Digging for tunnels on the McMartin Preschool
May 12, 1983
Judy Johnson drops off her 2 1/2-year-old
his first day at the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan
August 12, 1983
Judy Johnson calls the police to report that
been sexually molested at the McMartin Preschool by Ray
The charge is made after Johnson, earlier in the day, took
her son to a
doctor because his anus itched. Johnson reported to
"a spot of blood" on the anus was discovered on her son
after a day at
August 18, 1983
Judy Johnson meets with Detective Hoag to
that her son had been sexually abused by Ray Buckey.
August 30, 1983
Johnson takes her son, Billy, with her to
for an interview. Her son reports that he had been
abused by Ray
September 7, 1983
Ray Buckey is arrested.
September 8, 1983
Police Chief Harry Kuhlmeyer sends a letter
Preschool parents informing them that Ray Buckey is
suspected of child
abuse and asking them for information.
September 30, 1983
Judy Johnson reports to police that Billy
Buckey sodomized him while his head was in the
ever more bizarre. Johnson reports, for example,
that Buckey wore
a cape, wore a Santa Claus costume, dressed up like a
to a carwash and locked him in a trunk. Teachers at
Preschool are said to have chopped up rabbits and to have
of star on Billy's bottom.)
October 17, 1983
The District Attorney's Office asks Kee
MacFarlane, a consultant
for the Children's Institute International, to interview
sex abuse victims.
Children's Institute interviewers begin
students of the McMartin Preschool as having been sexually
By March of 1984, the count of those diagnosed as sexually
January 13, 1984
Virginia McMartin and Peggy Buckey
McMartin Preschool after 28 years in business.
February 3, 1984
KABC reporter Wayne Satz startles television
reports of a massive child abuse scandal at the McMartin
February 24, 1984
The Curries, McMartin parents, sue Virginia
Buckey, and Ray Buckey for assault and battery and
of emotional distress. They ask for $1 million in
March 11, 1984
A number of daycare centers in the Los
raided and searched, but no incriminating evidence
March 22, 1984
Ray Buckey, Peggy Buckey, Virginia McMartin,
Buckey (Ray's sister), Mary Ann Jackson, Bette Raidor, and
are indicted on 115 counts of child sexual abuse.
April 2, 1984
The L. A. Times reports that students at
been fondled, raped, photographed nude, and forced to
April 12, 1984
The Children's Institute launches a campaign
donations to help with its investigation of the McMartin
case and other
supposed cases of daycare abuse. By 1989, it will
$11 million in government grants.
The indictment count reaches 208, involving
Bail for Peggy Buckey is set at $1 million;
is held without bail.
July 12, 1984
A federal grand jury is impaneled to begin
of the case.
Thirty additional individuals are placed
August 8, 1984
Prosecutor Lael Rubin announces that the
teachers committed 397 sexual crimes, in addition to the
115 for which
they already faced charges.
The ABC show "20/20" runs a segment on the
largely adopting the prosecution's view of the evidence.
A group of nearly 50 McMartin Preschool
Bob Currie, arrive at a lot next to the school and begin
"secret underground rooms" they believe were the scene of
abuse of children. A few days later, an
archeological firm hired
by the District Attorney's Office begins its own
of the secret rooms is ever found.)
March 6, 1985
Judy Johnson is hospitalized following a
Some members of the prosecution team begin
about the case.
Testimony in the over two-year-long
comes to an end.
January 17, 1986
District Attorney drops charges against five
indicted defendants. Ray Buckey and Peggy Buckey are
79 counts and 20 counts, respectively, of child sexual
Judy Johnson dies of alcohol poisoning
chance to testify at the trial.
Chief Prosecutor Rubin and her assistants
to have withheld potentially exculpatory evidence from the
The evidence in question concerned the mental illness of
the parent who first made accusations of sexual abuse
July 14, 1987
Opening statements in the first McMartin
The first victim, a girl now of age 12,
as a witness for the prosecution.
October 17, 1988
The defense begins presenting its case in
Ray Buckey's bail is reduced to $1.5
Ray Buckey is released on bail after
Peggy Buckey takes the stand in her own
July 28, 1989
Ray Buckey takes the stand in his own
January 18, 1990
The jury returns its verdict in the first
Peggy Buckey is acquitted on all counts. The jury is
to the Ray Buckey verdict on 13 of the 52 counts against
him.. Seven of
the twelve jurors vote to acquit Ray on all counts.
January (late) 1990
Responding to pressure from parents,
Reiner announces that he will retry Ray Buckey on eight
July 27, 1990
Verdict reached in the second McMartin
jury is hung on all counts, but favors acquittal by a
D. A. Ira Reiner decides not to ask for a third trial of
The first two prosecutions have consumed $15 million and
seven years of
The McMartin Preschool is demolished.
Virginia McMartin dies at age 88. HBO
"The Indictment," based on the McMartin case and starring