Jackson Case Grows Louder
The opening gavel of Michael Jackson’s sexual molestation case is scheduled for January 31st, but supposed details of the prosecution’s case were flooding the media at press time – first on TheSmokingGun.com, then on an ABC News “exclusive.”
First, The Smoking Gun – a Web site known for an uncanny ability to obtain court documents and other hard-to-get information – ran a lengthy article called “The Case Against Michael Jackson.” Using “confidential law enforcement and government reports, grand jury testimony and sealed court records,” TSG painted a picture of a “textbook pedophile.”
According to TSG, Jackson plied children with Bacardi, tequila, vodka, whiskey and other drinks; quizzed them on their sexual activities; and surfed porn with them. The details got more lurid from there. A week later, ABC News’ “Primetime Live” said it reviewed 1,900 pages of grand jury testimony. Its report mirrored much of TSG’s.
Also, on January 5th, Laugh Factory comedy club owner Jamie Masada, who originally put Michael Jackson in touch with the boy he is currently accused of molesting, said the pop star’s defense team is harassing him.
Masada said MJ attorney Brian Oxman has been sending investigators to the homes of several comedians who work at his comedy camp. He also complained of receiving phone calls from investigators.
Masada’s employees handed out copies of a December 28th letter from Oxman threatening to seek a court order against Masada if he did not comply with subpoenas and appear in court January 31st, when Jackson’s trial is scheduled to begin.
The club owner received another subpoena from the defense as soon as he finished speaking.
Masada initially made contact with the pop star’s estate when he called to urge that MJ help the boy, who had cancer at the time. The boy had attended Masada’s camp, where professional comedians work with underprivileged kids.
In other developments, Judge Rodney Melville ruled that the courtroom would remain open for hearings on the admissibility of allegations of prior sexual offenses by Jackson. Defense lawyers had asked for closed hearings so as not to influence prospective jurors. The ruling pleased prosecutors and a coalition of news organizations who had accused the defense of attempting to shroud the case in secrecy.
E! Entertainment Television announced plans to create a daily series re-enacting the previous day’s court proceedings. Cameras are not allowed in the courtroom but the series will be based on transcripts.