UPwe 02/06 2250 McMartin defendant to file slander suit LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- A slander sui

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UPwe 02/06 2250 McMartin defendant to file slander suit LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- A slander suit will be filed against one of the most vocal parents in the McMartin Pre-School case, an attorney for the woman acquitted of child molestation charges said Tuesday. James H. Davis, representing acquitted McMartin defendant Peggy McMartin Buckey, her mother and daughter, said the suit would be filed Wednesday in Superior Court against Robert Currie, the most vocal of the McMartin parents. Currie, whose son claims he was molested at the school but who never testifed, has appeared on a number of TV talk shows in the wake of the Jan. 18 acquittal of Peggy Buckey, 63, and Ray Buckey, 31, on 52 molestation counts stemming from the alleged sexual abuse of 11 pupils at the now-closed Virginia McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach from 1978-83. Jurors deadlocked on one count of conspiracy against both Buckeys and 12 other molestation counts against Ray Buckey, who will be retried on the deadlocked charges beginning March 9. The conspiracy count against Peggy Buckey -- the only remaining charge against her -- has been dropped. Davis said Currie appeared on talk shows hosted by Sally Jesse Raphael, Geraldo Rivera and Stephanie Edwards, and made such comments as "That lady in the wheelchair has dropped her blouse to her waist" and "Peggy Buckey raised her mummu to her waist" and "all seven of the defendants are guilty." "It is about time," Davis said, "that we make people responsible for remarks of this kind not made in court but designed to affect court proceedings." Davis said Currie has made "disgusting and obscene remarks ... to an audience of millions over television" in order to "inflame the populous and mold events." Ray Buckey said Monday night on CNN's "Larry King Live" that Currie believed in a nationwide conspiracy of satanism and molestation and had made such outrageous charges that law enforcement did not give him any credence. The January verdicts climaxed a nearly three-year, $13 million trial, the longest, costliest criminal procedure in U.S. history. Meanwhile, a wealthy Japanese woman is interested in buying the now-closed McMartin school and opening a new pre-school on the premises, her real estate agent said Tuesday. Joan Craig, of Prudential California Realty in Westwood, would not identify her client, but described her as a wealthy Japanese woman who lives in Beverly Hills and has operated several pre-schools in Japan. Craig has tried to contact the current owner of the pre-school property, defense attorney Danny Davis, to discuss her client's desire to buy it for cash, but has not yet spoken with him. "She's been looking for a preschool in that area and has the money to buy it," Craig said. "I feel that under new ownership with new people, there wouldn't have to be a stigma attached there." The once-prestigious, family-run preschool was shut down by the state in January 1984 after allegations surfaced that children had been molested there. Those allegations led to the largest molestation case in U.S. history being filed in 1984 against the founder of the preschool, Virginia McMartin, 82, and six other teachers. Citing the stigma attached to the preschool because of the sensational case, Craig said that both she and the woman's daughter have tried to dissuade the woman, but have not been successful. "I say to her, `Don't you know that the same thing that happened to the Buckeys could happen to you if even one child makes any kind of allegation?'," Craig said. "But she thinks that is just ridiculous and says that nothing like that could ever happen if the school was under her care." Craig said her client feels sympathy for the defendants, especially Peggy McMartin Buckey, who she believes has been the victim of a witchhunt and a climate of hysteria in Manhattan Beach. Danny Davis, who represents Ray Buckey, acquired ownership of the school several years ago as part of his legal fees.


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