Synopsis by Judd Blaise
Originally broadcast on HBO, Indictment: The McMartin Trial is a docudrama concerning the infamous McMartin child abuse case. In 1984, seven employees of Los Angeles' prestigious McMartin Preschool, including four members of the McMartin family, were arrested and charged with child abuse and sexual molestation. The film centers on the story of lawyer Danny Davis, an opportunistic attorney who agrees to defend the McMartins. Initially, Davis takes the case solely for the publicity, but as he investigates further, he becomes convinced of his clients' innocence. Meanwhile, however, the family is pronounced guilty by the media, which airs heated allegations of "Satanic rituals" and a "nationwide conspiracy of sexual predators," in an increasing frenzy that the film compares to a modern-day witch trial. To convince the jury of the falsehood of these charges, however, he must overcome opposition from zealous prosecutor Lael Rubin and discredit Kee McFarlane, the child therapist that Davis believes has unfairly manipulated the McMartin Preschool children into giving damaging testimony. At the time of its airing, the film met with controversy; while some found its case convincing, others alleged that the filmmakers were unfairly biased in favor of the McMartin family.
accusation, child-abuse, criminal, day-care, media-circus, molestation, trial [courtroom]