A 6-year-old girl testified at the McMartin Pre-School preliminary hearing Tuesday that Raymond Buckey, 26, the chief defendant, raped her and then killed a turtle and threatened to kill her parents if she told anyone about the alleged molestation.
The child, the 11th to testify in the proceeding to determine if seven former teachers at the Manhattan Beach school should stand trial in Superior Court on 208 counts of molestation and conspiracy, answered many of prosecutor Christine Johnston’s questions with long silences, sighs and the phrase, “I can’t remember.”
Johnston said outside court that the child was frightened of Raymond Buckey (who was sitting in the courtroom) and continually glanced his way before answering questions. She added that the girl also was intimidated and frightened by the defense attorneys, who had objected to the prosecution’s questions 128 times during the morning session.
The defense argued that the child did not remember the incidents and details because “they didn’t happen.”
The child offered another explanation for her demeanor. During cross-examination, she said the reason she had seemed upset during the morning session was because her father was not in the courtroom and because her grandmother had died.