(May 24, 1958- )
Born in Hawthorne, California
Former teacher at the Virginia McMartin Day Care Center in Bakersfield, Califonia
Son of school administrator, Peggy McMartin Buckey; grandson of the school's founder Virginia McMartin
Defendant in the longest/most expensive criminal case in US history (1983-1990)
Charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse with over 60 children, over a period of five years, along with three family members and three co-workers (collectively numbering between 115-321 counts of molestation)
Charges dismissed after a seven year period, when a second trial ended with a hung jury (Jan. 1990)
Portrayed by Henry Thomas in the made-for-TV drama, 'Indictment: The McMartin Trial' (1995)
Why he might be annoying
His court case revealed he had a history of alcoholism.
He was accused of being a practicing Satanist.
He got his teaching job because his mom and grandma ran the school.
He was the first of the famed 'McMartin Seven' to be hit with molestation allegation, which triggered a snowball effect with parents in the community.
As the story goes, Judy Johnson claimed to have noticed rectal irritation on her two-year old son, as well as blood in his diaper. When she pressed him on who touched him, he reportedly said 'Mister Ray.'
He was an avid collector of - regular - pornography (at the time of his arrest, he was caught trying to dispose dirty magazines he owned down a toilet out of fear they would be deemed incriminating).
His attorney made him bulk up and adapt to the use of contact lenses (his stringy frame and huge glasses fit the average person's stereotype of a child molester).
His acquittal elicited widespread public outrage from people who were convinced of his guilt (it didn't help matters much that several jurors admitted to believing he actually molested kids, but acquitted because the prosecution sucked).
The Los Angeles DA caved to public pressure and reopened the case so that he could be retried on the 13 counts of molestation, but the trial ended in a jury deadlock (further attempts to reopen the case ended the same way).
Why he might not be annoying
His main accuser, Judy Johnson, was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who died a year later from an alcohol related ailment.
Prosecutors seized on his aversion to wearing underwear as a proof positive that he was a pedophile.
He had to spend five years in jail (from his late twenties into his early thirties) without ever being convicted of anything. He didn't even take the stand until his final year.
Adding to his pain, he had to watch as his mother, sister, and grandmother underwent unspeakable slander on a national stage.
As the trial wore on, allegations got exceedingly more bizarre (ritualistic animal sacrifices, exhuming corpses, jumping out of airplanes, etc.)
The main evidence against him - the testimony of the children - was later revealed to be the result of a deeply flawed interview process (the videos showed the counselor clearly coercing the kids to level molestation accusations at the teachers).
He pursued a law degree after the trial concluded.
After being cleared of all charges, the familywas forced to sell their home and close the pre-school, in order to pay their legal fees.
They sued one family on charges of slander, but were awarded $1 dollar in damages (by the media's own admission, they 'lost everything').
Danny Davis, his attorney, praised his composure during the proceedings, saying: 'he was singly the most heroic client I’ve ever defended, not only because he was innocent, but he endured it with a quiet wisdom.'
His legal case was a textbook example of a biased media convicting an innocent party in the court of public opinion (at least two journalists covering the case entered into relationships with people involved in the prosecution).
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