Sneddon rejects masseuse’s allegations By Quintin Cushner/Staff Writer Dec. 28, 2003 Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon says he may sue a Santa Maria woman who claimed in open court that he was a client of her now-defunct massage business, which prosecutors say was involved in prostitution. April Cummings, who along with her sister, Irene Cummings, faces charges for soliciting prostitution and conspiracy to commit a crime, made the accusation during a Dec. 17 appearance before Superior Court Judge Rick Brown. When Brown announced when her next court appearance would be, she shouted, “Tom Sneddon was a client of mine!” “It’s outrageous,” Sneddon said of the accusation, adding that he was at a law enforcement conference in Los Angeles with former Sheriff Jim Thomas on April 30, 2002, when Cummings alleges the incident occurred. Irene Cummings’ lawyer, Michael Clayton, said he met with Sneddon before April Cummings’ court outburst and was satisfied that the district attorney was never a client of the massage business. Clayton said the sisters likely confused the district attorney with a man named “Tom” who looked similar to Sneddon and allegedly visited their business on that day. “I think (April) was genuinely mistaken,” Clayton said of April Cummings’ accusation. “I don’t believe (Sneddon) was a client of either of them.” “I’ve never had a massage in my life,” said Sneddon, who confirmed his meeting with Clayton. Sneddon said Friday that he’s checking with a lawyer over whether he should file suit for April’s court comments. April Cummings’ lawyer, Michael Scott, was on vacation Friday, and could not be reached for comment. Prosecutors accuse the sisters of offering “sexual release” to customers in exchange for money at their now-closed Santa Maria massage parlor, Gentle Hands for Health, in the 500 block of South Broadway. Defense attorneys maintain that the women did not demand money for “sexual release,” but did accept tips for their massage service. April Cummings was in custody Friday for violating her bail when she allegedly denied custody rights to the father of her children. The Cummings sisters have said previously that former Santa Maria Police Chief John Sterling was a client, and they claim to have a videotape that depicts Sterling entering their business. However, neither they nor their attorneys have produced any evidence that the tape exists, despite reporters’ repeated requests, and Sterling has strongly denied the claim. Sneddon is prosecuting the child molestation case against pop singer Michael Jackson, who faces arraignment Jan. 16 in a Santa Maria Courtroom. Sneddon declined comment on that case Friday, adding that he also had turned down a chance to appear on the CBS television show “60 Minutes,” which is airing an interview with Jackson Sunday. It will be the first interview the singer has given since he was charged with engaging in lewd acts with the boy – identified in the court filings only as “John Doe” – on seven occasions between Feb. 7 and March 20. Jackson, 45, also is charged with two counts of “administering an intoxicating agent” – reportedly wine – to enable and assist him with the alleged molestations. * Staff writer Quintin Cushner can be reached at 739-2217 or by e-mail at qcushner@pulitzer.net. Dec. 28, 2003 Source: [url=http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2003/12/28/news/local/news06.txt]http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/20…ocal/news06.txt[/url] Mistaken or not, that is funny! 😆

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