Absence of Formal Charges May Point to Weak Case – NY Times

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[b]Absence of Formal Charges Against Michael Jackson May Point to a Weakening of the Case[/b] By JOHN M. BRODER New York Times Published: December 4, 2003 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 — Two weeks after the arrest of Michael Jackson on felony child molesting charges, the case against him may have hit some snags. The Santa Barbara County district attorney, Thomas W. Sneddon Jr., has twice delayed filing formal charges against Mr. Jackson, who was showily arrested, booked and set free on $3 million bail on Nov. 20. Mr. Sneddon now says the charges will be made public the week of Dec. 15. Veteran prosecutors say that such a delay is unusual, though not unprecedented, and does not necessarily indicate problems with the case. But the tip line set up to field anonymous calls from anyone with information about the current case or similar complaints of misconduct by Mr. Jackson has yielded little, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said. Of 70 calls to the line over the last two weeks, only a handful have produced information relevant to the case against Mr. Jackson, said the spokesman, Sgt. Chris Pappas. And no one has come forward to tell of separate acts of molesting by Mr. Jackson, Sergeant Pappas said. “At this point in time,” he said, “none have clearly identified new cases for independent investigation.” The delay in releasing details of the charges against Mr. Jackson and the lack of new complaints have prompted some in the Jackson camp to say Mr. Sneddon is playing a weak hand based on a single child’s shaky testimony. One of Mr. Jackson’s lawyers suggested this week that Mr. Sneddon might be forced to drop the prosecution before a trial. Mark Geragos, Mr. Jackson’s lead lawyer, said he would not comment on the case “unless and until there is a charging document.” Mr. Geragos said, based on his fragmentary knowledge of the identity of Mr. Jackson’s accuser and the accuser’s account, “I’m not so sure there’s even going to be a charging document.” Mr. Geragos has characterized the accusation against Mr. Jackson as a “big lie.” [url=http://forum.mjeol.com/index.php?showtopic=11448]Full Story :lasta [/url]

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