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Report: Michael Jackson Indicted

Bump and Update: Michael Jackson's lawyers respond:

Mr. Jackson and his attorneys remind the public that an indictment is merely a formal “accusation.” We also remind the public that Michael Jackson, like any other person accused of a crime, is “presumed to be innocent.” Mr. Jackson and his attorneys are confident that after a trial on these charges, Mr. Jackson will be fully exonerated and that the allegations contained in the indictment will be shown to be patently false. In this case, Mr. Jackson is not just “presumed” to be innocent but is in fact innocent. Michael is looking forward to his day in court and wishes to thank the millions of fans throughout the world who continue to support him during this difficult period.

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Original Post: 4/21 8 pm

ABC News reports that Michael Jackson has been indicted by the grand jury. This is news? Who would have thought otherwise? A grand jury is a one sided proceeding where the defense does not get to appear, present evidence or cross-examine witnesses. Hence, the old saying, a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.

The stamp of imprimateur by the grand jury makes the case no stronger today than it was last week. What it does mean is that Michael Jackson will not be allowed a preliminary hearing at which to cross-examine the cops and experts who would testify against him--no way would the prosecution have called the young accuser at the hearing anyway. By going to the grand jury, the Prosecution doesn't have to give the defense an early shot at their witnesses, and the ability to lock them into a version of events, which would allow the defense to impeach them at trial if their testimony at trial varied from that given at the prelim.

ABC further reports that the charges are detailed in the reports of Stan Katz, the psychologist who was hired ten years ago by the former accuser's lawyer, and last year by the same lawyer who represents the current accuser's mother. Turns out, according to the report, that it was not the 12 year old cancer victim who accused Jackson of inappropriate behavior, but his 9 year old brother.

The psychologist, Stan Katz, interviewed the alleged victim and his younger brother at the request of the family's lawyer. According to the report, the boy's brother told Katz that not only did Jackson serve the boys alcohol, but on at least two occasions, Jackson's alleged victim passed out, ABCNEWS has learned. The report says the alleged victim's younger brother told Katz he saw Jackson touch his brother — a 12-year-old cancer patient — inappropriately when he was passed out.

The police report states that when the psychologist asked the alleged victim if Jackson engaged in sexual activity in front of him, the alleged victim started crying and wouldn't answer. The boy's younger brother was the only one who described the alleged touching.

Great. A case that hinges on a 9 year old. A 9 year old whose brother was getting all the attention because he had cancer. A 9 year old with a disasterous home life, controlling mother and abusive father. The defense will have a field day. And what does this 9 year old say Michael did?

Katz also told Santa Barbara police that the boys told him, "Jackson once stood in front of them naked for a moment, as they were watching TV." According to the report, the alleged victim also told Katz that Jackson gave him a laptop computer and surfed the Internet with him for pictures of naked women. And, according to the boy, Jackson said if anyone should ask what they were doing he should say they were watching The Simpsons. The younger brother also alleges that Jackson played with a mannequin of an 8- or 9-year-old girl in a sexually suggestive manner in front of the boys.

That's the basis for charges that carry 20 years in prison? That's absurd. But it also shows why the U.S. has become such a Prison Nation.

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