Lawyer: Psychologist’s patients on both sides of Jackson case

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Lawyer: Psychologist’s patients on both sides of Jackson case By Linda Deutsch ASSOCIATED PRESS 2:33 p.m. August 17, 2004 SANTA MARIA – An investigator who is the subject of a crucial pretrial hearing in the Michael Jackson molestation case was himself a patient of the psychologist who first notified police of a 12-year-old boy’s claims of being molested by the pop singer, a defense lawyer alleged in court Tuesday. Stan J. Katz declined to discuss his relationship with Bradley Miller, the investigator, claiming a privilege of confidentiality, which the judge upheld for the time being. But defense attorney Brian Oxman, who made the allegation, asked for the chance to argue that the material is not privileged and the judge gave him time to find case law on the subject. Katz did acknowledge that he had been professionally associated with Miller before the Jackson case. “I knew Bradley Miller because he is a professional who has worked on family law cases with me, as you have, Mr. Oxman,” he told the lawyer. “And did you tell investigators (in the Jackson case) that Bradley Miller was your patient?” Oxman asked. The witness again asserted the privilege. Katz had been called as a witness in a hearing to determine whether Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon and other authorities were aware that Miller worked for Jackson’s former lawyer, Mark Geragos, when evidence was seized from Miller’s office with a search warrant. Sneddon has testified that he was unaware of the relationship and thus was not invading the attorney-client privilege of confidentiality when he went to Miller’s office and conducted surveillance. Oxman, the third defense attorney to question witnesses in the hearing, dropped the bombshell about the psychologist’s relationship with the witness at the start of his inquiry. “Bradley Miller is a very special patience of yours, is he not, Dr. Katz?” asked Oxman. “If he were a patient, I could not disclose that because of the privilege,” Katz replied. Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville accepted that assertion, but Oxman continued, “Bradley Miller is a patient of Dr. Katz and has been for a number of years.” The judge then told Oxman that he should not be testifying to that fact. The judge later in the afternoon ruled that the therapist could not be forced to say whether Miller is his patient and ordered Oxman to stop questioning him on the subject. Oxman, however, persisted and after a number of questions in which he referred to Miller as Katz’s “patient” or “client,” the judge interrupted and fined him $1,000. The defense was seeking to show that Katz’s intimate knowledge of the investigator would have meant he knew of the relationship with Geragos and probably told authorities about it. Jackson, 45, is charged with committing a lewd act upon a child, administering an intoxicating agent and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $3 million bail. Katz earlier in the day confirmed a scenario, which has long been reported, about how he first became involved in the case and notified authorities of the then-12-year-old boy’s allegations. In May 2003, he said he was contacted by attorney Larry Feldman, who wanted him to meet with the boy and his family. “I had seen the documentary on television, so I had seen the minor child interviewed,” Katz said. He was referring to a British TV documentary called “Living With Michael Jackson” in which the singer defended his habit of letting children sleep in his bed. The accuser also is seen in the video, which aired in February 2003. Katz said of Feldman, “He asked me to interview the minors (referring to the boy and two siblings) to determine the veracity of the comments they made to him.” Katz testified that during a meeting with Feldman on June 3, 2003, “He just mentioned that an investigator named Bradley Miller had made some kind of videotape of the minor witness.” “When was the next time you heard the name Bradley Miller?” asked Oxman. Katz said he heard about the investigator in the news when there was a break-in at Miller’s office. At one point, Oxman asked to see Katz’s file on the case, but the judge declined to let him read it. Katz said it contained a transcript of a conversation between him and investigators in the case in which he told them that Miller had set up a video camera and taped the boy and his family “saying how great (Jackson) was.” Katz was preceded to the stand by sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Klipakis, a lead detective in the Jackson case at its inception. He said that there were only three people on the original task force and they were not permitted to tell anyone what they were doing. “We didn’t want information to get out, other than to a small circle of people, of what we were investigating,” he said. As a result, he and his staff never conferred with Beverly Hills police before a search was done of Miller’s office in that city. The videotape of the family is believed to be among the items seized from Miller’s office and is critical evidence in the prosecution’s case. The defense wants to suppress it. In another development, prosecutors reported that the mother of the accuser would be unable to testify in the current hearing unless it is continued until late September. They said the woman, identified in court as “Jane Doe,” gave birth to a child by Caesarean section July 27 and has had complications afterward. They said her doctor would not clear her to testify for eight weeks. Source:

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