Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Satanic abuse victim" recants

E-mail from Liz Ditz, of "I Speak of Dreams!" She writes,
"I thought this would interest you. The McMartin preschool case was notorious."

"Twenty-one years ago, a child then known as Kyle Sapp told police that he had been the victim of sexual abuse at the McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach. Sapp, who attended the preschool from 1979 to 1980, was 8 when he first talked to authorities in 1984. He and hundreds of other South Bay children made allegations against the family who ran McMartin and against the employees who worked there. School administrator Peggy McMartin Buckey, her son Ray, daughter Peggy Ann, mother Virginia McMartin and three female teachers were accused of fondling and raping youngsters over a period of years, and of threatening them with death if they told. The scandal eventually resulted in criminal trials against Ray and his mother. By the time the trials came to an end in 1990—with acquittals and hung juries—"McMartin" was a household word. The case had turned into one of the longest and costliest criminal proceedings in U.S. history."

McMartin Pre-Schooler: 'I Lied'
# A long-delayed apology from one of the accusers in the notorious McMartin Pre-School molestation case

By Kyle Zirpolo, as told to Debbie Nathan

"I remember them asking extremely uncomfortable questions about whether Ray touched me and about all the teachers and what they did—and I remember telling them nothing happened to me. I remember them almost giggling and laughing, saying, "Oh, we know these things happened to you. Why don't you just go ahead and tell us? Use these dolls if you're scared."

Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn't like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for. It was really obvious what they wanted. I know the types of language they used on me: things like I was smart, or I could help the other kids who were scared.

I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest. But at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do. And I thought they wanted me to help protect my little brother and sister who went to McMartin."

Liz Ditz
Thank you, Liz! I was still in training during that trial. I recall that I was deeply suspicious of the children's testimony, as well as the adults' behavior. Kyle feels guilty and apologizes, but note:
"Ray Buckey and his sister, Peggy Ann, as well as a former McMartin teacher, Babette Spitler, declined to meet with Zirpolo. They've always staunchly proclaimed their innocence, and say they don't need apologies from former students, who were children and couldn't help themselves. Peggy Ann has said that they would rather hear from the police, social workers, therapists, prosecutors, doctors and parents who fueled the case."


Blogger Dr. Deb said...

I vividly remember this case. From the start, it felt wrong. For many years, I did sexual abuse validations for the court system and saw how "contagion" affected children and adults. In fact, I worked on a Law & ORder:SVU episode helping to highlight how contagion works. Though we need to investigate every accusation, authorities and professionals must have continued training to secure valid assessments.

How great that those involved, accused and imprisoned can see that the children at the time "couldn't help themselves". They are owed apologies from the adults and the press as well.


6:55 AM  
Blogger just one of many said...

I don't really remember this case...I was young when it started, and by the time it ended, was way to involved in my own "mess" to pay much attention. I have however, read about it quite a bit. I guess I have mixed feelings. I truley believe that small children do not make up things (of a sexual nature)...but at the same time, having read some of the transcripts of interviews of the children, they were clearly fed information and in a round about way asked to repeat it. This, small children absolutely WILL do. My thought is that perhaps, the very first child that came forward was telling the truth,if it was Kyle, I guess that negates my thought.

One of the biggest problems with this case, aside from the fact that it destroyed lives needlessly, is that it makes it ever so much harder for people who HAVE been ritually abused to come forward.


8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found this site after looking to see what people were saying about the NYT article that came out a few days ago. I was a little shocked to read this particular post.

I actually grew up in Manhattan Beach and remember all of this extremely well. A night didn't go by without hearing about this case. I was in elementary school during this whole ordeal, so I wouldn't be surprised if I went to school with some of those who made the allegations. It's really interesting to hear that now at least one of the alleged victims is speaking out and telling people she lied. I'm glad she's now telling the truth.

11:30 AM  
Blogger aafan said...

Hello, everyone. Hi there, Memory Lane! Which NYT article are you referring to? Is it the one that I was ranting about? I've calmed down quite a bit since then! :^)

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup! That would be the NYT article! Unless of course there is another one I don't know about. The NYT seems to be making that a habit lately. ;-)

I actually got the link to your site from Psycho-babble. I frequent both Psycho-babble and Crazyboards mentioned in the article and both were taken extremely out of context. Very annoying!!! Feel free to rant all you want. I'm right there with you! :-D And I think people are nuts to try and figure out medicines on their own. I don't care how simple the medicine is. Us non-Dr's don't seem to understand that medicines aren't as simple as "take 2 advil and your headache will go away". It's more complicated than people think! I'm in my 20's and no one is going to find me taking any prescriptions given to me from anyone other than one of my MD's! I'd rather not destroy my liver or kidneys. I'll stop ranting. Feel free to continue if you want. haha!

9:54 PM  

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