Aug. 12, 1983: Judy Johnson phones Manhattan Beach police and tells Detective Jane Hoag that she believes that her son, 2 1/2, was molested by Raymond Buckey at the McMartin Pre-School.

Sept. 7, 1983: Hoag arrests Buckey, who is released that day for lack of evidence. Police continue the investigation and stir controversy by sending letters to 200 parents naming Buckey as a child-molestation suspect and asking them to interrogate their children about oral sex, fondling of genitals and sodomy.

Fall 1983 to spring 1984: Nearly 400 children are interviewed by Children's Institute International, and 41 are listed as victims in a complaint filed by the state.

Feb. 2, 1984: KABC-TV reporter Wayne Satz, in a newscast, describes dozens of alleged acts of oral copulation and sodomy with children.

March 22, 1984: Public outcry prompts Los Angeles District Attorney Robert Philibosian to send the case to grand jurors, who indict Buckey; his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey; his sister, Peggy Ann Buckey; his grandmother, Virginia McMartin, and employees Mary Ann Jackson, Babette Spitler and Betty Raidor on 115 charges of child molestation.

March 24, 1984: All seven defendants are arrested and jailed. Buckey and his mother are held without bail. Bail for the others ranges from $50,000 to $350,000. Lael Rubin, Christine Johnston and Glenn Stevens are assigned to the prosecution team. Stevens is later removed for expressing doubts about evidence, and Johnston asks for reassignment.

April 20, 1984: The defendants plead not guilty to charges of sexually abusing 18 children over 10 years and using death threats to silence them.

June 6, 1984: A preliminary hearing starts with Municipal Judge Aviva K. Bobb presiding. Thirteen of the 41 alleged victims testify during the 18-month hearing.

Jan. 22, 1985: The first child witness in the preliminary hearing testifies that he and other pupils played "naked games" and that he had been touched on the genitals by some of the defendants.

Jan. 9, 1986: Bobb orders all seven defendants to stand trial on 135 counts of molestation and conspiracy, ending the state's longest preliminary hearing. The cost of the hearing was estimated at $4 million.

Jan. 17, 1986: District Attorney Ira Reiner says evidence is insufficient to warrant a trial for five of the seven defendants and asks dismissal of charges against Virginia McMartin, Peggy Ann Buckey, Jackson, Spitler and Raidor. Buckey and his mother still face 100 counts of molestation and conspiracy.

Jan. 23, 1986: Peggy McMartin Buckey is released on $295,000 bail, reduced from $495,000.

April 20, 1987: Jury selection begins and, by July 1, 12 jurors and six alternates are chosen from 500 prospective panelists.

July 13, 1987: Opening statements begin after Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders quashes efforts to move the case.

July 29, 1987: The first parent to testify says his daughter's behavior indicates that she may have been abused at the school but that he did not recognize the warning signs then.

Oct. 17, 1988: Pounders dismisses eight molestation counts against Buckey and his mother. They face 65 counts of molestation and conspiracy involving 11 former pupils.

Feb. 15, 1989: Buckey is released on $1.5 million bail after being jailed nearly five years.

April 27, 1989: The trial becomes the nation's longest criminal hearing when it surpasses by one day the Hillside Strangler trial of Angelo Buono in 1982-83.

May 16, 1989: Peggy McMartin Buckey testifies for the first time and strongly denies sexually assaulting her students.

July 26, 1989: Raymond Buckey testifies, denying that he ever molested children.

Nov. 2, 1989: Jurors adjourn to select a foreman and begin deliberations. The eight men and four women on the panel must sift testimony from 124 witnesses.