July 5, 2009
Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is dead. The multiple child sexual abuse allegations Jacko endured over a decade from 1993 - 2003 are dead, forever. His music lives, forever. This column hones in on the abuse allegations Jackson faced; allegations that sullied his reputation and character, and allegations he both settled out of court and defeated in front of a jury of his peers at trial. In April 2005, I was there at the scene of his trial in Santa Maria, California, lobbying his innocence on national television as I was interviewed by Vinny Politan and Kimberly Guilfoyle-Newsom on Court-TV's "Both Sides." Unfortunately, for most or all men who are unjustly accused of child molestation, twice, the maxim "where there's smoke there's fire wins out." You are guilty by mere association and someone out there still thinks you did it even after being exonerated.
Michael Jackson was accused of being a hebephile, an individual who depicts sexual interest and arousal patterns for post-pubescent boys. In 1993, Michael Jackson was accused of sexually abusing then 13-year-old Jordan Chandler. Ironically, just prior thereto in 1992, my first book on false allegations of child sexual abuse "Don't Blame ME, Daddy" was published and actor Woody Allen was falsely accused of sexually abusing a child he adopted with actress Mia Farrow. Ultimately, Jackson settled out of court with the Chandler family for $22 million. While those of you out there believe Jacko's settlement amounted to a quid pro quo and he bought his innocence, the bottom line is Jordan Chandler would not testify in court against the legendary singer. And while the People of California did not need physical medical evidence to convict Jackson beyond a reasonable doubt pursuant to California Penal Code 288(a) they did need the child's testimony to do so (Read).
The 1993 sex abuse allegations against Jackson were the result of an extortion attempt by Chandler's family. Chandler's father, a dentist, who extracted a tooth from his son's mouth, and in the process of doing so questioned him about his "relationship" with Jackson while under the influence of a mind altering sedative known as sodium amytal. While under sodium amytal, a drug known to induce suggestibility and false memories, Jordan Chandler alleged that Jacko touched his penis. Chandler and Jackson reached a stalemate regarding the financial payout. The LAPD sex crimes unit began an investigation into Chandler's allegations and obtained a search warrant for Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Thirty children who knew Jackson and visited his Ranch were interviewed by authorities and Chandler's "influenced outcry" could not be corroborated. One police officer told the LA Times that no medical, photographic or video evidence was found to support a criminal filing against Jackson. On January 25, 1994 Jackson and his entourage agreed to pay Chandler's family $22 million in an out of court civil suit settlement. A lot of people throughout the world then and probably today, still, believe Jackson's payout was/is tantamount to his guilt. May I remind you that Kobe Bryant settled with his false accuser, also read this.
In 2003, Jackson was charged with seven counts of child sexual abuse, et al, against Gavin Arvizo, who was under 14 years of age at the time. Later, Jackson would be indicted by a grand jury for the same lead by prosecutor Tom Sneddon. Arvizo alleged he had sleep-overs at Jackson's ranch that resulted in sexual impropriety. The People of California tried to introduce against Jackson in court, pursuant to Evidence Code 1108, Chandler's allegations against him a decade earlier. Sneddon started referring to Michael as "Wacko Jacko," and because the State was alleging Jackson possessed a propensity to molest post-pubescent boys, I lobbied for Michael to be tested via the AASI (www.abelscreen.com), et al. My appeal to Jackson's attorney Tom Mesereau fell on deaf ears. In the end, Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges by a jury of his peers in June of 2005.
You could say that Michael Jackson not only was the King of Pop, but also the King of False Accusations, as the hearsay against him over a decade and a half gave false child sex abuse charges a face and put the subject on the map. He is gone, now, and while I know his music will live forever I'm hopeful, too, the taboo subject of false child sex abuse charges will be addressed by our legislature with a repeal of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). One thing is for certain - Michael Jackson will never be falsely accused of child abuse, again!