Inside the Tunnels: The McMartin Preschool Trial

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One of the worst things a parent can hear is that their child has been molested; learning those responsible is your child’s daycare provider is even harder to come to terms with. In August of 1983 the mother of a 2 year old boy reported her son told her he had been sexually abused by a day care provider. The accused was Ray Buckey, 31, the daycare’s only make employee and son of its owner. (Debenedictis, 1990) The trial became the longest and most expensive trial in American history. The trial left in its path 369 children claiming to have been molested in some way, along with Ray Buckey serving 5 years in jail throughout the 6 year trail which cost the American government more than 15 million dollars. (Reinhold, 1990) This trial brought light to whether a young child can actually be considered an expert witness, and ruined the lives of many of the day care’s workers. (Debenedictis, 1990) Before the Trial On an August day in 1993 a mother by the name of Judy Johnson, placed a phone call into the Manhattan Beach, California police department claiming her 2 year old son had been molested at his preschool by employee Raymond Buckey. (Reinhold, 1990) Raymond was placed under arrest, but due to the lack of evidence in the case he was released. Judy Johnson went on to complain in a letter to the state district attorney that her son had been taken to an Armory a possible sadistic type ritual was performed. (Reinhold, 1990) Still with the lack of sufficient evidence the Manhattan

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