Part 1: Outrageous Response from Prosecutors as they try to Retain ‘Case’ – MB #214 UPDATE Just when you thought prosecutors in the Michael Jackson “case” may be starting to get some sense about the massive inconsistencies in their story, they file a motion like their reply to the defense’s motion to have them tossed from prosecuting Jackson. If anything, the Plaintiff’s Opposition to Motion to Recuse the District Attorney is more proof of why they should be yanked. Tom Sneddon, the current DA of Santa Barbara, has already become a witness in this “case”. He will probably be made to testify at a possible trial as well; as he has already been made to testify at a pre-trial hearing. That alone, and the behavior which created the situation, should be reason enough to have him and his office tossed. Even in the face of this devastating fact, prosecutors had the gall to claim that the defense “can’t point to a factual circumstance extrinsic to the prosecutor” which concerns a conflict of interest. Better be careful what they wish for because Sneddon’s past may come back to haunt this “case”. Some say they believe that there may be “extrinsic” attitudes and behavior that would cast a shadow on this prosecution. But let me say it again: the freakin’ DA is a witness in the ‘case’. It shouldn’t get past that fact. For those who think DA’s never get recused, Sneddon’s office was just yanked from prosecuting the case against Judge Diana Hall last month (September 2004) for a conflict of interest (see DA Recused, Hall to Testify in Dunlap ( Dunlop ) Misconduct Case and State decides to prosecute Judge Hall ). Prosecutors claim “[the defense] knows the District Attorney will not be a witness at the trial…The ‘chain of custody’ of property Mr. Sneddon received from [redacted] can be established by other witnesses…” (pg 5). What other witnesses? That’s the problem. Sneddon ran his sleuth-happy ass out to meet with the mother, reportedly, alone or at least with his wife. Remember he claimed he and his wife were going to the museum when he just made a little pit-stop to stake-out Bradley Miller’s office. Miller was the private investigator hired by then-Jackson attorney Mark Geragos. He then went on to do a photo lineup and pick up “evidence” from the accuser’s mother. He also dropped off those Victim’s Compensation Forms she wanted. Who was there to witness this transaction other than those two? Is he going to put his wife up on the stand? Not likely. Apparently this is not enough conflict of interest according to them. Maybe prosecutors will be content to turn the trial into a kangaroo court where Sneddon testifies AND does direct examination for himself. That would be interesting. Despite the sorry protest from prosecutors in their reply motion, one of the things Sneddon will probably be made to testify to concerns exactly what happened when he met with the accuser’s mother. Their conversation, by the way, reportedly was not taped. For example, he may be asked why he gave her Victim’s Compensation Forms to fill out when they hadn’t so much as raided Jackson’s house yet. Was this incentive for her family to stick to the plan? Or, why didn’t he take along a sheriff’s deputy and/or recording equipment to record what happened at this secret meeting? The Victim’s Compensation Fund allows “victims” to have access to thousands of dollars for so-called “treatment”. This was something brought out in court and highlighted by Debra Opri, who was in the courtroom when the accuser’s mother testified. She said on Fox News Live:

If this woman subjected Michael to a shakedown and the defense can show that the credibility is sincerely lacking and that this woman is taking money regularly in lawsuits—accusing an ex-husband of molesting the same boy—this woman knows how to wok the system. She knows about Victim’s Compensation forms and how to fill them out. She knows what to say to get what she wants. (see FoxNewsLive: Talk about mother’s testimony + Opri Sept 17 2004)

Some legal observers call it “absurd” not to have taped that conversation, if simply to shut Jackson’s lawyers down when they try to claim misconduct. These are things prosecutors without vendettas, vindictiveness and clean hands can see clearly. Sneddon’s thumbprints are all over this. I guess the judge would only recuse the DA’s office if we learned that Sneddon or one of the prosecutors was a child molester. Anything short of that—however ridiculous—may not count according to them. They claim that the defense’s “partisan rhetoric” shows the defense’s bias. Look who’s talking about “partisan rhetoric”! This is coming from a prosecution team that have speculated about everything from what would have happened if the 1993 accuser’s family had not taken the money and ran, to the reason why these people exonerated him over and over again…before a civil lawyer came into play. The same prosecution team who claims Neverland was created to entice children for sexual molestation based on absolutely zero evidence to support these theories comprised of garbage. In their motion, prosecutors claim that two separate grand juries were impaneled in 1993 to investigate Jackson, and they say the grand jury was never asked to indict anyone. That does not pass the smell test. Maybe the reason the grand juries weren’t ask to hand down indictments was because there was zero evidence against him. Couple that with the accuser’s father getting his payday, and there was more to the story than prosecutors are telling as to why they couldn’t pursue a case. Let’s get a little background history here for a minute. Sneddon was actually involved in changing the law in California which made it easier for prosecutors to prosecute these types of cases. As reported by the Santa Barbara News Press in an article dated April 24 2004, Sneddon was the president of the California District Attorneys Association. The law, known as the Victims’ Rights Initiative, essentially allowed a case to go forward even without the testimony of the accuser. A police officer could testify as to what the accuser told him/her.

In 1990, when Mr. Sneddon was president of the California District Attorneys Association, the organization launched an aggressive campaign to get Proposition 115 passed. Known as the Victims’ Rights Initiative, it was one of a series of measures that grew out of the victims’ rights movement. Among other things, it allowed police to testify in a preliminary hearing about the case, rather than requiring the victim to take the stand. It also took away the defendant’s right to a preliminary hearing after a grand jury issues an indictment. In a preliminary hearing, both the prosecution and the defense lay out the case in open court to let the judge decide if there is sufficient evidence for the defendant to go to trial. This contrasts significantly with the grand jury proceeding, which is conducted by the prosecution in secret without a judge. (see Sneddon helped change laws that play role in case (April 24 2004))

Thus, when prosecutors say that they didn’t pursue a case in 1993 because the accuser didn’t testify, they are either misleading the public or have a severe case of amnesia. Some case observers absolutely do not buy–if there were real evidence against Jackson–that two grand juries were impaneled at expense to taxpayers and they weren’t so much as asked to hand down an indictment. Prosecutors also do not seem to know just how much the 1993 accuser’s father and lawyer profited from the settlement reportedly paid by Jackson’s insurance company. They claim the amount was “reportedly to be in excess of $20 million.” But there are sources who set the amount at no more than $15M at the most, which includes legal fees. Other articles written in 1994 at the time set the amount at $5M. The number has been inflated as time has passed. Jackson, by all accounts—and with 20/20 hindsight—got bad legal advice once the second set of lawyers came in actually considering (pushing) a settlement (see 93 Settlement Was Not A Settlement for Molestation Claims– MB #166). Further, in their response to the defense, prosecutors claim “substantial evidence of [Jackson’s] misconduct was uncovered by that investigation”. People familiar with the 1993 investigation beg to differ. And quite frankly, some observers simply don’t believe prosecutors. Remember, they’ve already claimed that they didn’t ask either grand jury back in 1993 to hand down an indictment against Jackson. So to make the leap, the public would have to believe that there was “substantial evidence”, yet they chose not to even ask two grand juries to so much as vote on indictment? That is utterly ridiculous. From reports at the time, we learn that 1) the description the 1993 accuser gave of Jackson’s body DID NOT match the photos taken of Jackson; 2) the accuser’s father coming into a payday DID NOT preclude prosecutors from pursuing a case against Jackson; 3) Jackson’s insurance company reportedly footed the bill for the settlement; and 4) Neither Sneddon nor the DA in Los Angeles at the time, Gill Garcetti, was able to make a “case” against Jackson. There were at least three different articles citing the fact that neither one of the descriptions the accuser (or his father) gave of Jackson’s body matched. Prosecutors were so flustered that they came back and wanted to take even more pictures of him. From the article “Photos May Contradict Michael’s Accuser” dated January 28 1994 (USA Today):

An unidentified source told Reuters news service Thursday that photos of Michael Jackson’s genitalia do not match descriptions given by the boy who accused the singer of sexual misconduct. (see Photos may contradict Michael’s accuser (Jan 28 1994) – USA Today)

From the article “Jackson photos will clear him, source says; Settlement didn’t end probe” dated January 28 1994 (Hamilton Spectator):

NEW YORK – Police photographs of Michael Jackson’s genitals may end up being his salvation in avoiding criminal charges of child molestation, according to a source close to the pop star’s camp. The source said yesterday that the photographs don’t tally with a description given to police by the 14-year-old boy who accused Jackson in a civil suit of sexually abusing him. (see Jackson photos will clear him, source says; Settlement didn’t end probe )

From the article “Police photographs may save Jackson” dated January 28 1994 (The Herald):

According to the source, the boy was paid $ 5m (£3.3m) to withdraw his suit. The source said the description the youth gave of Jackson’s genitalia turned out to be at variance with photographs a Judge ordered police to have taken. “The pictures simply didn’t match the boy’s description,” said the source. (see Police photographs may save Jackson (Jan 28 94) – The Herald)

So, certainly a matching description was not a part of that imagined “substantial evidence” prosecutors cited in their reply to the defense; regardless of the claims of public history revisionists like Jim Thomas and Bill Dworin. Neither of which have been cross-examined about the 1993 investigation…yet. Certainly the “substantial evidence” prosecutors imagine they have did not include the testimony of the 1993 accuser. There was never any intention, by most accounts, that the 1993 father & son team ever wanted to be subject to cross-examination. Reportedly, the Santa Barbara DA couldn’t so much as get the accuser to testify in front of the grand jury 11 years ago. The 1993 accuser’s father was going after cash from day one, say some observers of both the 1993 investigation and this current “case”. Their first attorney, Barry Rothman set this in motion then had to drop out because of a half-hearted investigation into the extortion plot around the 1993 investigation. Their second lawyer, Gloria Allred, was only on the job a few days. After she said she expected the ’93 “case” to go to criminal court, she was canned. The father never had any intention of bringing a “case” to court, sources say. In comes Feldman, then Johnny Cochran on Jackson’s side and suddenly a settlement appeared. Feldman later became Cochran’s attorney in a palimony suit. To quote observers, “Something ain’t right about that.” Moving on. As reported earlier by Geraldine Hughes, Jackson, his first set of attorneys and private investigator were more than prepared to go to court and defend him. Hughes writes in her book Redemption: The Truth Behind the Child Molestation Allegations:

Section 4:5 Jackson Changed Attorneys …The unfortunate aspect of changing attorneys and not going to trial was that all the initial investigation work that Mr. Fields and Mr. Pellicano had dug up never made its way into the courtroom. Mr. Pellicano had gathered incriminating evidence against Dr. Chandler and Mr. Rothman which could have won Michael Jackson a victorious outcome in court. However, Michael Jackson was not willing to endure the public scrutiny of his private life and affairs. It was my contention that had Michael Jackson gone to trial, he would have won. Mr. Fields and Mr. Pellicano had the ammunition to win. (see Redemption pg 106)

But prosecutors were left holding the bag after the attorney Larry Feldman and the 1993 accuser’s father pulled off what some have called legal extortion. Prosecutors may need to understand they were hoodwinked during the 1993 investigation. They’ve been had…bamboozled…led astray…run amuck…well, you know the rest. Either that, or someone somewhere was purposely trying to benefit from having Jackson convicted. Not only did Jackson not pay the 1993 settlement, according to reports, but the settlement DID NOT stop a criminal case from proceeding. We learned through court pre-trial hearings that the 1993 settlement agreement was purposely written as such so an insurance company could fund the settlement. Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau revealed in court in a July 9 2004 hearing that an insurance company was involved. From the transcript of that hearing:

As the court knows better than I do, civil settlements of this nature are often done where the negligence claim is settled so that insurance companies can fund the settlement. There was never any admission by Mr. Jackson that he ever did anything negligent or anything wrong at all. There was public comment in the media, again, about this 11 year old case to the effect that somehow he admitted negligence, which was completely false. It was a technical legal way of settling a case so insurance companies could fund a settlement and he could get on with his personal life and business life. (see 1993 : Excerpts From the Transcript of the July 9, 2004 Hearing)

Certainly the (imagined) “substantial evidence” Franklin claims prosecutors had in 1993 would have pushed the 1993 “case” forward even without the accuser’s testimony right? Right?? Moreover, as mentioned above, this settlement did not stop a criminal case from going forward had there been anything to substantiate the accuser’s story. So why didn’t it? From the report titled “Jackson photos will clear him” dated January 28 1994:

…According to the source, the boy was paid $5M to withdraw his suit and his parents received unspecified cash settlements. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said settlement of the civil suit did not end their investigation and lawyers for the boy said there was no provision in the settlement to bar him from testifying in a possible criminal case. (see Jackson photos will clear him, source says; Settlement didn’t end probe (Jan 28 94))

All of this so-called “substantial evidence” they allegedly had, and there was no corroborating evidence independent of the accuser’s testimony? Apparently it wasn’t “substantial” enough…..if there was any at all. It is especially baffling given the fact that, again, two DAs in two different counties failed to get an indictment from either grand jury—a process so one-sided that all prosecutors had to do was “bully” witnesses and get the accuser to recite his claims, unchallenged of course, to secure charges. __Don’t do me no favors, you jive turkey__ Prosecutors even have the unmitigated gall to try to talk the defense out of seeking to obtain information from them concerning the 1993 investigation. They claim that the defense “may wish to reconsider the wisdom of pressing his argument that the inability of the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara prosecutors” pursue charges “was the supposed lack of convincing evidence.” As if they were simply doing Jackson a favor by not prosecuting him in 1993! As if the defense is pressing its luck by seeking this information! What benevolence! What? Did Jackson’s 2-molestations-for-the-price-of-one coupon they sent him expire? Excuse the extreme sarcasm, as I roll eyes in disgust at the audacity of these prosecutors. Here, the question becomes what are prosecutors so afraid of that they are using an overly condescending manner in hopes of scaring the defense into not pursuing vindication for Jackson from the 1993 investigation as well? Just for the record there have always been a number of sources who have commented about the “case” in various reports who say the general public has been fed false information from prosecution leaks. There may be further reasons why prosecutors absolutely do not want to have to deal with the 1993 investigation, after they’ve already used it to get “dozens” of search warrants in this current “case”. Prosecutors have tried to keep the cloud of suspicion over Jackson’s head for the past 10 years. If they get in court and have to put-up or shut-up, it may be very revealing as to the real strength (or lack thereof) of the 1993 allegation. One thing’s for sure: all of this trying to convict Jackson in the court of public opinion could backfire spectacularly. People would be expecting a real “case” that does not and possibly never existed, say reporters and others who are knowledgeable about both “cases”. Certainly Franklin and prosecutors would not want to deal with the parents of young boys–who police questioned back in 1993-94—who may reveal how police lied to them and badgered their children trying to get them to make accusations against Jackson. Researchers have uncovered information on the 1993 investigation showing that parents of some of the boys police talked to actually filed complaints against the Santa Barbara sheriff’s department and the Los Angeles police department. Geraldine Hughes cites quotes from a letter Jackson’s 1993 attorney wrote to the police chief in Los Angeles at the time. I guess these facts aren’t a part of that “substantial evidence” Franklin claim they have against Jackson from the 1993 investigation. In the letter, Fields told the chief about how some of his officers were lying to young boys and trying to push them into making accusations:

The police investigation was reportedly attempting to dig up witnesses, even at the cost of lying to the boys they interviewed. Michael Jackson’s them attorney, Bertram Fields, wrote a letter to Police Chief Willie Williams advising him, “That your officers have told frightened youngsters outrageous lies, such as, ‘we have nude photos of you,’ to push them into making accusations against Michael Jackson. There are, of course, no such photos of these youngsters, and they have no truthful allegations to make. But the officers appeared ready to employ any device to generate potential evidence against Mr. Jackson.” Chief Williams’ response was a standard not-willing-to-admit-guilt answer, “we stand behind our officers.” After a long and costly investigation, which produced no evidence, the police resorted to even more desperate measures. On March 17 1994, Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s mother, was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury in Los Angeles. (see Redemption pgs 90-92)

“Substantial evidence” wouldn’t have required police lying to little kids, right? Obviously these facts aren’t a part of that “substantial evidence” Franklin claims they have. All of the posturing in the world isn’t going to create a case out of thin air. Not to mention, the 1993 allegation had nothing to do with an alleged conspiracy, kidnapping or abduction like these nuts…uh, I mean, like this current accusing family is claiming. One thing is certain, Jackson has kept his mouth shut about the information he has regarding the ’93 investigation. So prosecutors may have no idea what the defense is sitting on…well, unless they invade the defense camp AGAIN…for the third time….almost a year after they ransacked Jackson’s Neverland ranch AGAIN…for the second time. Other points were responded to by prosecutors, including the current “case”, the DA acting as an investigator, his jovial and inappropriate behavior at the first press conference, the misconduct before the grand jury, as well as the leaks being spread in the media by former sheriff Jim Anderson. All to be discussed in Part 2 of this special MJEOL Bullet. Stay tuned for the next part. -MJEOL Text in italics is the updated material

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