MJ Fined For Missed Hearing

A New Orleans federal judge fined Michael Jackson $10,000 August 17th for not showing up at a civil case hearing in July.

Jacko was a no-show and had no lawyers present for the hearing in a case in which he is accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man during the 1984 World’s Fair. The singer denies the accusations.

Jackson Attorney Charles Gay Jr. told U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon that the summons for the court case was simply lost in the confusion of MJ’s child molestation trial in California. The summons for the New Orleans court appearance arrived June 13th, the day Jackson was acquitted.

The judge said he didn’t feel it was appropriate to fine the singer for contempt, but he was not sold on Gay’s excuse either, so he levied other fines related to court costs.

In the federal lawsuit, Joseph Thomas Bartucci Jr. claims he was lured into Jackson’s limousine by one of the singer’s employees in 1984, held against his will for days and sexually assaulted. Bartucci claims he repressed the memories until 2003, when he saw the coverage of MJ’s child molestation trial.

The judge scheduled a conference September 7th to choose a trial date, but Gay doubts it will get to that point, saying, “There is probably a problem with the statute of limitations.”