Law: Hollywood Tapes and Testimony

A chilling sexual-abuse case takes a strange turn

Three years ago, the nation's most infamous child-molestation case erupted in the Los Angeles suburb of Manhattan Beach. Seven teachers and administrators at the prestigious McMartin Preschool would eventually be indicted on hundreds of counts of child sexual abuse. There were tales of drugs, bondage and the mutilation of animals.

As bizarre as the stories seemed, another chilling possibility was yet to be raised: that none of it had happened at all. In January, after an 18-month preliminary hearing that was the longest in California history, a judge ruled that the prosecution of the seven could go forward. But a week...

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