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To say that all of Michael Jackson�s enemies have converged in Santa Barbara might be an understatement. Contrary to the flimsy observations of the likes of paperboy Dan Abrams of �The Dan Abrams Show� as well as those of media ho Diane Dimond, this is a setup, folks. Just take a look at our chart below. One would have to suffer from cataracts not to see the �pattern� of conspiracy perpetrated against Jackson, not by him.
When persons involved with this project first resolved to do it, we took it on with the sole purpose of reporting what mainstreaming media appears to be afraid to report. For reasons still not clear (alright we think we know why), few if any news/media outlets have even touched on the subject of the suspicious involvement of virtually the same players from the 1993 allegations in the latest case against Mr. Jackson. It is our hope that persons reading this report will take the time to ponder what we have found, process the information, and decide for themselves. We are particularly hopeful that journalists interested in reporting the story as objectively as possible will consider this modest offering and perhaps decide to investigate both sides of the case for themselves. All we can do is hope.
Sneddon and the Chandlers
(1) District Attorney Tom Sneddon, who attempted to bring charges against Michael Jackson in 1993 and who is now prosecuting the current case against Jackson, is on the faculty at the Santa Barbara College of Law. Ray Chandler, (2-3) the uncle of the boy who accused Jackson of sexual abuse in 1993, studied law at the Santa Barbara College of Law and is currently a real estate lawyer.
(4) Dave Schwartz, the stepfather of Jackson�s first accuser, is the founder of Rent-a-Wreck, a car rental agency that is represented by the public relations firm Tellem. After Jackson was arrested in 2003, Tellem offered Tom Sneddon their services – for free.
The Chandlers� Former Attorneys and their Ability to Find �Victims�
(5) Civil lawyer Larry Feldman represented Jordan Chandler, the boy who accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse in 1993. (6) Feldman sent Jordan Chandler to see psychiatrist Stan Katz for an evaluation.
(7) In 1993, Jackson’s former maid Blanca Francia was deposed by civil lawyer Larry Feldman for the Chandlers’ lawsuit. In the deposition, Francia claimed to have seen Jackson act inappropriately with other children, including her own son. She later recanted these statements but members of the District Attorney’s office often refer to Francia’s son as an alleged victim of Jackson’s.
(8.) After getting in contact with Larry Feldman, John Arvizo accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse; the boy was then sent to see Dr. Katz (9). Note that less than four months earlier John Arvizo and his family had vehemently defended Jackson on numerous occasions.
Feldman is not the only former attorney for the Chandlers who can�t seem to stay away from the Jackson case. (10) The Chandlers’ first attorney Gloria Allred has also made it her life mission to seek out other accusers. We’re sure her efforts are solely motivated by justice and have nothing to do with the cut of the settlement that she would inevitably receive if one of her clients were to successfully sue Jackson.
(11) In February 2003, after seeing a documentary that put a sinister spin on Jackson’s relationship with John Arvizo, Gloria Allred contacted Tom Sneddon and demanded that he investigate Jackson. At the same time, �media psychiatrist� Carole Lieberman also filed a complaint against Jackson. Sneddon responded to Allred and Lieberman’s complaints by stating that although he would take the matter seriously, he could not reopen the Jackson case without a cooperative victim.
Months later, John Arvizo told Larry Feldman that Michael Jackson sexually abused him. Once again, Allred missed out on the opportunity to represent a Jackson accuser. As for Lieberman, she made sure to advertise on her website that she was the first psychiatrist to demand that Jackson be investigated.
(12) Not to be one upped by Feldman and Katz, Allred and Lieberman teamed up on another collaboration � an accuser named Daniel Kapone. After being treated by Dr. Lieberman, Kapone suddenly remembered having been abused by Jackson when he was just three years old. Once Lieberman helped him recover his �repressed memories,� Allred signed on as his attorney. Unfortunately for Allred and Lieberman, it was later determined that Kapone had never even met Michael Jackson.
1993: The Media
(13) During the 1993 case, many of Jackson’s former employees cashed in on the allegations by selling salacious stories to the media. The most visible opportunist from the 1993 case was the aforementioned Blanca Francia, Jackson’s former maid. She first sold her story to Diane Dimond during an interview on Hard Copy and later collaborated with Chilean journalist Victor Gutierrez on his book Michael Jackson was my Lover.
(14) Aside from providing Blanca Francia with a platform for her sensational stories, Gutierrez and Dimond had something else in common; they were both were sued by Jackson for spreading a false story about him in the mid-90s. During an interview on Hard Copy, Gutierrez claimed to have seen a videotape of Jackson molesting one of his nephews; Dimond later repeated his story on a local radio station. It was eventually proven that no such tape existed and Jackson filed a lawsuit against Gutierrez and Dimond for defamation of character.
2003: The Media
While the mainstream media has been collectively irresponsible in their coverage of the Jackson case, NBC seems particularly intent on ruining Jackson�s reputation by hiring several well-known Jackson detractors to cover the case. The following people either have an axe to grind with Jackson, have spread false rumours about him in the past or have connections to the Santa Barbara District Attorney�s office. Take a look:
(15) Despite the fact that Jackson sued her for spreading an irrefutably false story about him, NBC hired Diane Dimond to cover the Jackson case in 2003. (16) Dimond also admittedly receives information from the District Attorney’s office and there has been much speculation regarding the nature of her relationship with Tom Sneddon.
(17) Tim Russert, the senior vice president of NBC News, is married to Maureen Orth, a journalist who has written three slanderous articles about Jackson for Vanity Fair magazine. Two of these articles were written about the case and were full of half-truths and rumours.
(18.) NBC hired Jim Thomas as a special analyst; Jim Thomas is admittedly good friends with Tom Sneddon.
(19) NBC produced two salacious Dateline NBC specials about the Jackson case. The most recent one featured interviews with Jim Thomas and Ray Chandler and was heavily slanted in favour of the prosecution�s version of events. (20) The special was produced by none other than Victor Gutierrez, who was hired by NBC to cover the Jackson case even though he still owes Jackson $2.7 million dollars from a defamation of character lawsuit that Jackson filed and won against him. Conflict of interest anyone?
Gutierrez and the Chandlers
(21) Many have speculated that Victor Gutierrez collaborated with Evan Chandler, the father of Jackson’s first accuser, to write Michael Jackson was my Lover. The book contains personal photographs of Jordan Chandler and court documents that only somebody directly involved in the case could possibly have access to.
(15) Victor Gutierrez and Ray Chandler recently worked together on the Dateline NBC special, which Gutierrez produced.
Is it merely a coincidence that all of the people who have accused Michael Jackson of acting inappropriately with a child are connected to one another? Every accuser, every professional who has worked with each accuser, every tabloid hack who has reported negative stories about Jackson – literally all of the players involved in both the 1993 case and the 2003 case are related to one another.
A deep look inside the 1993 and 2003 trials
– In 1992, Michael Jackson met and befriended the Chandler family, becoming particularly close to 12-year-old Jordan, his half-sister Lily and their mother June Schwartz. Jackson often travelled with the family and they were frequent guests at his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara.
– According to June Schwartz’s former divorce attorney Michael Freeman, the boy’s father and June’s ex-husband Evan Chandler “began to get jealous of their involvement [with Jackson] and felt left out.”
– In June 1993, Evan Chandler hired attorney Barry Rothman to represent him in his custody case against June Schwartz. Rothman was not a family lawyer but he had recently handled a custody case that involved child molestation allegations.
– At Jordan’s 8th grade graduation that month, Evan Chandler confronted his ex-wife with his alleged suspicions of sexual misconduct on Jackson’s part. Freeman says that June Schwartz “thought the whole thing was baloney” and announced that she and her children still planned to accompany Jackson on his Dangerous world tour. According to Freeman, Chandler then threatened to go to the press with his suspicions.
– Chandler’s behaviour prompted Jackson to hire lawyer Bert Fields and Private Investigator Anthony Pellicano. Taking Pellicano’s advice, Jordan Chandler’s stepfather Dave Schwartz recorded a telephone conversation that took place between him and Evan Chandler. On the tape, Chandler said:
“I had good communication with Michael. We were friends. I like him and I respect him and everything else for what he is. There was no reason why he had to stop calling me. I sat in the room one day and talked to Michael and told him exactly what I want out of this whole relationship. I’ve been rehearsed about what to say and not to say.”
“[Jackson] broke up the family. [Jordan] has been seduced by this guy’s power and money.”
“I am prepared to move against Michael Jackson. It’s already set. There are other people involved that are waiting for my phone call that are in certain positions. I’ve paid them to do it. Everything’s going according to a certain plan that isn’t just mine. Once I make that phone call, this guy is going to destroy everybody in sight in any devious, nasty, cruel way that he can do it. And I’ve given him full authority to do that.”
“And if I go through with this, I win big-time. There’s no way I lose. I’ve checked that inside out. I will get everything I want, and they will be destroyed forever. June will lose [custody of the son] and Michael’s career will be over.”
“[Jordan’s welfare is] irrelevant to me. It’s going to be bigger than all of us put together. The whole thing is going to crash down on everybody and destroy everybody in sight. It will be a massacre if I don’t get what I want.”
“This attorney I found, I picked the nastiest son of a bitch I could find. All he wants to do is get this out in the public as fast as he can, as big as he can, and humiliate as many people as he can. He’s nasty, he’s mean, he’s very smart, and he’s hungry for the publicity.”
– Upon hearing the taped phone conversation between Evan Chandler and Dave Schwartz, Pellicano immediately interviewed the boy in question. According to Pellicano, Jordan Chandler denied any wrongdoing on Jackson’s part.
– In mid-July, Evan Chandler convinced his ex-wife to allow him a one-week visitation period with their son. From that point on, the boy was isolated from his friends and family members.
– According to Rothman’s former legal secretary Geraldine Hughes, Chandler was receiving advice from Rothman on how to report child abuse without liability to the parent.
– Taking Rothman’s advice, Chandler contacted psychiatrist Mathis Abrams and presented him with a hypothetical situation (i.e- my son spent time alone with an adult male- is it possible that sexual abuse might have occurred and if so, what are the various ways that it can be reported to authorities?). In a written response to Chandler’s phone call, Abrams wrote that if a child were to come out with sexual abuse allegations during a therapy session, the therapist would be required by law to report it to the police.
– Chandler took this letter and, according to Pellicano, attempted to blackmail Jackson with it. In a meeting that took place in early August 1993, Chandler allegedly made a demand for a $20 million screenwriting deal in return for his not going forward with the child abuse allegations.
– Several days after the meeting, Pellicano tape recorded a conversation that took place between him, Barry Rothman and Evan Chandler. On the tape, Rothman and Chandler can be heard negotiating the amount of money it would take to keep Chandler from going forward with the child molestation allegations. Chandler restated his demand for $20 million and, according to Geraldine Hughes, was later told by Pellicano that Jackson would not pay him any money. Keep in mind that if Jackson had paid Chandler at that point, the entire criminal investigation would have been avoided.
– According to an investigative reporter from KCBS-TV, Evan Chandler then gave his son a controversial psychiatric drug known as sodium amytal. It has been widely documented that you can easily plant false memories into a person’s mind when they are under the influence of this drug.
– Evan Chandler claimed that he only used sodium amytal to pull Jordan’s tooth and that while under the drug’s influence, the boy came out with the allegations. According to Mark Torbiner, the anaesthesiologist who administered the drug: “If I used it, it was for dental purposes.” Numerous medical experts have agreed, however, that the use of sodium amytal to pull a tooth would be a highly questionable practice at best.
– During an interview with a psychiatrist, Jordan Chandler recalled the first time that he told his father about the alleged sexual abuse. His story corroborates the allegation that his father used sodium amytal to extract a confession from him: “[My father] had to pull my tooth out one time, like, while I was there. And I don’t like pain, so I said could you put me to sleep? And he said sure. So his friend put me to sleep; he’s an anesthesiologist. And um, when I woke up my tooth was out, and I was alright – a little out of it but conscious. And my Dad said – and his friend was gone, it was just him and me – and my dad said, ‘I just want you to let me know, did anything happen between you and Michael?’ And I said ‘Yes,’ and he gave me a big hug and that was it.” [Note: The transcript of Jordan Chandler’s interview with the psychiatrist was made public by the boy’s uncle Ray Chandler]
– On August 16th, 1993, June Schwartz’s attorney filed an ex-parte motion on her behalf to assist her in getting her son back. While in court the next day, Chandler never made any mention of child abuse allegations. If Chandler had told the judge about the supposed suspicions he’d had for the past three weeks, the judge would have immediately ordered for the boy to be taken away from his mother. But Chandler said nothing, presumably because his plan was to report the abuse using a third party (the psychiatrist). By filing the ex-parte motion, June Schwartz had thrown her ex-husband a curveball. The court ordered Evan Chandler to return Jordan to his mother immediately.
– On August 17th, 1993, the same day that Jordan Chandler was supposed to be returned to his mother, Evan Chandler took him to see Dr. Abrams. While there, the boy came out with the sexual abuse accusations against Michael Jackson and so began the police investigation into alleged misconduct on Jackson’s part.
THE CIVIL LAWSUIT
– Because of double jeopardy, anyone accused of a crime will never have to defend themselves for the same allegation twice unless one trial takes place in civil court and the other in criminal court. This was the situation with Michael Jackson in 1993.
– On September 14 1993, less than a month after the child abuse allegations against Michael Jackson had been reported to the police, the accusing family filed a $30 million lawsuit against Jackson with the help of civil attorney Larry Feldman.
– Up until that point, the alleged victim’s mother June Schwartz had maintained that Jackson was innocent of the allegations. As soon as the civil suit was filed, however, she changed her tune and joined forces with her ex-husband Evan Chandler and their son Jordan. At that point, June Schwartz’s divorce attorney Michael Freeman resigned. “The whole thing was such a mess,” he explained. “I felt uncomfortable with Evan. He isn’t a genuine person, and I sensed he wasn’t playing things straight.”
– The Chandlers sued Jackson for sexual battery, battery, seduction, willful misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and negligence.
– The civil suit was filed while the police investigation was still ongoing. As a result, the civil trial was scheduled to take place before the criminal trial began which would have been a violation of Jackson’s constitutional right to not self-incriminate. Typically, when there are two trials dealing with the same allegation, the criminal trial takes place before the civil trial (i.e- the O.J Simpson case). This is to ensure that the Defendant’s defense in the criminal case will not be compromised as a result of the civil proceedings.
– Jackson’s attorneys filed a motion asking for the civil trial to be delayed until after the criminal trial was over. They cited numerous cases such as Pacer, Inc. v. Superior Court to support their request. The Federal case held that, “when both criminal and civil proceedings arise out of the same or related transactions, the Defendant is entitled to a Stay of Discovery and trial in the civil action until the criminal matter has been fully resolved.” Other cases cited include Dustin W. Brown v. The Superior Court, Dwyer v. Crocker National Bank, Patterson v. White and Huot v. Gendron.
– Larry Feldman argued that if the civil trial were to be postponed, the plaintiff, being a minor, might forget certain details about what had supposedly happened to him. The judge felt that the boy’s “fragile state” was more important than Jackson’s 5th Amendment rights and ruled in the boy’s favour.
– Jackson’s attorneys filed another motion asking that District Attorney Tom Sneddon be blocked from obtaining evidence used in the civil trial. Again, the Jackson team lost the motion. The DA made it clear that he was planning to use the evidence from the civil proceedings to assist him in his criminal case against Jackson.
– If Jackson had not settled the civil lawsuit, he would have put his entire defense strategy in jeopardy by revealing it to the prosecution months before the criminal case went to trial.
– Let’s pretend for a moment that Michael Jackson had gone through with the civil trial. What would have happened? He would have presented the court with all of his evidence of extortion and Sneddon would have been watching the entire thing unfold. He could have then taken Jackson’s most critical exonerating evidence from the civil trial and found ways to discredit it so that Jackson would have nothing left to defend himself with in the criminal trial.
– During the civil trial, Jackson’s lawyers would have undoubtedly revealed any inconsistencies in the accuser’s story. This would have given Sneddon the opportunity to examine and amend the weaknesses in his own case against Jackson.
– As you can see, allowing the civil trial to proceed would have given the prosecution the upper hand in the far more important criminal trial. Although this is the primary reason behind Michael Jackson’s decision to settle the case, there were many other factors involved:
1) In a criminal trial, the burden of proof lies with the affirmative; in other words, it is up to the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Defendant is guilty of a crime. In civil trials, if the jury thinks the Defendant might be responsible for what he or she is accused of, they can still hold the Defendant liable.
2) In criminal law, if the Defendant chooses not to testify, their refusal cannot be used against them. In a civil trial, however, the Defendant must be cooperative for all depositions and testimony. If the Defendant in a civil trial invokes his or her Fifth Amendment privilege, the judge will tell the jury that they may make an inference against the party who refused to testify. If Michael Jackson had not settled the civil lawsuit, his entire personal life would have been put on display. Defendants in sex abuse crimes are often asked extremely personal questions on the stand; imagine what this process would be like for somebody like Michael Jackson who is admittedly shy and whose personal life is always subject to severe media scrutiny.
3) In civil trials the jury’s verdict does not have to be unanimous. If at least 50% of the jurors find the Defendant liable, the Plaintiff will still get money.
4) The Defendant in a civil trial has fewer rights. In criminal law, police must obtain search warrants before searching or seizing items from a person’s property. In civil law, a lawyer may demand information from the defense about any matter relevant to the case. This is known as the discovery process and it does not usually involve the court. Discovery may include: written questions to be answered under oath; oral deposition under oath; requests for pertinent documents; physical or mental examinations where injury is claimed; and requests to admit facts not in dispute. If Jackson had allowed the civil trial to proceed, Larry Feldman would have had access to Jackson’s medical and financial records without obtaining a warrant.
5) The civil trial would have taken months to resolve. Michael Jackson would have been paying millions of dollars in legal fees while at the same time limiting his source of income by putting his career on hold. There was probably also a lot of pressure from his record company to settle the lawsuit because the case was affecting his career.
6) Such a long, drawn out process would have caused Michael Jackson and his family immeasurable amounts of stress. Even after the civil trial was resolved, he would still have the criminal proceedings to contend with. Why go through all of that twice?
7) According to Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman, the negligence allegation included in the lawsuit might have prompted Jackson’s insurance company to force him to settle the case. “I have brought child molestation cases against Defendants and I always include a negligence allegation,” Oxman explained. “That means that the homeowners’ insurance policy takes over and a homeowners’ insurance policy can settle right out from under the Defendant. The Defendant can scream, ‘I will not settle that case,’ and they have no choice because the insurance company settles it.”
For the above reasons, Michael Jackson reluctantly settled the civil lawsuit that had been filed against him.
THE CIVIL SETTLEMENT
For various legal, personal, professional, financial and practical reasons, Michael Jackson settled the civil lawsuit filed against him by his accuser’s family in 1993. The recently leaked settlement document reveals several interesting facts:
1) Michael Jackson denied any wrongdoing.
2) The boy and his parents could have still testified against Jackson in the criminal trial.
3) Jackson only settled over claims of negligence and not over claims of child molestation.
Tabloid reporter Diane Dimond, who leaked the details of the settlement, tried to make it seem as if Jackson admitted to molesting the boy simply because he settled over the negligence allegation. Dimond pointed out that the original lawsuit said: “Defendant Michael Jackson negligently had offensive contacts with plaintiff which were both explicitly sexual and otherwise.” It is clear, however, from the wording of the settlement document, that the “negligence” allegation was redefined:
“Such claims include claims for bodily injuries resulting from negligence; whereas, Evan Chandler has made claims against Jackson for bodily injuries resulting from negligent infliction of emotional distress; whereas, Jordan Chandler has made claims against Jackson for bodily injuries resulting from negligent infliction of emotional distress.”
Negligence has been defined in the settlement as the “infliction of emotional distress”; there is no mention of sexual abuse. Referring to the lawsuit’s definition of “negligence” is inconclusive because each legal document intentionally defines the terms to ensure that there is no misunderstanding. Furthermore, if the negligence allegation was directly related to the child molestation allegations, why did Evan Chandler also claim to be the victim of negligence?
OTHER INTERESTING EXCEPRTS FROM THE DOCUMENT:
“This Confidential Settlement shall not be construed as an admission by Jackson that he has acted wrongfully with respect to the Minor, Evan Chandler or June Chandler, or any other person or at all, or that the Minor, Evan Chandler and June Chandler have any rights whatsoever against Jackson. Jackson specifically disclaims any liability to, and denies any wrongful acts against the Minor, Evan Chandler or June Chandler or any other persons. The Parties acknowledge that Jackson is a public figure and that his name, image and likeness have commercial value and are an important element of his earning capacity. The Parties acknowledge that Jackson claims that he has elected to settle the claims in the Action in view of the impact the Action has had and could have in the future on his earnings and potential income.”
Jackson repeatedly asserts his innocence while the accusing family does not once maintain that the boy’s allegations are true.
“The Parties recognize that the Settlement Payment set forth in this paragraph 3 are in settlement of claims by Jordan Chandler, Evan Chandler and June Chandler for alleged compensatory damages for alleged personal injuries arising out of claims of negligence and not for claims of intentional or wrongful acts of sexual molestation.”
The document states that $15,331,250 was put into a trust fund for Jordan Chandler. Both of his parents, as well as their attorney Larry Feldman, got a cut of the settlement. (Barry Rothman and Dave Schwartz, two principle players in the case who were left out of the settlement, later filed their own individual lawsuits against Jackson). Eight pages detailing the payment were allegedly missing from Dimond’s copy of the settlement but according to Jackson’s current attorney, the negligence allegation included in the lawsuit prompted Jackson’s insurance company to step in and settle the case for him. This means that Jackson might not have paid the Chandlers anything. It also means that the insurance company most likely conducted their own investigation into the allegations and concluded that Jackson did not molest the boy; insurance companies generally do not settle if they believe the Defendant is liable. They will, however, settle for negligent behaviour.
DISMISSAL OF THE ACTION:
The document also shows that the Chandlers dropped the child molestation allegations from their complaint:
“Forthwith upon the signing of this Confidential Settlement by the Parties hereto, the Minor through his Guardian ad Litem shall dismiss, without prejudice, the first through sixth causes of action of the complaint on file in the Action, leaving only the seventh cause of action pending.”
“Upon the full and complete payment of all Settlement Payments… the Minor, through his Guardian ad Litem, shall dismiss the entire action with prejduice.”
The first through sixth causes of action were the sexual abuse allegations; the seventh cause of action was negligence. Again, Jackson settled over the family’s claims of negligence and not over their claims of child molestation.
[u\WAS IT HUSH MONEY?[/u]
Finally, the document makes it clear that the Chandlers could have still testified against Jackson in a criminal trial:
“The Minor, by and through his Guardian ad Litem, and Evan Chandler and June Chandler , and each of them individually and on behalf of their respective agents, attorneys, media representatives, partners, heirs, administrators, executors, conservators, successors and assigns, agree not to cooperate with, represent, or provide any information, to any person or entity that initiates any civil claim or action which relates in any manner to the subject matter of the Action against Jackson or any of the Jackson Releases, except as may be required by law.”
The only stipulation in the settlement is that the parties could not testify about the allegations in civil court.
“In the event the Minor, the Minor’s Legal Guardians, the Minor’s Guardian ad Litem, the Minor’s attorneys, Evan Chandler or June Chandler, or any of them individually… receive a subpoena or request for information from any person or entity who has asserted or is investigating, any claim against Jackson… they agree to give notice in writing to Jackson’s attorneys regarding the nature and scope of any such subpoena request for information, to the extent permitted by law. This notice shall be given before responding to the request.”
The above paragraph makes it clear that the Chandlers were not prohibited from testifying against Jackson in a criminal trial, as long as they notified Jackson’s attorneys beforehand. Contrary to popular belief, the settlement did NOT silence anybody. It was the family’s own decision not to testify in the criminal case; they could have gotten money and justice but they only opted to take the money.
Ask yourself this: if your child was molested, would you not do everything in your power to put the person responsible behind bars? The Chandlers did not. Instead, they dropped the claims of child abuse against Jackson, signed a document where he basically called them liars, took his money and refused to talk to authorities. I have already pointed out the numerous reasons why Jackson settled the case; what reason did the Chandlers have to not testify?
One could argue that they did not want to be put through a public trial, however, this assertion does not make sense when you consider the fact that the Chandlers were more than willing to testify in the civil trial. In fact, court documents reveal that the only reason the judge refused to stay the civil proceedings was because Feldman was allegedly worried that Jordan Chandler would forget his story when testifying. Furthermore, Evan Chandler later sued Jackson and asked the court to allow him to produce an album of songs about the allegations. The actions of the Chandlers are not indicative of a family reluctant to tell their story.
For the past ten years, the media have been referring to the settlement as a “pay off” but here is my question: what exactly did Michael Jackson “buy” when he settled the civil lawsuit? How can anyone call it “hush money” when it did not prevent the accuser from testifying against him? How can anyone call it “hush money” when the entire world already knew about the allegations? How can anyone call it “hush money” when there was still an ongoing criminal investigation that was not affected by the civil suit?
Finally, Evan Chandler asked for $20 million before the allegations were reported to authorities. Assuming Michael Jackson had actually molested Jordan Chandler, why did he not take that opportunity to avoid getting caught? He could have paid Evan Chandler and avoided the entire ordeal. Instead, he rejected Chandler’s initial demand for money. If he was guilty, why did he do that?
If it is still your contention that Jackson’s plan was to settle the civil lawsuit in order to bribe the boy into not testifying against him in the criminal trial, can you please explain to me why Michael Jackson asked for the civil trial to be postponed? He wanted the civil trial to take place after the criminal trial was resolved, which means any potential settlement would have been negotiated after Jackson was either acquitted or convicted. This would have made it impossible for him to “bribe” the boy into not testifying. Jackson’s actions contradict the notion that he wanted to buy Jordan Chandler’s silence.
A more logical explanation as to why Michael Jackson settled is that he was innocent and although he initially refused to be blackmailed by Evan Chandler, he had no choice in the end. Once the alleged abuse was brought to the attention of authorities, it suddenly became apparent to Jackson just how ugly things would get. The media went into overkill, the justice system was not working in his favor and the civil lawsuit filed by the Chandlers had backed Jackson into a corner. He could have either gone through with the civil trial and risked a weakened defense in the more important criminal trial or settled the civil lawsuit and risked people thinking he had something to hide. Obviously, Michael Jackson valued his life more than he valued the opinions of other people so he opted to settle the lawsuit.
Once the civil lawsuit was settled, Michael Jackson still had the criminal investigation to contend with.
THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
– When the boy who accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse in 1993 refused to cooperate with authorities, the police investigation fell apart.
– Police obtained Jackson’s telephone books and contacted about thirty children and their families. Although investigators allegedly used aggressive interrogation techniques to scare the children into making accusations against Jackson, they still could not find another accuser. All of the children questioned maintained that Jackson had never sexually abused them.
– In an attempt to find corroborating evidence, the Santa Barbara Police Department subjected Jackson to a strip search to see if the description the accuser provided of Jackson’s genitalia was accurate. According to an article from USA Today: “photos of Michael Jackson’s genitalia do not match descriptions given by the boy who accused the singer of sexual misconduct.”
– By February 1994, police still did not have a witness who was willing to testify against Jackson. Investigators consequently turned to the tabloids for leads, contacting several of Jackson’s former employees who had sold their stories to the media. For example, investigators flew to the Philippines to interview the Quindoys, a couple who had told the tabloids that they’d seen Jackson act inappropriately with a child. Police decided that their story was not credible based on the fact that the more money they received, the more salacious their story became.
– Police also got in contact with Blanca Francia, Jackson’s former maid who had sold her story to Hard Copy for $20,000. On December 15 1993, Francia told the tabloid show that she had witnessed Jackson showering with young boys and that she had also seen him act inappropriately with her own son. Francia repeated these statements in a sworn deposition for the Chandlers’ civil lawsuit. While under deposition by one of Jackson’s attorneys, however, Francia admitted that she had exaggerated details during her Hard Copy interview and that the producers had paid her for her story.
– In the mid 90s, Francia threatened to accuse Jackson of molesting her son unless she received money from the Jackson camp. To avoid the negative publicity that would have inevitably resulted from a second child abuse allegation, Jackson’s associates advised him to quietly settle the case. After receiving $2 million from Jackson, Francia did not go forward with the civil lawsuit.
– While Francia seemed more than willing to make accusations against Jackson in exchange for financial compensation, she did not have anything incriminating to reveal when authorities questioned her during the criminal investigation in 1994. Contrary to what she had previously claimed (and to what she would claim in the future), Francia told investigators that her son had repeatedly denied being sexually abused by Jackson. Here is an excerpt from a USA Today article that was published on February 7th, 1994:
Investigators from the county sheriff’s office recently arranged for the 13-year-old son of Jackson’s former maid to see a therapist. The boy was first interviewed by police after his mother told them he had spent time alone with Jackson. According to his mother, the child has repeatedly denied being abused in any way by the pop music star.
The offer of a therapist was made after the woman, an immigrant from Central America, complained about meetings and phone conversations sheriff’s deputies had with the boy while she was not present.
It made her “feel uncomfortable,” she said in a deposition, that she didn’t know what the deputies were talking about with the young boy. When she asked them “who should I talk to” about her concerns, they arranged for the woman and her son to see separate therapists at the county’s expense, she said in the sworn statement.
– In 1994, two grand juries were convened to hear evidence in the Jackson case but no charges were ever brought; in fact, evidence was so scant that prosecutors did not even ask for an indictment. According to a report from CNN that aired on May 2, 1994: “One jury member said no damaging evidence was heard.”
– If the case against Jackson was so weak, why did District Attorney Tom Sneddon spend the next ten years slandering Jackson’s name in the press? Read on to find out.
THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
– After having spent millions of dollars on the Michael Jackson investigation in 1993, District Attorney Tom Sneddon did not find enough evidence to bring charges against the pop star.
– Over the next few years, Sneddon and several of his employees made numerous statements to the press where they implied that there was indeed evidence to corroborate Jordan Chandler’s story. They failed to explain, however, why two grand juries did not indict Michael Jackson if such evidence actually existed.
– According to reporter Geraldo Rivera, members of the Santa Barbara Police Department were shown footage of the strip search of Jackson’s genitalia. “I’ve got a videotape that was shown to every cop in Santa Barbara of Michael Jackson’s penis,” Rivera said.
– In 1995, Jackson wrote a song about Tom Sneddon that appeared on his album HIStory: Past, Present and Future Book I. In the song, Jackson claims that he was over-targetted by the DA’s office and accuses Sneddon of being obsessed with attaining political fame. Click here to read the lyrics.
– Many legal experts dismissed the idea that Sneddon would prosecute Jackson solely for his own self-aggrandizement but perhaps there are other motives involved. According to Thambiah Sundaram, a dentist who filed and won a lawsuit against Santa Barbara prosecutors in 1996, the commercial prospects of Neverland might be one factor influencing authorities’ relentless pursuit of Jackson.
– In 1994, Sundaram attended a private fundraising event where he allegedly heard Sneddon discuss a plan to run Jackson out of Santa Barbara and turn Neverland into a winery. According to Sundaram, Sneddon planned to do this by finding another child to accuse Jackson of sexual abuse. While Sundaram’s allegations are difficult to prove or disprove at this point, it is a widely known fact that winemaking is the leading agricultural industry in Santa Barbara, accounting for about $360 million of the county’s annual economy. The Santa Ynez Valley, where Jackson owns almost 3,000 acres of land, is particularly well suited for growing grapes because of its ideal climate and soil conditions. Numerous wineries located in the Santa Ynez Valley are looking to expand but there isn’t enough available land in the area to do so.
– Whether or not Sundaram’s allegations have any merit remains to be seen, but there are other facts that point to Sneddon having a vendetta against Michael Jackson. Sneddon said in a press conference that after 1993, he changed certain California laws pertaining to child molestation specifically because of the Michael Jackson case.
– In 1995, Sneddon told Vanity Fair magazine: “The state of the investigation [of Jackson] is in suspension until somebody comes forward.”
– Upon viewing the Living with Michael Jackson documentary that aired in February 2003, Sneddon saw an opportunity to re-open the case. In a press statement released on February 6, 2003, Sneddon said: “After conversations with Sheriff Jim Anderson, it was agreed that the BBC broadcast would be taped by the Sheriff’s Department. It is anticipated that it will be reviewed.”
– Regarding Jackson’s comments that there is nothing wrong with sharing a bedroom with a child, Sneddon replied by saying it was, “unusual at best. For this reason, all local departments having responsibility in this are taking the matter seriously.” He then urged any victims to come forward. Read the full press release here.
– Shortly after this statement was released, Sneddon gave an interview to tabloid reporter Diane Dimond where he discussed the 1993 case.
– Coincidentally, the boy who appeared in Living with Michael Jackson – the documentary that Sneddon taped and watched – is the same boy who ended up becoming Jackson’s second accuser. Did Sneddon have something to do with this boy coming forward?
– During his testimony at a pre-trial hearing, Sneddon admitted to having met with the second accuser’s mother in an empty parking lot to give her papers that would qualify her for a state victim’s fund. He also personally investigated the second set of allegations against Michael Jackson, a job that is supposed to be carried out by investigators.
– Linda Fairstein, a leading sex crimes prosecutor, said of Sneddon’s actions: “It’s way too personal. It’s way out of line. If he does any substantive parts of an investigation, he may become a witness in the case.” She continued: “It lets these very talented defense attorneys take him apart before the jury and explain that it’s not his place to do that. He creates trouble in and out of the courtroom for himself by taking on that role.”
– Although the accusing family’s story had numerous holes in it, Sneddon went forward with the case and pressed charges. Read on to learn about the second set of allegations against Michael Jackson.
THE 2003 ALLEGATIONS
THE ACCUSING FAMILY
The relationship between Michael Jackson and his second accuser began innocently enough. Two years ago, the recovering cancer patient made a request through the Make a Wish Foundation to meet the pop superstar. Jackson obliged and eventually formed a friendship with the boy and his family. The boy’s mother characterized her children’s relationship with the singer as a “loving father, sons and daughters one,” even crediting Jackson with helping her son overcome his bout with cancer.
Court documents reveal that this was not the first time the family had used the boy’s cancer as a way to get close to celebrities. According to a report filed by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services: “Mom said that they met the celebrities due to her son’s illness and that the celebrities are very supportive of her son and their family.” The mother told a caseworker that through her connection to celebrities, she had “found ways to get things for her kids.”
Rush Hour director Brett Ratner was one of the many celebrities who had met and befriended the boy. “[He] would sit in my director’s chair. When I told him to get up, he’d tell me to go to hell… He’s more street smart than I was at that age,” Ratner recalled. “I always had a weird feeling that the mother would set Michael up. I always liked the father. But the mother was an opportunist.”
Adding credence to Ratner’s suspicion was the fact that the family had a history of making unsubstantiated abuse claims. In 1998, they accused security guards from JCPenney and Tower Records of physically assaulting them after pulling them over for shoplifting. Two years after filing a $3 million lawsuit against the companies, the mother also accused the guards of sexually assaulting her during the altercation. She alleged that one of them had fondled her breasts and pelvic area for approximately seven minutes, a detail that had never come up in her initial depositions. The companies settled out of court for $152,500 without admitting guilt.
Tom Griffin, the attorney who represented JCPenney in the case, told NBC’s Mike Taibbi that the family had no evidence to substantiate their claims. “[The mother] just came up with this fairy tale, not a fairy tale, it’s a horror story, and just ran with it,” Griffin said.
A psychiatrist hired by JCPenney during the investigation said that the children’s testimonies sounded scripted and rehearsed, a suspicion that was confirmed by the boy’s father. In an affidavit, he admitted that the kids were coached by their mother to lie. According to Russell Halpern, an attorney for the father, “[The mother] wrote all of their testimony. I actually saw the script.”
Halpern was hired when a bitter custody dispute arose between the parents following their divorce in 2001. The battle took an unexpected turn when the mother accused her ex-husband of spousal abuse, an allegation that was initially denied by the couple’s three children. In October 2001, social workers were called to investigate the family following an altercation that took place in their home. When questioned on their own, the children did not allude to any abuse on the father’s part. The social workers left but were called back when the mother returned. In the presence of their mother, the children all changed their story, alleging that their father was indeed abusive.
The father pleaded no-contest to the charges and was barred from seeing his children as a result. During an interview on Larry King Live, Halpern, who is currently trying to obtain visitation rights for his client, discussed documents from the JCPenney case that suggest the abuse allegations against the father were false. “[The mother] was specifically asked, ‘did he ever hit you?’ and she said ‘no’ and then she elaborated by saying he was a wonderful husband, he had never touched her, he didn’t have it in him to touch a woman and he had never touched the children, never as far as even spanking the kids.”
In court papers that were later filed during the custody proceedings, the mother painted a startlingly different picture of her ex-husband, claiming that her children were terrified of him. “Every single night, one of my sons barricades the front door by putting two chairs in front of the door,” she alleged. “He also puts a boogie board and an archery arrow against the front door… Both boys sleep with baseball bats.”
With their biological father out of the picture, the children were reportedly encouraged by their mother to refer to various other men in their lives as “daddy,” a title that was eventually given to Michael Jackson. The mother told a British newspaper last year that it was Jackson who encouraged the children to refer to him as their father. Sources close to the family, however, suggest that it was the other way around.
Whatever the case may be, Jackson formed a relationship with the family; the eldest son was even featured on the now infamous Living with Michael Jackson documentary. The 12-year-old raised eyebrows when he told journalist Martin Bashir that he had once spent the night in Jackson’s bedroom. The boy’s comments led to two separate investigations into possible sexual abuse on Jackson’s part, investigations that would later help Jackson’s defense.
AUTHORITIES GET INVOLVED
Prompted by what was shown on the Living with Michael Jackson documentary, a school official contacted the Department of Children and Family Services and requested that they investigate Jackson. From February 14th to February 27th, social workers interviewed the family, who all maintained that Jackson had never acted inappropriately around them. The mother stated that her children had never been left alone with Jackson and they had never slept in a bed with him. According to the report: “The investigation by the Sensitive Case Unit concluded the allegations of neglect and sexual abuse to be unfounded.”
Another investigation was launched when media psychiatrist Carole Lieberman filed a complaint with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department in February 2003. She asked for Jackson to be investigated and also demanded that his children be removed from his custody. “Bubbles the Chimp [Jackson’s former pet] is reportedly now living in an animal sanctuary. One would wonder how and why that came about. If Mr. Jackson is unable to take good enough care of his pet chimpanzee, shouldn’t you be concerned about his children?”
About the boy in the documentary, Lieberman noted: “There was an unmistakable sense that something sexual had occurred with [the boy], as evidenced by his body language and his submissive demeanour towards Michael.”
The SBCSD investigated and closed the case on April 16th with “no further action required.” The SBCSD report cites interviews with the family that were conducted by three Los Angeles social workers. According to the alleged victim: “Michael is like a father to me, he’s never done anything to me sexually.” He added that he had “never slept in bed with Michael,” and that his mother was “always aware of what goes on in Neverland.”
The boy’s mother told social workers that: “Michael is like a father to my children, he loves them and I trust my children with him.” Of Jackson, she said he had “never been anything but wonderful. My children have never felt uncomfortable in his presence. Michael has been a blessing.” The boy’s older sister also defended Jackson saying, “Michael is so kind and loving.”
Despite the fact that the family had nothing but praise for the singer, people within the Jackson camp were already wary of their motives. In early February, Jackson hired criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos to protect him from what seemed to be an opportunistic family. Geragos said in an interview, “I was brought in this February when somebody wisely, in retrospect, felt that there was something wrong here with this particular family.”
On the investigations that were conducted, Geragos commented, “You’re talking about a situation where the sensitive case unit of the L.A bureau… investigated this case. Their most qualified people interviewed all of the participants and they came back… with [an unfounded ruling].”
With two government agencies concluding that no abuse had taken place, Geragos assumed the case was over. “There wasn’t anything more that could have been done at that point.” The mother’s behaviour, however, would soon raise more red flags within the Jackson camp.
NOT AFTER MONEY?
After the airing of the Bashir interview, the mother of the boy who appeared on the documentary made several attempts to cash in on her relationship with Michael Jackson. She sold her story to a British tabloid but, at that point, only had positive things to say about the pop star. She seemed outraged by people’s reaction to Bashir’s documentary and filed an official complaint with the Broadcasting Standards Commission.
The mother also planned to file a lawsuit against the company that aired the documentary and, in February 2003, hired civil lawyer Bill Dickerman to represent her in the case. Dickerman told ABC News: “[The boy] had been on camera, there had been no consent given and when she found out about it, she was absolutely livid.”
Michael Jackson seemed equally angered by the tone of the documentary and began compiling footage for a rebuttal video. To counter the negative publicity surrounding Jackson’s relationships with children, the boy and his family filmed interviews where they made statements in Jackson’s defense. The footage was supposed to be included in the rebuttal video but the mother’s boyfriend Major Jay Jackson (no relation to Michael) demanded financial compensation in return.
During a pre-trial hearing, Major Jackson recalled saying to one of Michael Jackson’s associates: “This family has nothing and you’re making millions from [the rebuttal video] and what are you going to do for this little family?” To appease Major Jackson, the associate offered the family a house and the children a college education in return for their permission to use the footage. Major Jackson refused the offer, instead making a demand for money. While Major Jackson never confirmed whether or not he received any money from the Jackson camp, the footage of the family was not included in the televised version of the rebuttal video, indicating that his demand for financial compensation was not met.
Jay Jackson also testified that in February he was approached by two British journalists who were interested in paying for the family’s story. According to one of the journalists who got in contact with the family, “The starting figure was $500 from myself, and that’s supposedly when [Major Jackson] consulted with the mother.” Major Jackson came back with a demand for $15,000 and was turned away.
When their attempts to cash in on the post-Bashir controversy failed, the family filed for emergency help on March 3, 2003. Court documents reveal that a week later, the mother filed for an increase in alimony from her ex-husband and asked for her child support to be doubled.
Shortly after, she returned to Dickerman with plans to sue Michael Jackson for an issue unrelated to child molestation.
Dickerman began a letter-writing campaign to Mark Geragos, claiming that Jackson was in possession of some of the family’s belongings including furniture and passports. Dickerman demanded the return of these items and also alleged that the family was being “harassed” and “terrorized” by Geragos’ Private Investigator Bradley Miller. It would be months before the family would take these claims to the police.
While the relationship between Michael Jackson and the family had obviously become contentious after the airing of the Bashir documentary, they maintained all along that Jackson had never sexually abused the boy. That all changed in June 2003, when Larry Feldman – the civil lawyer who brokered a $15 million settlement for Jackson’s first accuser – entered the picture.
ENTER LARRY FELDMAN AND STAN KATZ
After meeting with civil lawyer Larry Feldman, the boy finally came forward with the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson. Feldman sent the boy and his family to see psychiatrist Stan Katz, who had also been involved in the 1993 case. According to documents obtained by NBC, Dr. Katz told the boy, “Look, if you go ahead with this civil lawsuit, your family will get money if they win.”
Suddenly, lurid details about the alleged abuse began to materialize. The boy claimed that while at Neverland he “drank alcohol every night and got buzzed.” When he told Jackson his head hurt, he was supposedly told to: “keep drinking, it will make it feel better.”
The boy’s younger brother alleged that he and his brother “constantly sleep in Michael’s room with Michael… in Michael’s bed.” He claimed to have witnessed Jackson touch his brother inappropriately on at least two separate occasions.
These were the same kids who, less than four months earlier, had vehemently defended Jackson to social workers. For some reason, after all of their previous denials of abuse on Jackson’s part, the family drastically changed their story after getting involved with Feldman and Katz.
Feldman took the family back to the Department of Children and Family Services and asked them to overturn their “unfounded” ruling. The DCFS refused, saying that because the boy was not in immediate danger, there was nothing else they could do. Dr. Katz then reported the alleged abuse to the Santa Barbara Police Department who subsequently launched an investigation in June 2003.
In addition to being involved with both of Jackson’s accusers, Dr. Katz had another connection to the Jackson case – one of his patients included Bradley Miller, the Private Investigator who had been hired by Mark Geragos to keep an eye on the family.
Katz told authorities about Miller’s involvement in the case and also informed them about a tape that Miller had made of the family defending Jackson in mid-February. In what appears to be a highly unusual move, Santa Barbara authorities then asked the accuser’s stepfather Jay Jackson to help them investigate Miller. Working as a “confidential agent,” Major Jackson was sent to scope out the location of Miller’s office and report his findings back to the SBPD.
After five months of investigating, the Santa Barbara Police Department was ready to go forward with its case. But first, the family would have to agree to put their civil lawsuit on hold and go forward with the criminal case against Jackson.
JACKSON IS ARRESTED AND CHARGED
In June 2003, Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon began to personally investigate the accusing family’s claims against Michael Jackson. Notes from the boy’s therapist reveal that the family was also planning to file a lawsuit against Jackson with the help of civil attorney Larry Feldman. Their plans to sue the pop star, however, would have to wait; after 1993, Sneddon amended California laws so that if civil and criminal proceedings arose over the same allegation, the civil proceedings would be stayed until after the criminal case was resolved. Consequently, if the family chose to go forward with their lawsuit, the proceedings would remain inactive until the statute of limitations in the criminal case expired.
While it would be years before the family could seek monetary damages from Jackson in court, they were informed by Sneddon of a state victim’s fund that would provide them with financial compensation if they persisted with the allegations. In November, Sneddon met with the accuser’s mother in an empty parking lot to provide her with the necessary paperwork to apply for the fund. Less than a month later, the family went forward with the case.
The accuser and his family provided authorities with a fifty-page affidavit detailing their allegations. In addition to the child molestation accusations, the family also claimed that they were held hostage at Jackson’s Neverland ranch for several days in February 2003. Using this affidavit, Sneddon obtained a warrant for Michael Jackson’s arrest as well as a warrant to search Neverland Ranch.
Later that day, authorities also searched the office of Bradley Miller, Mark Geragos’ Private Investigator. During the raid, Sneddon confiscated a tape that featured footage of the accusing family praising Jackson. The contents of the tape would present a problem for the prosecution: the interview with the family was conducted in February 2003 but according to the family’s affidavit, Jackson had molested the boy and kidnapped the family that very same month. Having access to this tape gave Sneddon an opportunity to familiarize himself with Jackson’s defense strategy, which would most likely center around the family’s inconsistent statements.
In spite of this evidence, Sneddon continued with the case. On November 19, he held a press conference where his behaviour led many to believe that he had a grudge against Michael Jackson stemming from the 1993 case. Despite the serious nature of the allegations, Sneddon and Sheriff Jim Anderson created a jovial atmosphere by making several jokes at Jackson’s expense.
After Jackson was arrested, Sneddon gave an exclusive interview to Diane Dimond where he referred to the pop star as “Jacko Wacko” but strongly denied having a vendetta against him. He later apologized for his comments, saying, “If my mom was still alive she would take me to task for not being a good person.”
In early December, news that Jackson had already been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Department of Children and Family Services in February was leaked to the press. Sneddon dismissed the DCFS investigation as an “interview,” failing to point out that his own department had also investigated Jackson in February and had come back with the same conclusion as the DCFS. Regardless, Jackson was charged on December 18th with 7 counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14 and 2 counts of administering an intoxicating agent. These alleged acts took place between February 7th and March 10th.
Many were taken aback by the questionable timeline. Jackson knew this boy for two years and only started to molest him while in the midst of a huge scandal involving him and past accusations of sexual abuse? How could Jackson have molested the boy while simultaneously being investigated for sexual abuse by two separate sets of authorities? Why did the entire family continually deny any wrongdoing on Jackson’s part until they got in contact with a civil lawyer? Furthermore, it seemed highly suspicious that Jackson hired his defense attorney before any alleged crime was committed.
In the months following the filing of the charges, much of Jackson’s defense strategy was leaked to the press. The public learned of the family’s litigious past, their previous denials of abuse on Jackson’s part and their involvement with Larry Feldman, the civil lawyer who represented Jackson’s first accuser. Mark Geragos also informed the media that Jackson had an “iron-clad alibi” for all of the dates of the timeline. How could Sneddon’s case proceed when he had an accuser who lacked credibility and a Defendant with an alibi? Keep reading to find out…
NEW CHARGES BROUGHT
Although Tom Sneddon had officially filed a criminal complaint against Michael Jackson in December 2003, he later took his case to a secret grand jury, which resulted in a new 10-count indictment. The new charges reveal several troubling inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case and also indicate that Jackson’s defense evidence is being unfairly used against him. Please read the following sections carefully to gain a better understanding of the grand jury indictment:
How did the convening of a grand jury put Jackson’s defense team at a disadvantage?
First it should be noted that the grand jury proceedings took away Jackson’s right to a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is advantageous to the defense because it allows them to:
1) cross-examine the prosecution witnesses
2) get an idea of what evidence the prosecution has
3) better prepare themselves for a trial
The prosecution’s case can also be thrown out during a preliminary hearing if the judge feels there is not enough evidence to go to trial. By avoiding a preliminary hearing, Sneddon was able to present his case without any defense attorneys present. His witnesses were not cross-examined and any evidence he presented to the grand jury went unchallenged. Most legal experts agree that by presenting a case to a grand jury, a prosecutor is almost guaranteed to get an indictment returned. If Jackson’s defense attorneys had been given the opportunity to cross-examine the accuser and other witnesses during a preliminary hearing, the case might have fallen apart. Sneddon managed to avoid this by taking his case to a grand jury.
What is the difference between the charges in the original complaint and the charges in the indictment?
On April 30th, 2004, Jackson was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor, four counts of administering an intoxicating agent, one count of attempted child molestation and one count of conspiracy. These alleged acts took place on or between February 20th and March 12th 2003.
If you look at the original complaint and compare it to the indictment, you’ll find that while the accuser is the same, Sneddon’s case has undergone several major changes. Jackson was originally charged with seven counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent on or between February 7th and March 10th.
One notable difference in the accuser’s story – besides the shift in the timeline and the change in the amount of times he was allegedly abused – is that the charges in the complaint state that the boy was only given alcohol twice. This indicates that the accuser was sober throughout most of the occurrences of alleged abuse. The charges in the indictment, however, suggest that the boy was intoxicated throughout every incidence of alleged abuse.
Perhaps the most questionable change, however, is that the conspiracy allegation was not included in the original charges. The family went to the police in June and Jackson was not charged until December; authorities had five months to investigate the family’s claims against Jackson. Surely if there was evidence of a conspiracy, it would have been uncovered during those first five months of investigation.
What is the basis of the conspiracy charge that has been brought against Jackson?
In the indictment, Jackson is accused of 28 overt acts of conspiracy including child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. The prosecution alleges that Jackson conspired with five unnamed employees to kidnap the family and force them into making positive statements about him. According to the prosecution, Jackson forced the family into making these statements so that he could improve his public image after the airing of the controversial Living with Michael Jackson documentary. He then allegedly molested the boy.
Although Jackson’s associates are also accused of kidnapping the family, Jackson is the only one who has been charged; the five alleged co-conspirators are unindicted. Some legal experts have speculated that Sneddon might be threatening them with charges in order to tempt them to turn on Jackson. According to Joe Tacopina, an attorney for two of the alleged co-conspirators, his clients were offered immunity if they agreed to testify against Jackson. Both men refused Sneddon’s offer and denied the family’s allegations.
Did Sneddon use Jackson’s defense evidence to amend the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case?
It seems that after Sneddon became aware of Jackson’s defense strategy, he amended his case so that Jackson would have nothing left to defend himself with. Here are some examples of how Sneddon used what he knew about Jackson’s defense evidence to strengthen the prosecution’s case:
1) During the summer of 2003, Sneddon was informed by psychiatrist Stan Katz that Private Investigator Bradley Miller was in possession of a tape of the accuser and his family praising Jackson. The tape was made in February, which seemingly contradicted the family’s claims that Jackson had kidnapped them and molested the boy that month. Upon learning about this tape, Sneddon raided Miller’s office, took the tape and viewed it; these actions violated Jackson’s attorney/client privileges because Miller was working for Jackson’s lawyer.
By viewing the tape, Sneddon discovered that Jackson’s defense strategy would likely revolve around the family’s previous denials of abuse. Sneddon then found a way to discredit this evidence; he claimed that the family was coerced into making positive statements on Jackson’s behalf so that the singer could improve his image after the airing of the Martin Bashir documentary. This is the basis of the conspiracy charge that was brought by the grand jury in April 2004. Had Sneddon not viewed Jackson’s defense evidence, the conspiracy charge might not have materialized and the tape would have been used to exonerate Jackson. Instead, it is now being used by the prosecution as evidence of a criminal conspiracy.
2) In December 2003, Mark Geragos told Larry King that people within Jackson’s camp were told to keep an eye on the family after the airing of the Living with Michael Jackson documentary. According to several sources, the employees took careful notes and documented the mother’s suspicious behaviour. These employees will undoubtedly be called as defense witnesses. By accusing them of being part of a conspiracy, Sneddon has now tainted their potential testimonies. It appears that the precautions that Jackson took to protect himself from a seemingly opportunistic family (like asking his associates to watch out for questionable behaviour on the mother’s part) have been used against him as evidence of a conspiracy.
3) Geragos told the press that Jackson had an iron-clad alibi for every date of the alleged abuse. By accusing Jackson’s associates of conspiring with him, Sneddon has possibly discredited Jackson’s “iron-clad alibi.”
4) The family’s interview with the Department of Children and Family services was conducted around February 20th. As you may recall, the entire family denied abuse on Jackson’s part, said Jackson had never been alone with the boy and said Jackson had never shared a bed with him. This was a major hole in the prosecution’s case. According to the original complaint, the abuse began on February 7th but according to statements made by the family around February 20th, the boy had never been alone with Jackson. It would have been impossible for any abuse to have occurred between February 7th and February 20th. If you look at the new charges, these two weeks have disappeared from the timeline. The abuse is now alleged to have begun after February 20th, rendering the family’s initial statements to social workers irrelevant.
5) According to Geragos, the family recorded videotaped statements and signed numerous affidavits saying Jackson did nothing wrong. In fact, they were apparently still defending Jackson even after March 10th. By saying the family was kidnapped, harassed and threatened by members of the Jackson camp, Sneddon now has a way to justify the fact that they were defending Jackson before, during and after the alleged abuse occurred.
Why the allegations of kidnapping lack credibility
The conspiracy charge might have made Sneddon’s case appear more logical to the average person but to those who have followed the case closely, it adds more inconsistencies to allegations against Michael Jackson. Here are several reasons why the family’s claims of kidnapping might be false:
1) The prosecution claims that Jackson forced the family into making statements in his defense because he wanted to improve his public image after the airing of the Bashir documentary. If this is true, several questions come to mind:
Why was the footage of the family not included in Jackson’s televised rebuttal to the documentary?
Why would Jackson then turn around and molest the boy if he was so concerned about people thinking he was a child molester?
The accuser’s stepfather testified that he asked Jackson for money in return for the family’s participation in the rebuttal video. If Jackson was holding the family against their will, how can the father’s demand for money be explained? Surely, if Jackson was able to force the family into praising him on camera, he could have also forced them into signing a consent form allowing him to use the footage; under these circumstances, the stepfather wouldn’t have had any grounds to ask for financial compensation.
2) The family claims they were held against their will at Jackson’s Neverland ranch in February 2003 but the record shows that throughout that month, they had numerous opportunities to ask for help. For example:
– Two police departments interviewed the family in mid-February 2003 after being asked to investigate Jackson. Why didn’t any of the family members indicate to social workers that they were being held against their will? Why didn’t the social workers pick up on the fact that something was wrong?
– The mother got in contact with civil attorney Bill Dickerman in February 2003. Why didn’t she tell him to phone the police? Furthermore, do kidnappers generally let their victims leave to visit their civil lawyers?
– The family went on several shopping sprees in February 2003; could they not have gotten help from somebody while out in public?
– According to the prosecution, the family was able to escape from Neverland but Jackson “cajoled” them back. Why didn’t they go to the police as soon as they escaped? And if they were really in fear of their safety, why did they allow their kidnapper to talk them into coming back to his home?
– The mother’s husband testified that the family was at his apartment when Private Investigator Bradley Miller interviewed them in February. Why were they at the stepfather’s house when they were supposedly being kidnapped by Michael Jackson and his employees?
3) The mother’s divorce attorney Michael Manning told reporters that the mother was still praising Jackson in April 2003. Why would she be defending Jackson after he had allegedly kidnapped her?
So what now?
Recently, Jackson’s new attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. filed a motion to have the grand jury indictment dismissed, claiming that the proceedings were not conducted properly. The next section will examine the numerous instances and accusations of prosecutorial misconduct on Sneddon’s part.
What’s My Age Again?
In a recent defense motion, attorney Brian Oxman pointed out that the mother of Michael Jackson’s accuser “testified before the Grand Jury without the benefit of medications.” After reading through hundreds of pages of her testimony, I am inclinded to agree.
Janet Arvizo – who currently goes by the name Janet Jackson – made several bizarre claims throughout the grand jury proceeding. Most notably, she insists that Michael Jackson kidnapped her and her children and, in a cunning ploy to manipulate them into saying nice things about him on camera, convinced the Arvizos that killers were after them.
I wish I was making this up.
If you want to view the transcripts for yourself, click here although I should warn you that you’re in for a major headache if you attempt to read them all, namely because Mrs. Arvizo (or is it Mrs. Jackson now?) doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. As one observer bluntly put it, reading Mrs. Arvizo’s testimony is like “walking into a wall of dumb.” Indeed. Within minutes of being sworn in, Mrs. Arvizo already comes across as somewhat confused when she tells the court that she has no idea how old she is:
Initially, I assumed that Mrs. Arvizo had misspoken. Perhaps she meant that she didn’t know how old she was when her sons were born. But then, there it is again on page 4, Janet Arvizo’s startling admission that she does not know her own age:
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Michael Jackson didn’t kidnap her family and molest her son but this isn’t an essay about Jackson’s guilt or innocence, it’s an essay about the merits of taking your medication. So let’s continue.
According to Janet Arvizo’s testimony, her family’s relationship with Jackson turned sour after the airing of the now infamous Living with Michael Jackson documentary. The two hour program, which placed great emphasis on the nature of Jackson’s relationship with Mrs. Arvizo’s son “John”, led to a huge scandal, which, in turn prompted Jackson’s PR team to snap into damage control mode. The measures that were taken to restore Jackson’s image after the airing of the documentary are now the basis of the conspiracy charge against him. The indictment alleges that Jackson conspired with several employees to kidnap, falsely imprison and extort statements from the Arvizo family.
And so the story begins.
“This Will Stop the Killers!”
After the documentary aired in Britain, Jackson allegedly phoned Mrs. Arvizo and insisted that her son had to participate in a press conference to stave off killers:
Pop quiz time! Somebody phones you and tells you that killers are after your child and that the only way to stop them is to have your child participate in a press conference. You:
a) Call the police and tell them that killers are after your child
b) Ask the caller who is after your child and why
c) Question how the heck a public press conference is going to protect your child from killers
d) All of the above
e) Jump on the next flight to Florida to participate in the press conference, no questions asked
Just like any other rational, stable mother, Janet Arvizo picked (e). Upon receiving Jackson’s phonecall, she flew to Florida with her kids only to discover that *gasp* there was no press conference. The press conference scam is overt act number one of the alleged conspiracy.
And if you think that was slick, just wait until you hear what Michael Jackson did at a hotel in Florida:
Shocking! He asked Janet Arvizo not to watch Living with Michael Jackson – overt act number two. I’m not really sure how this constitutes kidnapping, false imprisonment or extortion, or why asking somebody not to watch a TV show is illegal but, hell, I’m just a business student, what do I know about law?
Next, Janet Arvizo was asked by one of Jackson’s business associates to sign a blank sheet of paper:
Well, I guess since that press conference didn’t work out, those pesky killers needed something to keep them happy. For some reason, Mrs. Arvizo didn’t question why a blank sheet of paper with her signature on it would be of any use to a bunch of assasins. But then again, these hypothetical killers are after a 12-year-old kid from East L.A, so who knows, right?
If we are to believe Janet Arvizo’s version of events, her signature from the blank sheet of paper was then superimposed onto another document that had her agreeing to take part in a lawsuit against the station that aired Living with Michael Jackson. Sounds plausible. It’s not like this woman is lawsuit happy or anything.
After manipulating her into signing the blank sheet of paper, Michael Jackson’s “people” had the nerve to make her sign yet another document:
Aren’t these friggin’ killers every satisfied? Damn! Anyway, the statement in question must have been the one that Janet Arvizo released in February 2003, where she referred to Jackson as her “children’s angel.” Either she was tricked into signing the statement or Mrs. Arvizo is now trying justify the fact that she publicly praised Michael Jackson throughout the entire time period during which she was allegedly held hostage by him. I’ll let you figure that one out.
After the trip to Florida, the Arvizo family flew back to Santa Barbara on a private jet with Jackson, three of his nannies, his children, his doctor, Chris Tucker, Tucker’s fiancee Azja and several others. And this is where the story just gets fucking weird.
According to Mrs. Arvizo, she woke up in the middle of the night to a very disturbing sight:
In a response to this allegation, a Jackson supporter who regularly posts on the King of Pop fan forum proposed the following challenge to anybody who believes Janet Arvizo’s story: try licking a child in front of his or her parent and see what happens. So far, nobody has gone through with the experiment but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that anybody who attempts this will end up getting an ass kicking. Of course, Janet Arvizo is clearly not your typical parent and in true form, she simply brushed the incident off as a hallucination (remember what I said earlier about taking your medication?)
Interestingly enough, the only other person who could corroborate Mrs. Arvizo’s story was her younger son “James.” Everybody else who was on the plane just happened to be asleep when Michael Jackson decided to spontaneously start licking “John” Arvizo’s head. Isn’t that remarkable?
Once the plane landed in Santa Barbara, Jackson allegedly held the family hostage at his Neverland ranch (overt act number four). According to Mrs. Arvizo, Jackson’s business associate Dieter Weisner repeatedly told the family that they were not allowed to leave Neverland because Jackson wanted them to participate in a videotaped rebuttal to the Martin Bashir documentary. Naturally, she was told that this would stop the killers (overt act number five).
All I have to say is that Jackson and his henchmen sure concocted one hell of a scheme – convincing this poor family that killers were after them just so that they could get some footage of the Arvizos praising Jackson. Here’s a thought: why didn’t Jackson’s associates just ask the Arvizos to appear in the video? Jackson had helped “John” Arvizo pay his medical bills, surely this family would have been more than happy to defend him in an interview. Was this alleged kidnapping scheme even necessary? Either Michael Jackson is a mentally challenged version of Don Corleone or Janet Arvizo is making the whole thing up.
Not that it matters because the footage of the Arvizos was never even featured in the final version of Jackson’s rebuttal video. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of this kidnapping plot, no?
Escape from Neverland: Parts I and II
After days of being held against her will at Neverland, Mrs. Arvizo finally decided to seek help from Jackson’s house manager Jesus Salas:
Salas helped the Arvizo family escape from Neverland in the middle of the night in what Janet Arvizo described as a “box, expensive car.” Although she was now free from the evil clutches of Michael Jackson and his business associates turned henchmen, Mrs. Arvizo did not phone the police or tell anybody that she had just escaped from a kidnapper. She did, however, begin to receive numerous phonecalls from Jackson’s associate Frank Tyson, asking her to come back to Neverland (overt act number six).
Gee, I wasn’t aware that kidnappers ask their victims to go somewhere with them. I thought that they generally… umm… kidnapped them.
Oh well, there goes my belief system.
Anyway, here’s what was said regarding Mrs. Arvizo’s decision to return to her kidnapper’s home:
Frank Tyson also allegedly promised Mrs. Arvizo that “the Germans” (Deiter Weisner and attorney Ron Konitzer) had been fired after Jackson discovered how mean they had been to the family. This, along with Tyson’s insistance that her children were in danger, prompted Mrs. Arvizo to return to Neverland.
But when the Arvizos arrived, they were horrified to discover that “the Germans” were back. Uh oh. Immediately realizing that it had been a bad idea to return to the place where she had previously been held hostage (who would have thought?), Mrs. Arvizo again sought the help of Jesus Salas. Apparently, even though he had turned on Jackson by helping his kidnapping victims escape, Jesus Salas still had a job at Neverland. That was awfully nice of Mr. Jackson. Most crime bosses would have fired the dude – or killed him. Jackson must have at least scared him though because Jesus Salas told Mrs. Arvizo that he could no longer help the family. Tragic.
Now Janet Arvizo knew that something was amiss and demanded to be returned home:
Mrs. Arvizo reluctantly left her children with their kidnapper and was returned to her boyfriend Jay Jackson’s house in Los Angeles:
What, they don’t have payphones in East L.A? Or here’s another idea: since Michael Jackson had so graciously granted Janet Arvizo her complete freedom, why didn’t she just physically go to the police station and report that her kids had been abducted?
Oh well. Nobody’s perfect.
Social Workers to the Rescue… Or Not
Luckily for Janet Arvizo, another opportunity to get her kids back presented itself to her on February 17, when she received a call from social workers who wanted to interview the Arvizo family.
Time for another pop quiz. Social workers phone you and ask to interview your children, who have been kidnapped by an evil pop star. You:
a) Tell the social workers that your kids have been kidnapped by an evil popstar
b) Phone up the kidnappers and say, “Hey, do you think you guys could maybe bring my kids back for a day, just so that they can be interviewed by social workers?”
I guess since her phones had allegedly been tapped, Mrs. Arvizo decided it would be a bad idea to tell the social workers what was going on. Instead, she called up Frank Tyson who apparently had no problem bringing the kids for an interview, on one condition: Janet Arvizo had to return to Neverland to give a videotaped statement about how much Michael Jackson had helped her family.
Mrs. Arvizo agreed to do the rebuttal video and Frank Tyson agreed to bring the kids to be interviewed by the DCFS. Isn’t it nice when kidnappers and their victim’s family members are able to work past their differences and negotiate? The video, which never actually aired on television, was played for the grand jury:
Yeah, lady, I have a lot of “whys” too, but they have nothing to do with any alleged criminal activity on Michael Jackson’s part.
After filming the rebuttal video, Mrs. Arvizo was allegedly advised by Jackson’s Private Investigator Brad Miller to contact an attorney before meeting with the social workers. Mrs. Arvizo got in contact with Vicki Podberesky, who allegedly convinced Mrs. Arvizo that she had to praise Michael Jackson when social workers interviewed her or else her kids would be removed from her custody:
On the day of the interview, Chris Tucker’s fiancee Azja and a Jackson associate named Asaf showed up at Mrs. Arvizo’s apartment. When social workers told Azja and Asaf that they could not be there during the interview, Asaf helped Mrs. Arvizo put a wire on. While one might argue that this is proof of a conspiracy, it should be noted that Mrs. Arvizo turned the device off less than a minute into the interview (the tape was aired in its entirety on NBC last year) so how can she now claim that she lied to social workers because she knew she was being listened to?
You underestimated Mrs. Arvizo if you thought she didn’t have an explanation for that one – even though she turned the wire off, she was convinced that Jackson’s people could still hear what she was saying because Asaf told her that there was another tape recorder in the room. Mrs. Arvizo says that Asaf told her this after she had been wired, but nowhere on the tape can Asaf be heard making such a statement. When asked to explain why, here’s what Mrs. Arvizo said:
Right. Jackson’s people realized how damaging this tape was and decided to edit out that part. Here’s a thought – if they thought this tape was so incriminating, why didn’t they just destroy it?
Of course, all of this conveniently explains why Janet Arvizo and all three of her children had nothing but glowing praises for Jackson when they were interviewed by social workers on February 20th, 2003. It’s beyond me why Jackson would even bother to monitor the interview because, according to the prosecution’s timeline, no molestation had occurred yet. Why would Jackson force the family to say that no sexual abuse had occurred when, even if we assume that he’s guilty, no sexual abuse actually had occurred at that point? My head is starting to hurt.
Forced to Go Shopping
After the DCFS interview, Jackson employee Vinnie Amen allegedly contacted Mrs. Arvizo and told her that her videotaped statement about Jackson was not convincing enough. As a result, she and her children would have to be shipped off to Brazil. Call me crazy but I’m not really seeing the cause and effect relationship here.
On February 21, Janet Arvizo returned to Neverland but was trapped in the guest house and forbidden from seeing her children. Several days later, Jackson had the family moved to a fancy hotel where they were allowed to make phonecalls, go on shopping sprees and go out for expensive meals. Fuck this, why can’t I be kidnapped by Michael Jackson?
Mrs. Arvizo claimed that she and her children tried to escape from the hotel, but when they made a run for it, Frank Tyson “stood like an X on the thing of the elevator and made me and the children go back into the room.” (Page 54, second day of testimony)
And while the nice kidnappers allowed her to use the phone, she didn’t tell anybody that she was being held against her will:
Regarding her little shopping spree, Janet Arvizo had this to say:
So she was manipulated into going shopping. Makes perfect sense.
And now we get to my favourite part of the story. After kidnapping the Arvizo family, threatening them, forcing them to sign documents and make statements in his defense and just generally acting like an asshole, Michael Jackson did nothing to stop Janet Arvizo from contacting a civil lawyer. On February 25th, in the midst of the entire kidnapping plotline, Janet Arvizo met with attorney Bill Dickerman. And to make things even more ridiculous, it was one of Jackson’s own employees who drove her to meet with him. Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself:
Man, this is the worst heist ever. But before you go accusing Michael Jackson of being a dumbass, it should be noted that, according to Mrs. Arvizo, Jackson’s henchmen were actually taking orders not from Jackson but from high profile defense attorney Mark Geragos:
What the fuck?!? So Geragos was willing to get involved in this conspiracy, risk being dibarred and possibly arrested just so that Michael Jackson could put together a stupid videotape? Okaaaaaaaaaay, moving on…
The Conspiracy to Dump Urine
So here’s the case so far: in February 2003, Michael Jackson, Mark Geragos, a business associate of Jackson’s, two Neverland employees and two other attorneys conspired to kidnap a family and force them into making videotaped statements saying what a great guy Jackson is. Although the whole point of this conspiracy was to combat speculation that he was a child molester, Michael Jackson chose this exact time period to start molesting John Arvizo. This was after he’d known the kid for three years. He also allegedly plied John Arvizo and his brother with alcohol.
Although this was seemingly the perfect plan, a little problem arose when John Arvizo had to give a urine sample for a doctor’s appointment. In an ingenious plot to prevent the doctor from detecting alcohol in the boy’s system, Jackson allegedly had his henchman Vinne Amen dump the urine sample:
Well, that was a great plan especially when you consider how hard urine is to come by. It’s not like John could have just – oh I don’t know – pissed into a cup when he got to the hospital.
Escape from Neverland: Part III
On March 11th, Janet Arvizo was scheduled to appear in court to demand an increase in child support and alimony. Although she was in the presence of a judge, she still did not make any mention of the fact that her children were being held hostage: I guess since Vinne Amen was there intimidating her, she felt helpless. (Although I’m not really sure what he could have done to her in the middle of a friggin’ court proceeding)
Finally, in mid-March, Mrs. Arvizo gathered up her courage and decided to take a stand against the forces of Neverland. With the help of her boyfriend Jay Jackson, Mrs. Arvizo devised the following plan:
I still like my idea of finding a payphone and calling the cops better but, hey, her plan worked. Mrs. Arvizo convinced Frank Tyson to bring the kids to her parents’ house for just a few days and that was the end of their troubles. That was all it took to outsmart Michael Jackson’s people? Wow.
Rather than use physical force to get the kids back to Neverland (like other kidnappers might have done) Jackson’s “people” merely threatened to not return the items that they’d taken from Mrs. Arvizo’s apartment (page 93, second day of testimony). What the hell kind of a threat is that? “Listen bitch, it’s either your kids or your furniture, got it?”
And now for our final pop quiz. After a month of being kidnapped, harassed, stalked and threatened, you and your children finally escape. You:
a) Call the police and tell them you were kidnapped, harassed, stalked and threatened.
b) Decide to forget the whole thing
Let’s find out what Janet Arvizo’s response was:
“I Don’t Want the Devil’s Money”
Apparently, Mrs. Arvizo wasn’t that forgiving because she immediately sought the services of civil lawyer Bill Dickerman. Dickerman wrote numerous letters to Geragos demanding that he send to the Arvizos all of the statements that they had made in Jackson’s defense as well as any copies that were produced. Gee, I wonder why these statements were of such importance to the Arvizo family. Could it be that this material would prove to be a huge problem if the Arvizos decided to sue Jackson for alleged sexual abuse?
Nah. Janet Arvizo isn’t even interested in Michael Jackson’s money:
In fact, according to Janet Arvizo, Michael Jackson is the one who stole from her:
Damn, I guess owning half of Sony’s ATV catalogue isn’t as profitable as one might imagine. I mean, stealing Timberland boots from some poor single mother? That’s pretty low. Janet Arvizo seemed very upset about the loss of her boots:
As much as I’d love to respond to this with a sarcastic comment, I have no idea what she’s talking about here. Popcorn kernels? Huh?
The question still remains why Janet Arvizo went to a civil lawyer if she wasn’t interested in Michael Jackson’s money. In fact, she went to two civil lawyers before the police ever got involved. The second civil lawyer also just happens to be the same man who represented Jackson’s first accuser in 1993 and negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement between Jackson and the boy’s family. Coincidentally enough, the Arvizo kids finally came forward with their claims of abuse after getting involved with Feldman and being told that their family could make millions if they went through with a lawsuit against Jackson.
So much for not wanting the devil’s money.
It should be obvious to anybody with a functioning brain that Janet Arvizo is full of shit. Based on her own recollection of events, she had numerous opportunities to contact the police during her alleged kidnapping but never did. This leads me to believe that she was not, in fact, kidnapped and only came up with this ludicrous story to justify the fact that she and her children vehemently defended Jackson throughout February 2003 – the same month during which Jackson allegedly molested John Arvizo.
It suffices to say that the only reason why this case is going to trial is because District Attorney Tom Sneddon has been obsessed with Jackson ever since the 1993 case against the pop star fell apart. Since then, Sneddon has repeatedly spoken to the press about the Jackson case and even reopened the investigation on several occasions, solely because of unsubstantiated tabloid reports about other accusers. But even after an exhaustive eleven year pursuit of Jackson, this was all Sneddon could come up with – a family of con artists who have made dubious claims of sexual abuse for financial gain in the past.
But as anybody who has followed the Jackson case knows, if you have the mass media on your side (as well as a PR firm who admittedly uses the Associated Press to spread pro-prosecution stories) and a general public who are quick to assume the worst about somebody who doesn’t adhere to societal norms, you can get the public to believe just about anything – even the non-sensical allegations against Michael Jackson.
The Molestation Charges
Jackson is accused of molesting Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch on several occasions in March 2003
• Testimony of Gavin Arvizo, the alleged victim.
• Testimony of Star Arvizo, who claims to have witnessed the alleged abuse on several occasions.
• Gavin Arvizo initially told authorities that the alleged molestation occurred before he and his family made videotaped statements in Jackson’s defense. (Link) This would also mean that the alleged abuse occurred before the boy defended Jackson to social workers in February. Gavin Arvizo now contends that the molestation took place after he repeatedly denied any wrongdoing on Jackson’s part. While it is understandable that the boy cannot remember the exact dates on which he was allegedly molested, his original assertion that the abuse took place before the videotape was made cannot be attributed to confusion on the boy’s part because he also told investigators that the videotape was made to cover-up the alleged molestation (see testimony of Sgt. Steve Robel).
• Based on what District Attorney Tom Sneddon said in his opening statement, it’s possible that Michael Jackson was not even with the Arvizos at Neverland throughout the month of February. From pages 115-116 of Sneddon’s opening statement:
“I believe that the records from the ranch logs and the testimony from individuals involved here will show that from basically March the 2nd to March the 5th, that the defendant and the Arvizos were on the ranch together. That again, from March 9th until March 12th, when the Arvizos left for the last time, that the Jackson — Michael Jackson, the defendant in this case, was present.” (Link)
It suffices to say that if investigators did discover that Mr. Jackson was not with the Arvizos throughout the month of February (as Sneddon implied in his opening statement), they must have realized that Gavin Arvizo was lying when he claimed to have been molested sometime between February 7th and February 20th. Hence, the changing of the timeline from February 7th – March 10th (as stated in the original charges) to February 20th – March 12th (as stated in the current set of charges)
• According to an investigator, the boy originally claimed that he was molested between five and seven times. Gavin Arvizo only testified to two incidences of alleged molestation. (Link)
• Gavin Arvizo’s younger brother Star, who supposedly walked in on Jackson molesting his brother, said under cross-examination that there are seven locks on Jackson’s bedroom door (see testimony of Star Arvizo, page 12) and an alarm that goes off if anybody approaches (Link). Yet somehow, Star Arvizo managed to walk into Jackson’s room unnoticed on two seperate occasions.
• In his grand jury testimony and in past police interviews, Star Arvizo claimed to have witnessed Jackson rubbing his penis against Gavin Arvizo’s behind while the boy slept. While testifying at the trial, Star Arvizo denied ever having made such a statement. (See testimony of Star Arvizo, page 34)
• When Jackson’s defense attorney pointed out that Star Arvizo’s description of the second incident of alleged molestation differed from an earlier description that he had given of the same incident, Mr. Arvizo suddenly claimed to have actually witnessed three incidences of alleged abuse. (See testimony of Star Arvizo, page 34 and recap from E! Online)
• Star Arvizo alleged that Jackson once appeared naked in front of him and his brother (Link). During his testimony, Gavin Arvizo was asked whether or not he was aware of the fact that Jackson has a skin disorder called Vitiligo that eats away at his pigment. Mr. Arvizo acknowledged that he was aware of Jackson’s skin disease. Jackson’s attorney then asked him whether or not he was aware of the fact that Jackson has brown patches on his body, to which Mr. Arvizo replied, “I didn’t know about patches. I thought he was just all white.” (See testimony of Gavin Arvizo, pg. 39) There are various pictures of Mr. Jackson on the Internet where one can clearly see that his body is not white all over, as Gavin Arvizo claimed.
• In spring 2003, after the alleged abuse took place, Gavin Arvizo told his principal that Jackson had not sexually abused him Mr. Arvizo claims that he said this because he didn’t want the kids at school to make fun of him. (Link)
The Alcohol Allegations
Jackson is accused of supplying Gavin Arvizo with liquor to seduce the boy
• Testimony of Gavin Arvizo
• Testimony of Star Arvizo
• Testimony of Davellin Arvizo
• Testimony of Kiki Fournier, Jackson’s former maid. During her twelve years working at Neverland, Fournier claimed to have seen several minors who “might” have been intoxicated (Link).
• Ms. Fournier conceded that she had never witnessed Jackson serve alcohol to minors. (Link).
• The defense claims that the Arvizo children broke into Jackson’s wine cellar and drank his alcohol when he was not at Neverland.
• In his testimony, Star Arvizo claimed that he and his brother got drunk with Jackson from the time they arrived at Neverland from Miami (February 7th) to the time they left the ranch for the first time with house manager Jesus Salas (February 12th). (See testimony of Star Arvizo, pages 14-15) As mentioned earlier, the District Attorney said that Jackson was not at Neverland with the Arvizos during this time frame.
• Star Arvizo admitted that he knew the exact location of the key to Jackson’s wine cellar. (See testimony of Star Arvizo, page 19)
• The accuser’s older sister Davellin Arvizo claims that she walked into the wine cellar and witnessed Jackson serving alcohol to her younger brothers. Under cross-examination, it was revealed that she never made such a statement in her earlier interviews with police. (See testimony of Davellin Arvizo, pages 148-150)
• Davellin Arvizo claims that Jackson served her alcohol in the wine cellar. Star Arvizo, however, testified that Jackson served Davellin Arvizo alcohol in the kitchen.(See testimony of Star Arvizo, page 54)
• When confronted with a conflicting statement that he had made regarding the alcohol allegations, Star Arvizo blamed the court reporter, claiming that she had misquoted him (Link).
The Pornography Allegations
Jackson is accused of showing pornography to Gavin and Star Arvizo.
• Testimony of Gavin Arvizo
• Testimony of Star Arvizo
• The boys were able to tell investigators where Jackson kept his stash of pornography.
• The accuser’s fingerprints were found on one of Jackson’s porn magazines.
• The porn magazine with the accuser’s fingerprints was not tested for prints until after the boy handled the magazine at a grand jury proceedings in April 2004. (Link)
• The defense claims that the boys went into Jackson’s room when he was not there and looked at the magazines on their own. In support of this theory, Star Arvizo testified that he knew the code to get into Jackson’s bedroom (see testimony of Star Arvizo, pg. 15).
• Jackson’s defense attorney revealed that the magazine that Jackson had supposedly shown Star Arvizo and his brother, was actually released in August 2003 – five months after the Arvizos had left the ranch for the last time. (Link)
• In his grand jury testimony in April 2004, Star Arvizo testified that he and his brother had once surfed porn sites. When confronted with a transcript of this testimony, Star Arvizo replied “that’s just a paragraph that somebody wrote.” (Link)
The Conspiracy Charge
Jackson is accused of holding Gavin Arvizo and his family hostage at Neverland and forcing them to participate in a videotaped rebuttal to the controversial Living with Michael Jackson documentary that aired in February 2003.
• Testimony of Davellin Arvizo
• Testimony of Star Arvizo
• Testimony of Gavin Arvizo
• Testimony of Ann Marie Kite, a former Jackson employee who confirmed that Living with Michael Jackson was a public relations disaster. Kite also testified that one of Jackson’s associates wanted to paint Janet Arvizo, the mother of Jackson’s accuser as a “crack whore,” in the media. (Link)
• Testimony of Louise Palanker, a comedian who befriended the Arvizos. According to Palanker, she received a panicked call from Janet Arvizo who told her that Jackson’s associates were “evil.”(Link)
• Kite only worked for Jackson for six days and never met or even spoke to him or his accuser.(Link)
• Louise Palanker told police that she thought that Janet Arvizo was “wacky” and “totally bipolar.” (Link)
• Jackson’s maid Kiki Fournier, who worked at the ranch during the time of the alleged conpsiracy, testified that she did not believe the family were held against their will. (Link)
• All of the Arvizo children conceded that they had never asked for anybody’s help even though they had numerous opportunities to do so.
• The prosecution contends that the Arvizos were forced to defend Jackson in February 2003. Gavin Arvizo, however, testified that he meant most of what he said in his videotaped defense of Jackson.
• When the boy was still claiming that the alleged abuse happened before the rebuttal film was made, the prosecution claimed that the tape was made to cover up the alleged molestation. Now that the boy is claiming that the alleged abuse happened after the rebuttal film was made, the prosecution is claiming that the tape was actually made as part of a conspiracy to improve Jackson’s public image.
Judge Rodney Melville ruled that past accusations of sexual misconduct on Jackson’s part will be heard by the jury.
During an important hearing on March 28, 2005, District Attorney Tom Sneddon said that:
• The son of Jackson’s former maid Blanca Francia will testify that Jackson touched him inappropriately on several occasions. The Francias received a $2 million settlement from Jackson in 1994.
• Witnesses will testify that they saw a pair of Jackson’s underwear lying next to a pair of his original accuser Jordan Chandler’s underwear on the floor beside a bed that the two shared. Chandler, however, is not scheduled to testify.
• Witnesses will testify that they saw Jackson act inappropriately with four teenage boys.
• Two witnesses will testify that they heard Jackson encourage children to refer to him as “Daddy.”
• Former Jackson employee Bob Jones claimed that he saw Jackson lick the head of a child.
In resonse, defense attorney Tom Mesereau argued that:
• The other boys who have been named alleged victims by the prosecution all vehemently deny any wrongdoing on Jackson’s part. One of the alleged victims is former child star Macaulay Culkin, who has publicly defended Jackson and is still good friends with him today. The other alleged victims – Wade Robson, Brett Barnes and Jimmy Shafechuck – have also maintained that Jackson never did anything sexual to them.
• The mother of the boy who will testify about inappropriate touching originally sold her story to the tabloids but later recanted her statements while under deposition by a Jackson attorney.
• The former employees who claim to have witnessed inappropriate behaviour on Jackson’s part all sold their stories to tabloids. Five of the former employees also tried to sue Jackson for wrongful termination in 1995. Jackson denied the allegations and counter-sued, alleging that two of them stole belongings from his home and sold the items to tabloids. The jury sided with Jackson, awarding him $60,000 from the ex-employees who robbed him. The ex-employees filed for bankruptcy as a result.
(The above info is from The Smoking Gun)
In other develpoments, NBC’s Mike Taibbi reported that Bob Jones has recanted his allegation about having witnessed Jackson lick a child’s head. (Link)
For more information about the 1993 allegations, see the main page.
Quotes from Mr. Mesereau regarding the admissability of the “prior bad acts.”
“Now, let’s look at what they’re trying to do. They have an alleged prior victim named Brett Barnes who tells us he never was touched improperly. They want to bring in four witnesses to talk about Brett Barnes. They don’t want to bring him in. Because the moment they bring him in, they’re done. So they want to bring in allegedly four honest witnesses – I guess they’re vouching for their credibility – to testify that Mr. Barnes was improperly touched. Who are their main witnesses? Their main witnesses sued Mr. Jackson in the mid ’90s…
At numerous times during that six-month trial, the trial Judge made findings that the plaintiffs were lying, not being candid, changing their stories, even leaving the bench on a couple of occasions. And when the dust settled, the jury returned a verdict for Mr. Jackson, awarded Mr. Jackson damages, because the plaintiffs had stole from him. The Judge then awarded not only costs, but legal fees, and in the end Mr. Jackson obtained a judgment for over a million dollars against these lying plaintiffs.
They want the Court to allow these lying plaintiffs to come in now again and try and testify to improper acts, when there is no alleged victim they intend to call. That’s just plain wrong. And if they suggest it wouldn’t be time-consuming to litigate that issue, all the Court has to do is look at the six-month trial and its length to know that’s not true, because they sold stories to tabloids, they were caught lying, and they had a big judgment against them.”
“First of all, Your Honor, I would note that in their motion, they mention someone named Bob Jones. And in very graphic — in a very graphic manner they told the Court that Mr. Jones had worked for Mr. Jackson for years, had traveled internationally with him, and would testify to all sorts of improprieties with children. We just were produced a police report by the prosecution where Mr. Jones flat out denies virtually everything they said in their motion. He has told the Santa Barbara Sheriffs, with counsel, that he never saw anything inappropriate happen when Mr. Jackson was in the company of any of these children.”
“Now, what happens if you allow third-party testimony about Mr. Chandler without allowing Mr. — forcing them, or ordering them, or requiring them to have Mr. Chandler, the alleged victim, testify? You then have people come in to say what they saw without any victim to confirm it. And what happened back in those days? In summary, this is what happened: Chandler’s parents had been divorced in 1986. The father had given up custody of the child. When these alleged events happened, the father jumped on the bandwagon and wanted to become a multimillionaire, and he fueled litigation. And all of a sudden, you had the parents suing Mr. Jackson, you had — the mother’s new husband then decided to sue Mr. Jackson for allegedly interfering with his business. He had an auto company, and he claimed that the publicity had interfered with his business. He wanted millions. After the settlement, the father then filed a new lawsuit against Mr. Jackson wanting 30 million more dollars. That was litigated and he lost. You have all sorts of collateral litigation, and eventually Mr. Chandler filed papers in Superior Court seeking legal emancipation from his parents.
Where is the justice in this case of allowing parents to come in who collected lots of money because Mr. Jackson wanted to get this case behind him and pursue his music career? And indeed, all kinds of advisors were telling him to do that. You have parents playing each other off with the child and pursuing collateral litigation, all of that will obviously have to be explored, because the potential for financial interest, financial bias in a situation like that, is enormous, the motives for financial gain were enormous, and indeed, there was never any criminal prosecution despite Mr. Sneddon’s noble efforts to try and do one.”
“Then we come to Macaulay Culkin, who has repeatedly made statements that he’s a friend of Mr. Jackson and has never been molested. But they want to bring in evidence that he was molested. And they want to bring in witnesses who also were part of the gang that sued Mr. Jackson, and lost, with findings that they had lied and with enormous damages awarded against them.”
“Now, the fourth alleged victim is Jason Francia. Jason Francia and his mother were interviewed by the sheriffs and a deposition of the mother was taken. Money was paid to settle that case, again because Mr. Jackson didn’t want the press, didn’t want his family going through it, and wanted to pursue his music career. There never was a criminal prosecution, even though the alleged victim was interviewed by the Los Angeles District Attorney and the Santa Barbara District Attorney together. And after their interview with Jason Francia – which was so wishy-washy about what happened, they never decided to pursue a criminal case, because there wasn’t one. We have that taped interview – the mother, in a civil deposition in the Chandler litigation, began by saying she saw something and ended by saying she saw nothing. And indeed, stories were sold to tabloids, and money was paid to settle. He appears to be the only alleged victim they want to bring in.
Five, Wade Robeson, who tells us nothing ever happened to him. And they don’t propose to bring him in as an alleged victim. They want to bring in the gang that basically has tried to accuse Mr. Jackson and get money from him for years, generally unsuccessfully, with the exception of Miss — Mr. Francia’s mother, and I’ve just talked about the problems in her sworn statement in discovery. The deposition is clear, she begins by saying, ‘I think I saw something.’ She ends by saying, ‘I didn’t see anything.’
“Six, Jimmy Safechuck, who we are informed says nothing happened. They don’t propose to call him as an alleged victim either, but they’ve got the same old gang again coming in to try and capitalize on the case, people who have been adjudged to be liars, and they are. People who asked for money from tabloids, who’ve asked for money from Mr. Jackson, et cetera.”
“Seven, Jonathan Spence, who we are informed says nothing happened and doesn’t intend to come in to support them at all. What do they want to do? Bring in the same crew again. Third-party witnesses with an axe to grind, all of whom have wanted money in the past, none of whom can substantiate that anything happened because the alleged victim says nothing happened.”
“The testimony that the prosecutor wants to introduce concerns seven alleged victims with only one scheduled to testify. This testimony has been presented to two criminal grand juries in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, neither of which ever returned an Indictment, and it’s been rejected by one civil jury in the longest civil trial in the history of this courthouse.”
Thanks to MJJForum and its members for the transcripts.
You’ve already read about Tom Sneddon’s ten year vendetta against Michael Jackson. It seems that Sneddon is not trying to hide the fact that he has it in for Jackson. Read about the unfair treatment Jackson has received since authorities raided Neverland:
1. During the raid of Neverland, police went into areas that they were not permitted to go into and took items that were not on the search warrant.
2. According to a motion filed by the defense, Sneddon conducted an illegal search of the office of Bradley Miller. Because Miller worked for Jackson’s former defense attorney Mark Geragos, anything taken from his office falls under the category of attorney/client privilege. Sneddon tried to justify his search by claiming he did not know that Miller worked for Geragos. In court, however, it was revealed that Sneddon was caught on tape admitting to having known about Miller and Geragos’ working relationship at the time of the raid. Sneddon claimed he was tired when he made this taped statement and did not mean what he said.
3. Sneddon waited until November 18th- the day Jackson’s Number Ones album was released- to raid Neverland. He claimed that he knew about the allegations since June but didn’t take action until November because of Halloween. (Yes, we wouldn’t want to upset anyone’s trick-or-treating experience, so let’s let an alleged pedophile run around for five months and finally raid his house on the day that his new CD comes out.)
4. During the press conference announcing the accusations against Michael Jackson, Tom Sneddon laughed and made several jokes at Jackson’s expense.
5. Sneddon acknowledged that Jackson was investigated for suspected child abuse in February but said “don’t assume it’s the same family.” He knew it was the same family, why did he make this statement?
6. At the press conference, Sneddon invited more victims to come forward.
7. Sneddon said that California law was changed so that child victims in a molestation case could be forced to testify. This was a lie; the law was changed so that if a civil suit was filed, it would remain inactive until the criminal trial was resolved.
8. Sneddon swore that the family was after justice and not money even though it is a widely known fact that they went to a civil lawyer first.
9. Jackson’s bail amount was set at $3 million; this amount is excessive compared to the amount that other Defendants in child molestation cases have to pay. Jackson’s lawyers recently filed a motion challenging the bail amount but their request was denied by Judge Rodney Melville. Melville sided with the prosecution, stating that because Jackson is rich, his bail should be higher than that of other Defendants. He did not use any laws to support his decision. (The court of appeals later questioned Melville’s ruling and asked him to provide a better justification for his decision)
10. Sneddon gave an interview to tabloid journalist Diane Dimond where he referred to Michael Jackson as “Jacko Wacko.”
11. Dimond admitted to knowing about the allegations months in advance. Why was the DA leaking information to a tabloid journalist?
12. Sneddon delayed filing charges until December so that the Santa Barbara Police Department could set up a website exclusively for members of the press.
13. Sneddon enlisted the help of a PR firm to deal with the media. Tellem, the PR firm working for Sneddon, also works for Dave Schwartz, the stepfather of Jackson’s first accuser.
14. Sneddon dismissed the Department of Children and Family Services investigation as an “interview” and accused the DCFS of being incompetent. It turns out that his own department also investigated Michael Jackson in February and came back with the same “unfounded” ruling as the DCFS.
15. In December, Jackson told Sixty Minutes that he was roughly handled by police officers when he was arrested; he showed photographic evidence to substantiate his claims. The SBPD responded to Jackson’s allegations by releasing audio clips of Jackson whistling in the car before he was booked. Jackson, however, did not claim that he was abused on his way to the station. The only mistreatment he alleged before the booking was when the handcuffs were put on but you can hear him on the audiotape complaining about the handcuffs being too tight.
The actual abuse was not alleged to have occurred until Jackson was brought into the booking station. The SBPD did not show any footage of Jackson in the booking station, claiming that they did not film Jackson’s booking because they didn’t anticipate that there would be any problems. This contradicts their explanation as to why they recorded Jackson on his way to the station; they said they taped Jackson because it was a high-profile arrest and they wanted to ensure that everything was handled appropriately. In that case, why didn’t they tape Jackson in the booking station?
16. Sheriff Jim Anderson said that if Michael Jackson’s claims of police abuse turned out to be false, he would charge Jackson with making a false complaint. Since Jackson never actually made a formal complaint, Anderson’s statement is not in accordance with the law.
17. Attorney General Bill Lockyer was asked by Anderson to investigate Jackson’s claims in December; almost seven months later, he still has not issued any statement regarding his findings.
18. Jackson also alleged during the interview that he still had not received a list of what was taken from Neverland.
19. The alleged victim’s parents are currently in the midst of a custody battle. Sneddon wrote a letter to the judge in the custody proceedings requesting that the boy be kept from seeing his father. Why would the District Attorney care if the boy saw his father? What does this have to do with the molestation case? Perhaps Sneddon does not want the boy to change his story once he’s no longer under the influence of his mother.
20. To date, Sneddon has obtained 69 search warrants, including warrants to search Jackson’s bank statements, financial records and security boxes. Please tell me what evidence of child molestation does Sneddon hope to find in Jackson’s financial records?
21. Eight months after arresting Michael Jackson, Sneddon has still failed to hand over all of his evidence to the defense. How are Jackson’s attorneys supposed to prepare for the trial?
22. Court documents filed by the prosecution indicate that Sneddon sends his investigators to read fan discussion boards like MJJForum.
23. Sneddon took his case to a grand jury in order to avoid a public preliminary hearing. This is unfair to the Defendant.
24. The charges from the criminal complaint are completely different from the charges in the indictment. After the inconsistencies in Sneddon’s case were brought to the attention of the public, the timeline of alleged abuse changed, the number of times the abuse allegedly occurred changed and allegations of kidnapping have suddenly materialized. Why is this?
25. Jackson’s defense team recently filed a 126-page motion asking for the indictment to be thrown out. The document states that during the grand jury proceedings, Sneddon bullied witnesses, failed to properly present exculpatory evidence, refused to let the jurors question the prosecution witnesses and provided the jurors with a false legal definition of the term “conspiracy” (for which Jackson was indicted). The motion says: “There is simply no evidence that Mr. Jackson had the specific intent to agree or conspire with anyone about anything.”
26. The grand jury transcripts reveal that Sneddon allowed the accuser’s mother to refer to Jackson as “the devil” when she testified.
27. Although she has never even met Michael Jackson, a woman who worked for him for 10 days was the prosecution’s key witness to the alleged conspiracy. When she testified in front of the grand jury, she answered questions with: “I’m not sure,” “I guess,” “I assume,” “I don’t know exactly,” and “I think.” Sneddon allowed her to proceed even though she clearly had no knowledge of any alleged conspiracy.
28. A defense motion reveals that Sneddon used Jackson’s preference for a clean household as evidence that he was the mastermind of a criminal conspiracy. Seriously. The motion reads: “It is simply not reasonable to infer that Mr. Jackson’s preference for a well run household demonstrates the specific intent to commit crimes. Evidence that Mr. Jackson would complain to his staff when household chores were not done properly is not evidence that he was directing a criminal conspiracy.”
29. While at a District Attorney’s convention in Canada, Sneddon broke the gag order in the case and inadvertently revealed prosecutorial misconduct on his part. He told his fellow DAs that: “We sent letters to some people saying we intended to call them as witnesses in order to keep them off TV.” As it turns out, a journalist from the Globe and Mail was at the conference and printed his comments in a newspaper. Sneddon’s behaviour drew criticism from many legal experts who felt this was an abuse of power on Sneddon’s part. Jackson’s lawyers also brought Sneddon’s comments to the attention of Judge Melville, asking him to clarify whether or not Sneddon had violated the gag order.
30. According to a motion filed by the defense, the amount of search warrants that have been given to them by the prosecution does not match the amount of search warrants that have actually been issued by the prosecution. Six search warrants are missing, 10 affidavits used to support the search warrants have been heavily redacted and 49 affidavits used to support the search warrants have not been given to the defense at all. What is Sneddon hiding?
31. Sneddon has been ordered to testify about his illegal raid of Bradley Miller’s office. The accuser’s mother, her former civil lawyer Bill Dickerman and the therapist who reported the allegations to the police have also been subpoenaed to testify. Sneddon tried to quash their subpoenas so that they would not have to appear in court; the judge denied his request.
According to the defense team: “There is no case in the history of the state of California that has condoned anything like the abuse of power demonstrated in this grand jury proceeding.”
Sneddon’s prosecutorial misconduct in the Michael Jackson case is not an isolated incident; in fact, several other people have accused him of malicious prosecution.
for more informations about T.Sneddon click here
I totaly agree with Emma”What about Bashir’s role? Was Bashir the main character in 2003 trial or…someone knew exactly which strings to pull?
Underconstruction because we are working on Bashir.”