Under a Cloud
updated 01/08/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 01/08/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST
Buckey, a onetime dancer, had run the school since her mother, its founder, had turned the operation over to her in the '70s, and she had built a reputation as a conscientious director. But with children telling bizarre tales of satanic rituals and sexual games—encouraged, defense lawyers claimed, by overzealous therapists and prosecutors—she and her son were jailed for two and five years respectively. Then, in January 1990, they were acquitted of all counts of molestation, except for 13 charges against Ray, on which the jury was deadlocked. (At a subsequent trial another jury failed to convict him.)
Though in later years Buckey volunteered in soup kitchens, the primary youngsters with whom she had close contact were Peggy Ann's two children. "To the last minute," says Myra Mann, who cowrote an HBO film on the case, "she was waiting for the parents or kids to knock on her door and say, 'Peggy, we're sorry.' "