Completing her third day on the witness stand, former McMartin Pre-School defendant Peggy Ann Buckey directly contradicted the testimony of a 13-year-old boy who had said that she, her mother and brother and others had molested him.
Peggy Ann Buckey testified at the trial of her mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, 62, and her brother, Raymond Buckey, 30, that she did not even remember the child, who was one of her students in the late 1970s, before he testified against her at the preliminary hearing.
Buckey, against whom criminal charges were dropped, said she never touched any child's genitals, photographed unclothed youngsters, played naked games, hurt animals, participated in satanic rites or took children off the Manhattan Beach nursery school grounds except for innocent field trips--nor had she ever seen her mother or brother do so.
In fact, said the 32-year-old woman, who is fighting to regain her teaching credentials in separate proceedings, her brother was not even at the school during the times she worked there as a substitute teacher between 1977 and 1980.
After characterizing her relationship with her mother and brother as excellent, and admitting that her job as a $24,000-a-year paralegal for defense attorney Danny Davis was her sole means of support, she was then asked by defense attorney Dean Gits, "Would you lie to protect them?"
"No," she answered emphatically.
Her mother and brother are charged with 65 counts of molestation and conspiracy involving 11 former students at their family-run preschool.
She denied the existence of secret rooms, doors or passageways, said children were never tied up, and replied "never" when asked whether she had engaged in sex acts with her brother, as alleged.
Instead of the den of iniquity portrayed by the prosecution, Peggy Ann Buckey testified, the nursery school appeared a happy place.
"The children all seemed to like the teachers a lot, and all the teachers seemed real good," she said. Both her mother and brother loved animals and frequently nursed back to health injured creatures that had been given to them, she added.
She also testified about the color and type of cars driven by the teachers, which are at odds with descriptions given by the children.
And she said that when her brother, Raymond, visited her in the summer of 1983 at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota where she was working as a park ranger, she never saw anything that would lead her to believe he was secreting or destroying evidence of pornography.
The prosecution, which had fought to exclude her as a witness because of her access over the last three years to information that could enable her to tailor her testimony to fit defense strategy, begins cross-examination today.