The Michael Jackson Case
Archived by MJJR.net - The Michael Jackson Repository

The Trial


This page includes a brief summary of the evidence that has been presented thus far. It will be updated throughout the course of the trial.

The Evidence:

The molestation charges

The alcohol allegation

The pornography allegation

The conspiracy charge

Past Accusations











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The Molestation Charges
Jackson is accused of molesting Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch on several occasions in March 2003

Evidence:

Testimony of Gavin Arvizo, the alleged victim.

Testimony of Star Arvizo, who claims to have witnessed the alleged abuse on several occasions.

Defense Evidence:

Gavin Arvizo initially told authorities that the alleged molestation occurred before he and his family made videotaped statements in Jackson's defense. (
Link) This would also mean that the alleged abuse occurred before the boy defended Jackson to social workers in February. Gavin Arvizo now contends that the molestation took place after he repeatedly denied any wrongdoing on Jackson's part. While it is understandable that the boy cannot remember the exact dates on which he was allegedly molested, his original assertion that the abuse took place before the videotape was made cannot be attributed to confusion on the boy's part because he also told investigators that the videotape was made to cover-up the alleged molestation (see testimony of Sgt. Steve Robel).

Based on what District Attorney Tom Sneddon said in his opening statement, it's possible that Michael Jackson was not even with the Arvizos at Neverland throughout the month of February. From pages 115-116 of Sneddon's opening statement:

"I believe that the records from the ranch logs and the testimony from individuals involved here will show that from basically March the 2nd to March the 5th, that the defendant and the Arvizos were on the ranch together. That again, from March 9th until March 12th, when the Arvizos left for the last time, that the Jackson -- Michael Jackson, the defendant in this case, was present." (Link)

It suffices to say that if investigators did discover that Mr. Jackson was not with the Arvizos throughout the month of February (as Sneddon implied in his opening statement), they must have realized that Gavin Arvizo was lying when he claimed to have been molested sometime between February 7th and February 20th. Hence, the changing of the timeline from February 7th - March 10th (as stated in the original charges) to February 20th - March 12th (as stated in the current set of charges)

According to an investigator, the boy originally claimed that he was molested between five and seven times. Gavin Arvizo only testified to two incidences of alleged molestation. (Link)

Gavin Arvizo's younger brother Star, who supposedly walked in on Jackson molesting his brother, said under cross-examination that there are seven locks on Jackson's bedroom door (see testimony of Star Arvizo, page 12) and an alarm that goes off if anybody approaches (Link). Yet somehow, Star Arvizo managed to walk into Jackson's room unnoticed on two seperate occasions.

In his grand jury testimony and in past police interviews, Star Arvizo claimed to have witnessed Jackson rubbing his penis against Gavin Arvizo's behind while the boy slept. While testifying at the trial, Star Arvizo denied ever having made such a statement. (See testimony of Star Arvizo, page 34)

When Jackson's defense attorney pointed out that Star Arvizo's description of the second incident of alleged molestation differed from an earlier description that he had given of the same incident, Mr. Arvizo suddenly claimed to have actually witnessed three incidences of alleged abuse. (See testimony of Star Arvizo, page 34 and recap from E! Online)

Star Arvizo alleged that Jackson once appeared naked in front of him and his brother (Link). During his testimony, Gavin Arvizo was asked whether or not he was aware of the fact that Jackson has a skin disorder called Vitiligo that eats away at his pigment. Mr. Arvizo acknowledged that he was aware of Jackson's skin disease. Jackson's attorney then asked him whether or not he was aware of the fact that Jackson has brown patches on his body, to which Mr. Arvizo replied, "I didn't know about patches. I thought he was just all white." (See testimony of Gavin Arvizo, pg. 39) There are various pictures of Mr. Jackson on the Internet where one can clearly see that his body is not white all over, as Gavin Arvizo claimed.

In spring 2003, after the alleged abuse took place, Gavin Arvizo told his principal that Jackson had not sexually abused him (Link). Mr. Arvizo claims that he said this because he didn't want the kids at school to make fun of him. (Link)

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The Alcohol Allegations
Jackson is accused of supplying Gavin Arvizo with liquor to seduce the boy

Evidence:

Testimony of Gavin Arvizo

Testimony of Star Arvizo

Testimony of Davellin Arvizo

Testimony of Kiki Fournier, Jackson's former maid. During her twelve years working at Neverland, Fournier claimed to have seen several minors who "might" have been intoxicated (
Link).

Defense Evidence:

Ms. Fournier conceded that she had never witnessed Jackson serve alcohol to minors. (Link).

The defense claims that the Arvizo children broke into Jackson's wine cellar and drank his alcohol when he was not at Neverland.

In his testimony, Star Arvizo claimed that he and his brother got drunk with Jackson from the time they arrived at Neverland from Miami (February 7th) to the time they left the ranch for the first time with house manager Jesus Salas (February 12th). (See testimony of Star Arvizo, pages 14-15) As mentioned earlier, the District Attorney said that Jackson was not at Neverland with the Arvizos during this time frame.

Star Arvizo admitted that he knew the exact location of the key to Jackson's wine cellar. (See testimony of Star Arvizo, page 19)

The accuser's older sister Davellin Arvizo claims that she walked into the wine cellar and witnessed Jackson serving alcohol to her younger brothers. Under cross-examination, it was revealed that she never made such a statement in her earlier interviews with police. (See testimony of Davellin Arvizo, pages 148-150)

Davellin Arvizo claims that Jackson served her alcohol in the wine cellar. Star Arvizo, however, testified that Jackson served Davellin Arvizo alcohol in the kitchen.(See testimony of Star Arvizo, page 54)

When confronted with a conflicting statement that he had made regarding the alcohol allegations, Star Arvizo blamed the court reporter, claiming that she had misquoted him (Link).

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The Pornography Allegations
Jackson is accused of showing pornography to Gavin and Star Arvizo.

Evidence:

Testimony of Gavin Arvizo

Testimony of Star Arvizo

The boys were able to tell investigators where Jackson kept his stash of pornography.

The accuser's fingerprints were found on one of Jackson's porn magazines.

Defense Evidence:

The porn magazine with the accuser's fingerprints was not tested for prints until after the boy handled the magazine at a grand jury proceedings in April 2004. (
Link)

The defense claims that the boys went into Jackson's room when he was not there and looked at the magazines on their own. In support of this theory, Star Arvizo testified that he knew the code to get into Jackson's bedroom (see testimony of Star Arvizo, pg. 15).

Jackson's defense attorney revealed that the magazine that Jackson had supposedly shown Star Arvizo and his brother, was actually released in August 2003 - five months after the Arvizos had left the ranch for the last time. (Link)

In his grand jury testimony in April 2004, Star Arvizo testified that he and his brother had once surfed porn sites. When confronted with a transcript of this testimony, Star Arvizo replied "that's just a paragraph that somebody wrote." (Link)

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The Conspiracy Charge
Jackson is accused of holding Gavin Arvizo and his family hostage at Neverland and forcing them to participate in a videotaped rebuttal to the controversial Living with Michael Jackson documentary that aired in February 2003.

Evidence:

Testimony of Davellin Arvizo

Testimony of Star Arvizo

Testimony of Gavin Arvizo

Testimony of Ann Marie Kite, a former Jackson employee who confirmed that Living with Michael Jackson was a public relations disaster. Kite also testified that one of Jackson's associates wanted to paint Janet Arvizo, the mother of Jackson's accuser as a "crack whore," in the media. (
Link)

Testimony of Louise Palanker, a comedian who befriended the Arvizos. According to Palanker, she received a panicked call from Janet Arvizo who told her that Jackson's associates were "evil."(Link)

Defense Evidence:

Kite only worked for Jackson for six days and never met or even spoke to him or his accuser.(Link)

Louise Palanker told police that she thought that Janet Arvizo was "wacky" and "totally bipolar." (Link)

Jackson's maid Kiki Fournier, who worked at the ranch during the time of the alleged conpsiracy, testified that she did not believe the family were held against their will. (Link)

All of the Arvizo children conceded that they had never asked for anybody's help even though they had numerous opportunities to do so.

The prosecution contends that the Arvizos were forced to defend Jackson in February 2003. Gavin Arvizo, however, testified that he meant most of what he said in his videotaped defense of Jackson.

When the boy was still claiming that the alleged abuse happened before the rebuttal film was made, the prosecution claimed that the tape was made to cover up the alleged molestation. Now that the boy is claiming that the alleged abuse happened after the rebuttal film was made, the prosecution is claiming that the tape was actually made as part of a conspiracy to improve Jackson's public image.

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Past Accusations
Judge Rodney Melville ruled that past accusations of sexual misconduct on Jackson's part will be heard by the jury.

During an important hearing on March 28, 2005, District Attorney Tom Sneddon said that:

The son of Jackson's former maid Blanca Francia will testify that Jackson touched him inappropriately on several occasions. The Francias received a $2 million settlement from Jackson in 1994.

Witnesses will testify that they saw a pair of Jackson's underwear lying next to a pair of his original accuser Jordan Chandler's underwear on the floor beside a bed that the two shared. Chandler, however, is not scheduled to testify.

Witnesses will testify that they saw Jackson act inappropriately with four teenage boys.

Two witnesses will testify that they heard Jackson encourage children to refer to him as "Daddy."

Former Jackson employee Bob Jones claimed that he saw Jackson lick the head of a child.

In resonse, defense attorney Tom Mesereau argued that:

The other boys who have been named alleged victims by the prosecution all vehemently deny any wrongdoing on Jackson's part. One of the alleged victims is former child star Macaulay Culkin, who has publicly defended Jackson and is still good friends with him today. The other alleged victims - Wade Robson, Brett Barnes and Jimmy Shafechuck - have also maintained that Jackson never did anything sexual to them.

The mother of the boy who will testify about inappropriate touching originally sold her story to the tabloids but later recanted her statements while under deposition by a Jackson attorney.

The former employees who claim to have witnessed inappropriate behaviour on Jackson's part all sold their stories to tabloids. Five of the former employees also tried to sue Jackson for wrongful termination in 1995. Jackson denied the allegations and counter-sued, alleging that two of them stole belongings from his home and sold the items to tabloids. The jury sided with Jackson, awarding him $60,000 from the ex-employees who robbed him. The ex-employees filed for bankruptcy as a result.

(The above info is from
The Smoking Gun)

In other develpoments, NBC's Mike Taibbi reported that Bob Jones has recanted his allegation about having witnessed Jackson lick a child's head. (Link)

For more information about the 1993 allegations, see the main page.

Quotes from Mr. Mesereau regarding the admissability of the "prior bad acts."

"Now, let's look at what they're trying to do. They have an alleged prior victim named Brett Barnes who tells us he never was touched improperly. They want to bring in four witnesses to talk about Brett Barnes. They don't want to bring him in. Because the moment they bring him in, they're done. So they want to bring in allegedly four honest witnesses - I guess they're vouching for their credibility - to testify that Mr. Barnes was improperly touched. Who are their main witnesses? Their main witnesses sued Mr. Jackson in the mid '90s...

At numerous times during that six-month trial, the trial Judge made findings that the plaintiffs were lying, not being candid, changing their stories, even leaving the bench on a couple of occasions. And when the dust settled, the jury returned a verdict for Mr. Jackson, awarded Mr. Jackson damages, because the plaintiffs had stole from him. The Judge then awarded not only costs, but legal fees, and in the end Mr. Jackson obtained a judgment for over a million dollars against these lying plaintiffs.

They want the Court to allow these lying plaintiffs to come in now again and try and testify to improper acts, when there is no alleged victim they intend to call. That's just plain wrong. And if they suggest it wouldn't be time-consuming to litigate that issue, all the Court has to do is look at the six-month trial and its length to know that's not true, because they sold stories to tabloids, they were caught lying, and they had a big judgment against them."

"First of all, Your Honor, I would note that in their motion, they mention someone named Bob Jones. And in very graphic -- in a very graphic manner they told the Court that Mr. Jones had worked for Mr. Jackson for years, had traveled internationally with him, and would testify to all sorts of improprieties with children. We just were produced a police report by the prosecution where Mr. Jones flat out denies virtually everything they said in their motion. He has told the Santa Barbara Sheriffs, with counsel, that he never saw anything inappropriate happen when Mr. Jackson was in the company of any of these children."

"Now, what happens if you allow third-party testimony about Mr. Chandler without allowing Mr. -- forcing them, or ordering them, or requiring them to have Mr. Chandler, the alleged victim, testify? You then have people come in to say what they saw without any victim to confirm it. And what happened back in those days? In summary, this is what happened: Chandler's parents had been divorced in 1986. The father had given up custody of the child. When these alleged events happened, the father jumped on the bandwagon and wanted to become a multimillionaire, and he fueled litigation. And all of a sudden, you had the parents suing Mr. Jackson, you had -- the mother's new husband then decided to sue Mr. Jackson for allegedly interfering with his business. He had an auto company, and he claimed that the publicity had interfered with his business. He wanted millions. After the settlement, the father then filed a new lawsuit against Mr. Jackson wanting 30 million more dollars. That was litigated and he lost. You have all sorts of collateral litigation, and eventually Mr. Chandler filed papers in Superior Court seeking legal emancipation from his parents.

Where is the justice in this case of allowing parents to come in who collected lots of money because Mr. Jackson wanted to get this case behind him and pursue his music career? And indeed, all kinds of advisors were telling him to do that. You have parents playing each other off with the child and pursuing collateral litigation, all of that will obviously have to be explored, because the potential for financial interest, financial bias in a situation like that, is enormous, the motives for financial gain were enormous, and indeed, there was never any criminal prosecution despite Mr. Sneddon's noble efforts to try and do one."

"Then we come to Macaulay Culkin, who has repeatedly made statements that he's a friend of Mr. Jackson and has never been molested. But they want to bring in evidence that he was molested. And they want to bring in witnesses who also were part of the gang that sued Mr. Jackson, and lost, with findings that they had lied and with enormous damages awarded against them."

"Now, the fourth alleged victim is Jason Francia. Jason Francia and his mother were interviewed by the sheriffs and a deposition of the mother was taken. Money was paid to settle that case, again because Mr. Jackson didn't want the press, didn't want his family going through it, and wanted to pursue his music career. There never was a criminal prosecution, even though the alleged victim was interviewed by the Los Angeles District Attorney and the Santa Barbara District Attorney together. And after their interview with Jason Francia - which was so wishy-washy about what happened, they never decided to pursue a criminal case, because there wasn't one. We have that taped interview - the mother, in a civil deposition in the Chandler litigation, began by saying she saw something and ended by saying she saw nothing. And indeed, stories were sold to tabloids, and money was paid to settle. He appears to be the only alleged victim they want to bring in.

Five, Wade Robeson, who tells us nothing ever happened to him. And they don't propose to bring him in as an alleged victim. They want to bring in the gang that basically has tried to accuse Mr. Jackson and get money from him for years, generally unsuccessfully, with the exception of Miss -- Mr. Francia's mother, and I've just talked about the problems in her sworn statement in discovery. The deposition is clear, she begins by saying, 'I think I saw something.' She ends by saying, 'I didn't see anything.'

"Six, Jimmy Safechuck, who we are informed says nothing happened. They don't propose to call him as an alleged victim either, but they've got the same old gang again coming in to try and capitalize on the case, people who have been adjudged to be liars, and they are. People who asked for money from tabloids, who've asked for money from Mr. Jackson, et cetera."

"Seven, Jonathan Spence, who we are informed says nothing happened and doesn't intend to come in to support them at all. What do they want to do? Bring in the same crew again. Third-party witnesses with an axe to grind, all of whom have wanted money in the past, none of whom can substantiate that anything happened because the alleged victim says nothing happened."

"The testimony that the prosecutor wants to introduce concerns seven alleged victims with only one scheduled to testify. This testimony has been presented to two criminal grand juries in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, neither of which ever returned an Indictment, and it's been rejected by one civil jury in the longest civil trial in the history of this courthouse."

Thanks to MJJForum and its members for the transcripts.

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