McMartin Defendants Acquitted
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders declared a mistrial on 13 additional counts of molestation against Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, because the jury could not reach a verdict.
The jury of three men and four women deliberated for 36 days, after a trial that lasted more than three years, and cost an estimated $15 million.
The highly publicized case is said to have awakened public awareness of the problem of child sexual abuse, as well as the difficulties of prosecuting crimes al6legedly committed against very young children.
The first complaint against teachers at the prestigious Manhattan Beach, Calif., school was filed in August 1983 by the parent of a 2-year-old student who claimed that her child had been sodomized. Other parents also said their children had been molested. Initially, five teachers at the preschool, in addition to Raymond and Peggy Buckey, faced charges.
After an 18-month preliminary investigation, charges were dropped against the five teachers. But prosecutors accused Mr. Buckey and his mother of molesting as many as 11 children at the school.
Nine of the children testified that they had been raped and forced to engage in a variety of sex acts.--lj