. The first trial was a dramatic tableau of passionate advocacy by prosecution and defense attorneys determined to prove their points. It drew capacity audiences of former McMartin parents as well as supporters of the defendants. A parade of 124 witnesses testified at the first trial. In the second trial, which lasted just three months, 46 witnesses testified. A new duo of prosecutors seemed only mildly familiar with the facts of the case and less obsessed with winning conviction at all costs. There were reports they had tried to plea bargain with Buckey to avoid the second trial, a claim they denied. The witnesses were older and fewer. In the first trial of Buckey and his 63-year-old mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, nine children testified. The second time, three adolescent girls took the stand to tell of the time when they were toddlers. Often, they answered lawyers' questions, "I don't remember." Buckey, who spent five years in jail awaiting resolution of his case before he was released on bail, denied at both trials he ever molested any child. The McMartin saga began in August 1983 when a mother called Manhattan Beach police to complain that her child had been molested at the school. Police responded by sending letters to parents suggesting they check their children for signs of molestation. Hysteria followed, and the case ignited a national wave of concern over molestation. Buckey, his mother, grandmother, sister and three other teachers were arrested. Children gave investigators accounts of "naked games," satanic rites and animals tortured to frighten the youngsters into silence. The first jury spent nine weeks deliberating on the 65 molestation and conspiracy charges against the Buckeys, who were accused of molesting 11 children during a five-year period at their family-owned preschool. On Jan. 18, the panel acquitted Mrs. Buckey of 12 charges, absolved her son on 40 counts but deadlocked on another 13 charges against him. Parents who had championed the prosecution went on national TV shows and submitted petitions pressuring the county to retry Buckey. Reiner, running for state attorney general, decided to reprosecute eight counts involving three children. The McMartin case, which had become a symbol of prosecutorial excess, was widely blamed for his defeat in the Democratic primary. UPn 07/27 2026 Buckey: `Have to look for a job, now' By MICHAEL C. TIPPING LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Raymond Buckey, never found guilty, never entirely absolved, said Friday he looks forward to being anonymous. The man who was thrust onto the public consciousness more than six years ago as a parent's worst nightmare -- accused of being a monster who violated dozens of children at his family's preschool and forced them into satanic rituals and pornographic photo sessions -- left court Friday as close to vindication as he is likely ever to come. "The legal system says I'm innocent walking in and I'm still innocent because I haven't been found guilty," he said. That declaration came shortly after the jury in the second McMartin Pre-School trial announced it was hopelessly deadlocked on all charges, forcing prosecutors at last to admit defeat in the longest, costliest criminal case in American history. "I know I'm innocent. I've known it since the beginning, but nobody's won in the McMartin case," Buckey said. The shy, rather unkempt young teacher's aide, who first walked into a courtroom and in front of TV cameras in 1984, has evolved into a sharp-dressing, media-saavy authority on child-molestation investigations. "We've never denied molestation can happen," he said. "The McMartin case had glaring problems and hopefully society can learn from those problems and ... fix the problems that were in this case" for future cases. Asked what life-after-McMartin will mean, he said, "I have to get a job now. I'll just go on with my life like everyone else does." "I'll probably move out of the city," he added. Since his release from jail last year after five years in custody awaiting trial, Buckey said he has been often recognized in public. "I was amazed. I've gotten very positive feedback from the public." He also was confident the infamy once attached to McMartin will fade with time. "Some other case will come along, I think. Give it a year and no one will remember my name. People will remember the McMartin phenomenon and the McMartin case, one and two," he said. "(But) I'll be anonymous, which is just what I want." As for filing a false prosecution suit against authorities, he said, "I don't think I can." UPn 07/27 2037 Jury: Videotaped child interviews sank McMartin By MICHAEL C. TIPPING LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- The deadlocked jurors in the McMartin Pre-School molestation case retrial said Friday the prosecution was ill-served by the controversial videotaped interviews of the alleged child victims by therapists. "If there was any one thing that put a shadow of doubt over the whole thing, it was the interviewing techniques" used by the child therapists at Children's Institute International in Los Angeles, said the jury foreman, Rick Dunham. The therapists were commissioned by authorities to interview hundreds of students and former students at the once-prestigious McMartin Pre-school. The interviews, innovative at the time and employing word games and dolls to represent the children and adults at the school, were a primary source of the accusations that produced the massive McMartin prosecution, with seven defendants and hundreds of charges involving scores of children. Now, years later, the jurors in Raymond Buckey's retrial -- echoing their counterparts in the first marathon trial -- said the interviews did not help the search for the truth. Dunham and other jurors said they felt uncomfortable seeing the therapists asking leading questions and pressuring the children by saying their friends had revealed "yucky secrets." "The CII tapes, in my mind, were very bad," Dunham said. "We didn't put a lot of credence in them. Most (jurors) feel the CII tapes were very poor." Juror Lloyd Issacson, a 64-year-old U.S. Treasury Department employees, said, "I had a lot of problems with the tapes and the way things were done. I feel the kids were just going along with the adults (who were) leading the kids, definitely." Jurors said they also had trouble with other parts of the prosecution case. Issacson said a prosecution medical expert, Dr. Astrid Heger, testified three girls Buckey was accused in the retrial of molesting all showed anal and vaginal scarring consistent with molestation. The girls' pediatricians, however, "said they found nothing wrong" when examining the girls during the time they were enrolled at McMartin, Issacson said. The seven women and five men voted in favor of conviction on only one count. That count was 8-4 for guilty. The votes favoring acquittal on the other charges ranged from 11-1 to 7-5. The jury was evenly split, 6-6, on one charge. The jury had earlier voted to acquit Buckey on two charges, both involving the same girl. Those verdicts were kept sealed by the judge and on Friday morning, the jury asked for the unannounced verdicts to be returned, saying several of jurors had changed "their views " after re-hearing the testimony of one girl, her mother and a prosecution medical expert. That testimony convinced one juror to switch their to guilty, resulting in an 11-1 deadlock. Several jurors, asked about defense claims that the entire case was a witch-hunt without real substance, replied, "It's possible." But they stopped short of absolving Buckey entirely and declined an invitation to raise their hands to indicate whether they felt Buckey had ever molested any children. Juror Mary Scott, prefacing her criticism by saying there was no better legal system in the world, said that system still is flawed by not producing a definitive result in McMartin. "For Ray Buckey and his family to go through this for years and have no decision, unless no decision is a decision, is criminal," she said. UPn 07/27 2133 D.A.: McMartin evidence flawed By LINDA RAPATTONI LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- District Attorney Ira Reiner admitted Friday his political aspirations were seriously damaged by the handling of the McMartin Pre-School case and defended his decision not to try the molestation case a third time. "Way back at the beginning, when this case was first presented to the District Attorney's Office, a mistake was made, a serious mistake," Reiner told reporters after a mistrial was declared in the retrial. "That was the interviewing of the children was not conducted by people experienced in criminal justice. He was referring to the therapists who interviewed the alleged child victims in the case and whose techniques were criticized by jurors in both trials. "That was the problem with the first case, that was the problem with the second case and if there was a third case, that would be there as well," Reiner said. "That is the single fundamental flaw of the case -- the way the children were interviewed." Given that "flaw," Reiner said, it would be impractical to try Raymond Buckey again. Reiner also blamed the failure to convict Buckey on his predecessor, former District Attorney Robert Philibosian, whose office initiated the case and referred the preschool children to the therapists who conducted the controversial interviews. The defense had all along charged that the therapists asked leading questions and brainwashed the children. Several jurors in both trials said it was too difficult to determine whether the children were telling the truth when they said they were molested because of the questions posed to them by the therapists. Reiner said his decision not to retry Buckey was made earlier this week, before the jury had announced it was deadlocked on all eight counts against Buckey. The decision became firm once the mistrial was declared. "I think the community has had enough of McMartin," said Deputy District Attorney Joe Martinez, the prosecutor in the second trial. "The evidence is not going to get any better." He said the decision was made after prosecutors discussed the issue with parents of children who testified in the retrial. Reiner said he felt he was correct in his decision to try Buckey a second time, but admitted the McMartin trial had a "major impact" on his failed bid earlier this year to win the Democratic nomination for state attorney general. "This was a case that began six or seven years ago as a serious case of child molestation, but for a whole host of reasons, was blown massively out of proportion," Reiner said. "Obviously, it had a major political impact," he said. "I did what was right. I may have paid a very serious personal price for it." Reiner said Buckey had to be tried a second time, "as a matter of simple justice ... to see if there could be a resolution" for the children and their parents. "I thank the children -- God knows what they have gone through," he said. Despite the mistrial, Martinez said he still believes Buckey is guilty. "He's a free man," Martinez said. "(But) don't misunderstand me: He is not an innocent man." Later, Martinez said Buckey should "be deemed legally presumed not guilty, but people have the right to their opinion." APn 07/27 2220 Preschool Molest-Prosecutors Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By MICHAEL FLEEMAN Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The former prosecutor who first filed molestation charges in the McMartin Pre-School case blamed District Attorney Ira Reiner for Friday's mistrial. But Reiner said the case was in trouble long before he took over. "There was nothing wrong with that case when it was filed," said Robert Philibosian, who lost his post to Reiner in a hard-fought 1984 contest. "(Reiner) has to answer for that case." Philibosian called the outcome a "political disaster" for Reiner, whose future was already clouded by his recent primary election loss for state attorney general. Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg declared a mistrial in Raymond Buckey's molestation retrial after a jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on eight sex counts involving children at the preschool. The McMartin case consumed seven years of court time and cost Los Angeles County more than $13.5 million, making it the longest, most expensive criminal court case in U.S. history. Reiner decided to put an end to the case following the mistrial. "We are not going to retry this case for a third time," Reiner said. "Nothing would be served by putting the children, the parents and the public through this for a third time." But Reiner said he did not regret going through with the second trial. "It was important to see if this case was tried with dispatch if there would be another result," he said. "The parents felt it was important there would be a resolution. I think it's clear now there cannot be." Reiner conceded, however, there were "fundamental problems with the evidence in this case," but contended those problems predated his tenure as district attorney. He singled out the use of private therapists rather than police officers to interview the children who claimed they were molested. "These people were acting in good faith," he said. But he added they were not trained in criminal law and did not know that "it's necessary when you question children not to say anything that was leading or suggestive to the child." The case originally featured seven defendants, but Reiner dropped charges against five defendants in 1986 for lack of evidence. Reiner and others criticized Philibosian, contending he pursued the McMartin case as vigorously as he did to help himself politically. Philibosian has denied the allegation. APn 07/28 0034 Preschool Molest-Chronology Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The McMartin Pre-school molestation case was the longest criminal trial in U.S. history. Here is a chronology of the case: --Aug. 12, 1983: Judy Johnson makes a phone call to Manhattan Beach Police Department and tells Detective Jane Hoag that she believes her 2 1/2 -year-old son was molested by Raymond Buckey at the McMartin Pre-School. --Sept. 7, 1983: Ms. Hoag arrests Buckey, but he is released later that day for lack of evidence. Police continue the investigation and stir controversy by sending letters to 200 parents naming Buckey as a child molestation suspect and asking them to interrogate their children about oral sex, fondling of genitals and sodomy. --Fall of 1983 to spring of 1984: Nearly 400 children are interviewed by Children's Institute International, and 41 are listed as victims in a complaint filed by the state. --March 22, 1984: Public outcry prompts Los Angeles District Attorney Robert Philibosian to send the case to grand jurors, who indict Buckey; his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey; his sister, Peggy Ann Buckey; his grandmother Virginia McMartin, and three employees, Mary Ann Jackson, Babette Spitler and Betty Raidor, on 115 charges of child molestation. --March 24, 1984: All seven defendants are arrested and jailed. Buckey and his mother are held without bail. Bail for he others ranges from $50,000 to $350,000. --April 20, 1984: The seven defendants plead innocent at an arraignment, during which they are charged with sexually abusing 18 children over 10 years and using death threats to silence them. --June 6, 1984: A preliminary hearing starts with Municipal Judge Aviva K. Bobb presiding. Thirteen of the alleged victims take the stand during the 18-month hearing. --Jan. 22, 1985: The first child witness in the preliminary hearing testifies that he and other pupils played "naked games" and that he had been touched on his genitals by some of the defendants. --Jan. 9, 1986: Judge Bobb orders all seven defendants to stand trial in Superior Court on 135 counts of molestation and conspiracy, ending the longest preliminary hearing in California history. The cost of the hearing was estimated at $4 million. --Jan. 17, 1986: District Attorney Ira Reiner says there is insufficient evidence to warrant a trial for five of the seven defendants and asks dismissal of charges against Virginia McMartin, Peggy Ann Buckey, Mary Ann Jackson, Babette Spitler and Betty Raidor. The remaining defendants, Buckey and his mother, still face 100 counts of molestation and conspiracy. --Jan. 23, 1986: Mrs. Buckey is released on $295,000 bail, reduced from $495,000. --July 13, 1987: Opening statements begin after efforts to move the case elsewhere are quashed by Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders. --July 29, 1987: The first parent to testify says his daughter's behavior indicates she may have been abused at the school, but he didn't recognize the warning signs at the time. --Oct. 17, 1988: The judge dismisses eight molestation counts against Buckey and his mother. They now face a combined 65 counts of molestation and conspiracy involving 11 former McMartin pupils. --Feb. 15, 1989: Buckey is released on $1.5 million bail after being jailed nearly five years. --April 27, 1989: The trial, hitting the 2-year, 4-day mark, becomes the longest criminal hearing in U.S. history when it surpasses by one day the Hillside Strangler trial of Angelo Buono in 1982-83. --May 16, 1989: Peggy McMartin Buckey takes the stand for the first time and strongly denies she ever sexually assaulted her students. --July 26, 1989: Buckey takes the stand and denies he has ever molested children. --Nov. 2, 1989: Jurors adjourn to select a foreman and begin deliberations. --Jan. 18, 1990: The jury acquits Buckey and his mother of 52 counts. The judge declares a mistrial on 13 other counts -- 12 against Buckey and one against both Buckey and his mother. --Jan. 31: Reiner, after consulting with McMartin parents who want a Buckey retrial, decides to pursue some of the 13 counts the jury deadlocked on in the first trial. --April 10: Jury selection begins in Buckey's second trial with a new judge presiding, Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg. --July 27: On their 15th day of deliberations, jurors ask Weisberg to return the two verdicts. They recast their votes. They then tell the judge they are hopelessly deadlocked on all eight counts. The judge declares a mistrial. Prosecutors say there will be no third trial. APn 07/28 0037 Preschool Molest-Analysis Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- In the history of American jurisprudence, no criminal prosecution has lasted longer nor taken a greater toll financially and emotionally than the McMartin Pre-School molestation case. Reputations were ruined and lives were shattered. A school was demolished and the justice system took a beating as McMartin became a symbol of legal excess. Seven years and $13.5 million after it began, the last act in the saga of Raymond Buckey and the teachers of the McMartin school was played out Friday in a Los Angeles courtroom. A mistrial was declared in Buckey's retrial after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on eight child molestation counts. District Attorney Ira Reiner said there would not be a third trial. Buckey, once among seven defendants, sat alone before the jury in his second trial. Six women -- including his mother, sister and grandmother -- were cleared in earlier proceedings. The abbreviated second trial, lasting three months, was a sharp contrast to the first marathon McMartin trial which stretched to nearly three years. An 18-month preliminary hearing had preceded that case. As months and years passed in the McMartin case, a new decade dawned and time became the enemy of the truth-seeking process. The children who were alleged to have been molested at the Manhattan Beach nursery school grew up. In the second trial, one-time toddlers grown to adolescence strained to remember on the witness stand a time now lost in the dim haze of childhood memories. They furrowed their brows, searching for answers, saying again and again: "I don't remember." "The truth never had a chance," Buckey's attorney, Danny Davis, told jurors in closing arguments. "We never heard from the children. We heard from little adults." Deputy District Attorney Pam Ferrero told the jurors, "This particular case boils down to credibility. Who do you believe? If you believe the children, then the people have proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt." Buckey took the stand at both trials and denied ever molesting any children. The young girls said they were molested by Buckey, but their recollection of details was sketchy. One girl who earlier accused Buckey's mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of lewd acts shocked participants in the second trial by calmly saying under oath that none of it was true. Mrs. Buckey, 63, who spent two years in jail and three years on trial based on such accusations, had already been acquitted. Time also changed Raymond Buckey. He spent five years in jail awaiting resolution of his case until a judge decided he should be released on $1.5 million bail. He emerged a seemingly different person. The gangly, self-conscious 25-year-old who was arrested in 1983 had matured into a man of 32, carefully groomed, articulate and confident as he faced TV cameras for daily hallway interviews, proclaiming his innocence. "It's been close to seven years of my life and now it's come to a finale, McMartin Two, the summer rerun," Buckey told reporters one day. And after the trial, his only occupation for years? "I don't know what I'll do," he said, "maybe grow Christmas trees in Oregon, maybe give advice on how you survive a witch hunt." Moments before his second mistrial was declared, Buckey summed it up this way: "I've gone from probably one of the most hated people you could ever mention ... to a point of where, everybody that comes up to me now is very sympathetic, and they're saying `I always thought you were innocent."' The first trial was a gut-wrenching drama starring prosecutors and defense attorneys seemingly obsessed with the case. Parents of McMartin children crowded the courtroom to watch 124 witnesses. TV and newspapers trumpeted bizarre allegations of satanic rituals, animal sacrifices and supernatural occurrences at the school. Superior Court Judge William Pounders, who presided at the first trial, said the case poisoned everyone who touched it. The mother whose first molestation report ignited the wildfire of accusations died of alcoholism before the trial began. A defense investigator committed suicide during the trial. The second trial, which began April 6, was a toned-down affair. Except for Buckey and his attorney, Danny Davis, the cast of characters had changed. A new judge presided and two new prosecutors seemed determined to remain detached from the passions that consumed their predecessors. The McMartin school was closed and ultimately demolished after parents excavated the grounds in search of underground tunnels where they believed children had been molested. They turned up little conclusive evidence. Teachers' reputations were destroyed and some of them moved away to escape the stigma. District Attorney Ira Reiner's political career also fell victim to the McMartin case. When the first jury deadlocked on 13 charges against Buckey, parents pressured Reiner to refile the counts. Buckey had been acquitted on another 40 counts. Reiner, then a candidate for state attorney general, decided to reprosecute Buckey on eight charges involving three children. The McMartin case was widely blamed for Reiner's election defeat in the June primary. APn 07/28 0154 Buckey Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- For Raymond Buckey, a jury deadlock marked the end of a seven-year ordeal -- five years of which he spent in jail convicted of nothing, but charged with the unspeakable crime of child molestation. "I've gone from probably one of the most hated people you could ever mention to a point of where everybody that comes up to me now is very sympathetic, and they're saying `I always thought you were innocent,"' Buckey said after a mistrial was declared Friday. Buckey was retried on charges he molested children at the McMartin Pre-School. Prosecutors said they wouldn't try him a third time, bringing to a close the longest criminal case in U.S. history. "I don't know if anyone can understand the feeling of waiting seven years for someone to decide your fate," Buckey said. During his first trial, Buckey was charged with dozens of molestation counts and acquitted of 40. Eight charges were refiled against him. In votes taken during 15 days of deliberation, jurors leaned toward acquittal on seven of the eight counts. The eighth was split, 6-6. On Friday, they said unanimous verdicts were impossible. The tall, square-jawed Buckey said the years in jail were tough -- "it's like a war zone in there." But he acknowledged that the ordeal "made me a very strong person." Buckey displayed some bitterness as he spoke of the cost exacted by his family -- the loss of their home, their once prestigious school in Manhattan Beach and the damage to their reputations. He blamed those who would not let the case go away and those who "played a political game with my life." "It was Salem revisited," he said. "It was McCarthyism one more time." Buckey, who began the case as a gawky, self-conscious 25-year-old, seemed to grow in stature as the case progressed. He is now 32, and appears confident, articulate and well-groomed. Once he left his glib attorney, Danny Davis, to talk to reporters. Toward the end, he faced the TV cameras himself with direct, thoughtful answers that made him his own best spokesman. He took the witness stand, sunburned from his return to the seaside he loved, and told jurors he never molested any children. "I'm innocent," he said after the jury had deadlocked. "There was the presumption of innocence at the start of this. ... I was innocent coming in and I'm still innocent because I wasn't found guilty." Buckey said he hoped society would gain from his case but also predicted the public would forget it in time. "They'll remember the McMartin phenomenon," he said. "But given time something else will come along (to make headlines) and I'll be anonymous and that's what I want." Asked what he would do with the rest of his life, Buckey said, "I would like to be just left alone. I'd like to move out of the city and find a little fresh air. This is not the kind of life I would have planned out." He added with a smile, "I'll have to get a job now." UPn 07/28 0155 Mistrial called in McMartin case _ no third trial By MICHAEL C. TIPPING LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- After six years as a defendant in the McMartin Pre-School molestation case -- including the nation's longest and costliest criminal trial -- Raymond Buckey wants to get a job and become anonymous. The jury in Buckey's second trial told the judge Friday that it was hopelessly deadlocked on all counts, forcing a mistrial. Prosecutors said Buckey, after two trials, would not be tried again on the child molestation charges. The mistrial came after 15 days of deliberations and four jury votes on the remaining eight charges against Buckey. The two trials cost at least $17.2 million. Prosecutors failed to win even a single conviction in the case, which once involved hundreds of charges, dozens of alleged child victims and seven defendants. An hour after the mistrial was called, Deputy District Attorney Joe Martinez said, "As far as we're concerned, the McMartin case is over." The charges are to be formally dismissed at a hearing next Wednesday. "The legal system says I'm innocent walking in, and I'm still innocent because I haven't been found guilty," Buckey said. "I know I'm innocent. I've known it since the beginning, but nobody's won in the McMartin case." At the first trial in January, Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, were acquitted of 52 other molestation counts stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of 11 children at the now-closed preschool in suburban Manhattan Beach. The jurors at the first trial deadlocked on 13 other charges against Ray Buckey. Following a public campaign by parents angered over the acquittals, District Attorney Ira Reiner ordered that Buckey face a retrial on eight of the deadlocked counts. The trial that ended in January lasted nearly three years and cost $13.2 million. Buckey, 32, was charged in the retrial with molesting three girls at the nursery school nearly a decade ago. Asked what life-after-McMartin will mean, he said, "I have to get a job now. I'll just go on with my life like everyone else does." "I'll probably move out of the city," he added. "Some other case will come along, I think. Give it a year and no one will remember my name. People will remember the McMartin phenomenon and the McMartin case, one and two," he said. "(But) I'll be anonymous, which is just what I want." On Monday, jurors told Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg that they were "apparently hung," but the judge asked them to keep trying to reach verdicts. The judge declared a mistrial when jurors returned Friday and said they were hopelessly deadlocked. The jury of seven women and five men voted 8-4 in favor of conviction on only one of the counts and was split evenly on another. The votes favoring acquittal on the other charges ranged from 11-1 to 7-5. The jury earlier reached verdicts on two charges, but those verdicts were kept sealed by the judge. On Friday morning, the jury asked for the unannounced verdicts to be returned, saying several jurors had changed "their views." Those two verdicts were for acquittal. Jury foreman Rick Dunham said, "If any one thing put a shadow of doubt on the whole thing, it was the interviewing techniques" of therapists who questioned the children after the allegations surfaced." Several other jurors criticized the therapists for asking the children leading questions and pressuring them to reveal "yucky secrets." Buckey's retrial, involving alleged molestations of three girls at the once-prestigious, family-run and now-defunct preschool from 1979 until 1983, lasted only about 3 1/2 months. Cost figures for the retrial have not yet been compiled. A preliminary hearing cost $4 million. When the county grand jury initially handed down its indictments in March 1984, the case was the largest sex abuse case in U.S. history. The case involved seven teachers, including Buckey, his mother, grandmother Virginia McMartin, and sister Peggy Ann Buckey, who were accused in hundreds of counts of molesting 42 children. Over time, the case shrunk as scores of charges and all the defendants except Ray Buckey and his mother were dismissed because of insufficient evidence. When Peggy Buckey was acquitted of all charges at the first trial, only her son remained as a defendant. Although he was never convicted of anything, Buckey spent nearly five years in jail. He was finally released on a $3 million property bond in February 1989. From the beginning, the defense argued that the children were pressured by parents and brainwashed by overzealous therapists at the Children's Institute International in Los Angeles into falsely alleging they were molested. When the case was filed in 1984, it made nationwide headlines because of bizarre allegations that the children were forced into sexual activities, horrific satanic rituals involving the animal sacrifices, and pornographic photo sessions. Prosecutors failed to substantiate many allegations, however, and over time downplayed them and eventually stopped mentioning them altogether. For instance, not one child pornography photo was ever found. The preschool was closed by the state in January 1984, after the allegations of molestations surfaced. It was razed two months ago to make way for an office building. McMartin Prosecution Halted, Ending Longest Criminal Case By Jay Mathews Washington Post Staff Writer LOS ANGELES, July 27 - The nation's longest and costliest criminal case ended today with a prosecution decision to drop child molestation charges against former McMartin Pre-School teacher Raymond Buckey after the second jury to try him announced itself hopelessly deadlocked. "How long can you keep this up? The evidence is not going to get any better," said deputy district attorney Joe Martinez in declaring an end to the 7-year-old case that cost taxpayers about $13.2 million. His announcement followed a mistrial declaration by Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg. The case began with an August 1983 telephone call from the worried parent of a 2 1/2-year-old boy. It forced Buckey, 32, to spend five years in jail awaiting trial, brought charges - later dropped - against six other McMartin teachers, and affected molestation investigation techniques throughout the country. Rick Dunham, an engineer who served as foreman of the jury in the second trial, said most jurors voted to declare Buckey not guilty on most counts largely because early videotaped interviews showed child abuse counselors leading alleged child victims into accusations of "Naked Movie Star" games and damaging charges. "The tapes in my mind were very bad," Dunham said, echoing comments made by several jurors in the first trial, which ended in January with not guilty verdicts on 52 counts and a deadlock on 13. District Attorney Ira Reiner said he consulted with parents of the alleged victims and his prosecutors earlier in the week and had already decided to drop the charges if the jury deadlocked, as notes to the judge indicated was likely. Reiner said he was not sorry he put Buckey through two trials, but acknowledged "there were certain fundamental problems with the evidence going back six or seven years." Buckey's reaction was subdued. "We are never going to get back the seven years that were taken from us," he said. He said he planned to move out of the state and "get some fresh air." Jurors said they voted 8 to 4 to convict Buckey on one count, anal molestation of one girl, the only majority guilty vote on any count against him by either jury. On one other count the jury deadlocked. Earlier in the day the jury recalled two not guilty verdicts it had decided and sealed days before and changed them to 11 to 1 for aquittal. Dunham said one juror, after reviewing testimony by a prosecution physician, decided genital scars on one girl were deep enough into the vagina to prove a crime. One female juror called discussions of medical evidence during their three-week deliberation "excruciating." She said "we spend hours debating whether it is the vagina or the area around the vagina" that must be touched in a criminal molestation. "I had a lot of problems with the medical evidence," said juror Lloyd Isaacson. One doctor, he said, testified about molestation scars but pediatricians who had given children physical examinations in the period they were allegedly molested "found nothing wrong." The first trial, which lasted 33 months, involved charges of molestation of 11 children at the Manhattan Beach school, demolished earlier this year, by Buckey and his mother Peggy McMartin Buckey, who was acquitted. The second trial, which lasted less than 12 weeks, dealt with three alleged victims. Assistant district attorney Pamela Ferrero said only one parent was willing to allow her child to testify at a third trial, and only if today's jury had been within one vote of conviction. APn 07/28 1602 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The McMartin Pre-school child molestation case began in a wildfire of bizarre accusations that swept in from the seaside community of Manhattan Beach to engulf Southern California for seven years. When the longest, costliest case in U.S. history ended last week with a deadlocked jury, the passion that ignited it was all but extinguished and the anger that kept it going erupted only intermittently. But left in the ashes of the McMartin case are many victims. Raymond Buckey, 32, who endured five years in jail and two trials, said his family suffered beyond measure. The jury in the first trial acquitted Buckey of 40 charges last January and cleared his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 12 counts. That jury deadlocked on 13 counts against Buckey, and prosecutors refiled eight. The jury in his second trial deadlocked Friday on eight molestation charges and a mistrial was declared. Prosecutors said there would be no third trial in the case that cost Los Angeles County more than $13.5 million. "I'd like to get for my family the house that was taken away from them," Buckey said afterwards. Peggy McMartin Buckey, 63, and her husband, Charles, had to sell their home and the prestigious school, which grandmother Virginia McMartin had operated for 22 years, to pay legal costs. Buckey's sister, Peggy Ann, a teacher of handicapped children, lost her teaching credential but won it back in a long, bitter battle after charges against her were dismissed. Teachers Betty Raidor, Babette Spitler and Mary Ann Jackson lost their careers as nursery school teachers, even though they were ultimately cleared. "The case has poisoned everyone who had contact with it," the judge in the first trial said at one point. "By that I mean every witness, every litigant and every judicial officer. It's a very upsetting case." Those words from Superior Court Judge William Pounders came after two witnesses had died, one by his own hand, the other from alcohol-related disease. And the children who fueled the case with claims of satanic rituals, animal sacrifices and molestations were balking at repeated ordeals on the witness stand. The newscaster who first broke the McMartin story lost his job and jurors learned he had an affair with a therapist who interviewed the McMartin children at Children's Institute International. The saga began in August 1983 when a mother reported to police that her son had been molested at the preschool. Hysteria followed after police asked parents to check their children for signs of molestation. Hundreds of parents reported their children were victims, and tots were rushed to the institute for interviews. Therapists decided more than 100 probably had been molested. Everyone agreed that the children who testified were victims of the long litigation. "Those kids cannot be McMartin kids for the rest of their lives," prosecutor Joseph Martinez said after jurors deadlocked in Buckey's second trial Friday. "It's been a horrible experience." But some parents would not give up. "My child was not called as a witness in either trial," Robert Salas said. "And that was one of the things wrong in the case. The case was flawed from the beginning." For District Attorney Ira Reiner, the case became an albatross. It is believed to have cost him the Democratic nomination for state attorney general. His predecessor, Robert Philibosian, who filed the original McMartin case, called the outcome "a political disaster" for Reiner. Buckey's lawyer, Danny Davis, has said he may leave the practice of law and devote himself to helping children. He has called Buckey "an American hero" and "the most courageous client I've ever had the privilege of serving." He said he would not file civil lawsuits against anyone on Buckey's behalf. "We've lost a lot of faith in the judicial system and I can think of nothing worse than for my client to get involved in civil litigation," he said. Buckey, who matured and gained confidence under the publicity spotlight, now hopes to fade into anonymity. "I would like to be just left alone," he said. "I'd like to move out of the city and find a little fresh air." UPn 07/30 1706 Buckey to file malicious prosecution lawsuit By MICHAEL D. HARRIS LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Former McMartin Pre-School teacher Raymond Buckey, tried twice but never convicted nor acquitted of child molestation, is planning to file a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the county and others, his lawyer said Monday. The lawyer, Scott Bernstein, said the lawsuit will be filed in Superior Court Wednesday and will seek more than $10 million in damages for defamation, conspiracy and malicious prosecution. The defendants who will be named in the lawsuit are the County of Los Angeles, whose district attorney's office prosecuted Buckey, Robert Philibosian, who was district attorney when the case was filed, and the City of Manhattan Beach, whose police department initiated the investigation of the case. Other defendants to be named will be the Children's Institute International, whose therapists interviewed the alleged child victims, Kee McFarlane, the chief interviewer at CII, Capitol Cities/ABC Inc., which operates KABC-TV, and former KABC-TV reporter Wayne Satz, who broke the McMartin story. "After seven years of hell, it's time that Ray starts his life again," the lawyer said. "This is to redress some of the wrongs that have been done by (those) ... who used the children, the parents, and the teachers as pawns for their own political and economic advantage." Even though he was never convicted of a single count in the marathon case, Buckey, 32, spent nearly five years in County Jail since his arrest in 1984. He was finally released on a $3 million property bond in February 1989. Six other McMartin teachers who were cleared of molestation charges already have filed malicious prosecution suits in the case. Those teachers include Buckey's grandmother, Virginia McMartin; his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey; and his sister, Peggy Ann Buckey. Buckey's retrial on charges he molested three girls at the Manhattan Beach preschool ended in a mistrial Friday when jurors deadlocked on all eight molestation charges against him. In January, Buckey and his mother were acquitted of 52 other molestation charges stemming from the alleged molestation of 11 children. Buckey was retried on charges on which jurors at the first trial deadlocked. Prosecutors said Friday that Buckey would not be tried a third time on the charges. The case is to be formally dismissed by the judge Wednesday. Throughout the six-year prosecution, Buckey maintained his innocence. He and his criminal defense attorney, Danny Davis, argued that the children were brainwashed by overzealous child therapists at CII into falsely leveling the molestation charges. The verdicts in January climaxed a trial that lasted nearly three years and cost $13.2 million, making it the longest, costliest criminal trial in U.S. history. The retrial, greatly reduced in scope, lasted less than four months. The case was the largest sex abuse case in U.S. history when the county grand jury handed up its initial indictments in March 1984. But five co-defendants, including Buckey's sister and grandmother, and dozens of charges were dismissed because of insufficient evidence. The preschool was closed by the state in January 1984 after the molestation allegations surfaced. This past May, it was razed to make way for an office building. APn 08/01 1827 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- A judge pounded the final gavel in the McMartin preschool case Wednesday, dismissing child molestation charges in the nation's longest, costliest criminal prosecution. Defendant Raymond Buckey promptly filed a multimillion dollar malicious prosecution suit. "The case of the People vs. Raymond Buckey is hereby dismissed and the defendant is discharged," said Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg. "That completes this case." The ruling came after jurors deadlocked Friday in Buckey's retrial on eight charges and the judge declared a mistrial. Later Wednesday, Buckey and his civil attorney summoned reporters to Beverly Hills to annouce the suit against Los Angeles County, the city of Manhattan Beach and a former district attorney. Also named were a therapist and therapy center that elicited damaging testimony from children, and KABC-TV and its reporter Wayne Satz, who carried many early stories about the case. Buckey said he wanted to recoup some of the money his family lost in fighting the marathon case. "What else can I do?" asked Buckey. "Do we just walk out of the criminal system and they're not even going to say they're sorry? Money is something that hopefully can get my family back together." The suit, filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles, claims malicious prosecution, conspiracy and defamation, as well as violation of Buckey's civil rights. Buckey's mother, who was a defendant, filed a separate suit in federal court after her acquittal in January. The district attorney's office sought the dismissal of charges, and prosecutor Joseph Martinez said he thought it was "for the best" to end the seven-year ordeal that had shattered lives and strained the legal system. "We can't change the evidence," Martinez said. "There were two juries, objective people who felt there wasn't the evidence to convict." The McMartin case consumed seven years of court time and cost Los Angeles County more than $13.5 million, making it the longest, most expensive criminal court case in U.S. history. "He's a free man," Buckey's attorney, Danny Davis, said as he emerged from the last court hearing in the criminal case. "Please treat my client as not only a free man but an innocent man." He stressed that Buckey, like other defendants, was presumed innocent unless convicted, and that Buckey was convicted of nothing. "This man spent five years in jail, seven years of his life," Davis said. "He is a symbol of the presumption of innocence." The attorney likened his client to Rocky Balboa, the boxing hero of the movie "Rocky." "He's a young man who went through a test and came out a hero at the end," he said. "He slayed his dragon." Buckey said the case seemed to last "a lifetime" but made him a stronger person. "I now know how deep I can go into my soul. I've been there and survived. "I feel scarred by this case and I need to heal," Buckey said. He added he now feels in control of his life. "I no longer have 12 jurors deciding my fate. I'm deciding it." Buckey's mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, was in court for the dismissal along with his sister, Peggy Ann. Both women were former defendants. "I still can't believe it," said Mrs. Buckey, who was acquitted of all charges against her. "We've been through seven years of hell and it still hasn't hit me -- it's over." The case started with dozens of molestation charges and seven defendants, but only Buckey and his mother ever stood trial. Charges against five other teachers or employees at the Manhattan Beach preschool were dismissed for lack of evidence. When the first trial ended Jan. 18, Buckey's mother was acquitted on all counts and Buckey was acquitted on 40 counts. The jury deadlocked on 13 counts and Buckey was retried on eight. Buckey spent five years in jail, before being released on bail. He took the witness stand at both trials to deny he ever molested any child. UPn 08/02 0103 Buckey free after 7-year McMartin case is dismissed By MICHAEL D. HARRIS LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Ray Buckey, free of criminal charges in the notorious McMartin Pre-School molestation case for the first time in nearly seven years, said he filed a $20 million lawsuit seeking vindication and the money to rebuild his financially ruined family. Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg formally ended the longest and costliest criminal proceeding in U.S. history Wednesday when he dimissed eight counts against Buckey on which two juries could not reach verdicts. Despite a prosecution that began in 1984, cost at least $17.2 million, and once involved hundreds of charges, dozens of alleged child victims and seven defendants, not a single conviction was ever obtained. "The case of People vs. Raymond Buckey is dismissed and the defendant is discharged," Weisberg said, granting a motion by Deputy District Attorney Joseph Martinez to dismiss the final counts against Buckey, a former teacher at his family's preschool in suburban Manhattan Beach. "That's it. That concludes this case," Weisberg said as Buckey's mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, and sister, Peggy Ann Buckey -- both former defendants in the case -- and his father, Charles Buckey, looked on. Outside the courtroom, Buckey, who spent five years in jail following his 1984 arrest before being released in February 1989 on a $3 million property bond, told reporters that "the ax is no longer over my head. This is finally over and now I have to go on." Following a trial that lasted almost three years and cost $13.2 million, Buckey, 32, and his mother were acquitted in January of 52 molestation charges stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of 11 children at the Virginia McMartin Pre-School from 1979-83. Buckey's mother was acquitted of all the charges against her, but jurors deadlocked on 13 counts against Buckey, and he was retried on eight of those counts. But that jury also deadlocked, and prosecutors decided not to try Buckey a third time. But, while the criminal proceedings formally ended Wednesday, the case is expected to live on in the civil courts for years. "Money is something that hopefully we can get back," said Buckey, explaining that his family lost everything -- their livelihoods and homes -- fighting the charges. "I want to rebuild my family," Buckey said. "They can never give me back five years of my life .... Vindication is something nice to have, but it's not something that's going to feed my family." Buckey's Superior Court lawsuit accuses the county of Los Angeles, the city of Manhattan Beach, former Los Angeles County District Attorney Robert Philobosian and others of conspiracy, defamation and violating his civil rights. Also named are Childrens Institute International, whose controversial videotaped interviews with the alleged victims were cited by most jurors as the main reason they could not convict the Buckeys, CII therapist Kathleen "Kee" MacFarlane, Capital Cities-ABC, and Wayne Satz, the former KABC-TV reporter who broke the story. Buckey maintained his innocence throughout, arguing that the children were brainwashed into leveling the allegations by over-zealous child therapists at the children's institute. The case was the largest sex abuse case in U.S. history when the county grand jury handed up its initial indictments in March 1984 and made a national issue of child molestation. But five co-defendants, including Buckey's sister and grandmother, and hundreds of charges were dismissed because of insufficient evidence. The preschool, which the family turned over to their defense attorney as partial payment, was closed by the state in January 1984 after the molestation allegations surfaced. It was razed in May to make way for an office building. Therapist MacFarlane said the suit "is an echo of the five other (suits filed by McMartin defendants) that preceded it -- all of which have been dismissed by the courts. They have failed because they paint a distorted view of what the McMartin case was about. It was not about brainwashing, conspiracy, racketeering, politicians, attorneys, reporters or me. "What it was and always will be about is children: their experiences, their physical and emotional scars and their credibility," she said. The suit says the defendants fabricated and suppressed evidence and accused the district attorney and others of conspiring to publicize the McMartin investigation "in such a way as to predetermine the outcome of the investigation." Buckey said he is "ready for a battle" and that the suit is his "first opportunity to be on the offense." "What can I do? What can my family do?" Buckey said. "Are we going to walk out of the criminal justice system and say `Aren't you going to at least say you're sorry?' Something has to be done. "Someone has to answer the question of why this case went as long as it did and cost as much as it did." Scott Bernstein, Buckey's civil attorney, said he expected the case to go to trial in about 18 months. APn 08/02 0545 Preschool Molest Copyright, 1990. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The book is closed on the criminal end of the McMartin Pre-School molestation case, but the civil claims are just beginning. A jury hearing Raymond Buckey's retrial on eight child molestation charges deadlocked last week. On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg accepted a prosecution request to close the case without a third trial.omptly announced he was filing a lawsuit in state court alleging malicious prosecution, conspiracy, defamation and civil rights violations. His mother filed a similar lawsuit in federal court in January. "My family has nothing left," Buckey said. "Do we just walk out of the criminal system and they're not even going to say they're sorry?" Lawyer Scott Bernstein, who did not represent Buckey in the criminal trial, said he will seek millions of dollars in compensation for Buckey. Buckey, 32, and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, were acquitted in January of 52 charges of molesting children at their now-closed preschool in Manhattan Beach. But the jury deadlocked on several other charges against him. That first trial took nearly three years and cost Los Angeles County more than $13.5 million, making it the longest and costliest criminal trial in U.S. history. Named as defendants in Buckey's lawsuit were the county, Manhattan Beach, former District Attorney Robert Philibosian, Children's Institute International and social worker Kee MacFarlane, KABC-TV and television newsman Wayne Satz. Satz broke the story and was romantically linked with Ms. MacFarlane, lead therapist at the institute where workers used play-acting techniques and anatomically correct dolls to interview children about alleged molestation.

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