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South Bay Digest

Hermosa Beach : 2 CITIES ASK STATE TO TRY ALL 7 ORIGINAL MCMARTIN DEFENDANTS

February 13, 1986

The Hermosa Beach City Council this week joined the Manhattan Beach council in calling for the state attorney general to bring to trial all seven of the original defendants in the McMartin Preschool child molestation case.

By a unanimous vote, the council urged state involvement as the "only way justice will be served and the cloud of doubt will be removed."

Los Angeles Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner last month dropped charges against five of the original defendants, citing "incredibly weak evidence" against them. The move was strongly opposed by parents of the alleged victims.

The Manhattan Beach council last week approved a resolution similar to that of Hermosa Beach, although Councilman Jim Walker opposed the action, saying it is inappropriate for the council to become involved in the case. Councilwoman Jan Dennis, however, noted the "frustration in the community" and the "need for some answers" to what happened at the preschool.

McMartin Preschool was located in Manhattan Beach and attracted pupils from throughout the beach cities.

In Hermosa Beach, Councilman Gary Brutsch described Reiner's decision as "a sin," and Councilman John Cioffi said a trial is necessary to put the issue to rest.

"The cloud is not just above the defendants but is above the entire community," Cioffi said. "Let 12 jurors decide whether or not these people are guilty."

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