The SECRETS revealed by court documents during the search for MICHAEL JACKSON’S PHANTOM VICTIMS
We continue to fact-check Stacy Brown’s story about the 200 million allegedly paid to Michael Jackson’s 20 “victims”.
Interesting, but what started as an exploration of just one lie is beginning to evolve into a study of a whole mass of them, and especially those lies which claim that “not all evidence could be admitted by the prosecution in 2005 due to technicalities in discovery rules”.
This claim is so big a lie that you cannot even imagine it. The scope of the fraud will become clear to you only by the end of the post, but before that we first need to recall what exactly Stacy Brown is saying.
HOW TO TELL A LIE CORRECTLY
Stacy Brown is a kind of a liar who knows how to tell a lie without being caught red-handed in the process of it. The way he dropped his story the first time shows that he is extremely cautious and knows how to avoid responsibility for what he is saying.
For example, look at his exchange of tweets with Robson’s support group that took place two years ago, on November 5, 2013:
- Mike Parziale: “Was the 200M a rumor or is there hard evidence, what ever happened to Johnathan Spence? Thanks.”
- Stacy Brown: “The figures were going to be released at the 2005 trial but the judge ruled they couldn’t share it because it would prejudice the jury”.
When you reread his answer you realize that it is only the context that suggests that Stacy Brown is speaking of some fictional 200 million. However this was enough for MJ haters to turn the “rumor” into “hard evidence” and run around with it ever since.
In April this year Stacy Brown repeated his story in a New York Post article – this time adding to it 20 non-existent victims and the idea that a “wealth” of evidence against Jackson was not disclosed at the trial because the judge did not admit it. This lie was again told with the help of unnamed sources who threatened to “reveal it all” at Robson/Safechuck’s civil trial if it ever came to that.
To equip Michael’s supporters with solid rock confidence that there is no grain of truth in Stacy Brown’s story I’ve undertaken a study of all court documents of the 2005 trial and am still going over them with a fine-tooth comb as I myself want to be sure that we haven’t missed a thing.
And as it often happens when you really start looking, you begin by examining one lie but end up uncovering a whole pack of them.
All court documents for Michael Jackson’s case No. 1133603 are archived on the Santa Barbara Superior Court page here: http://www.sbscpublicaccess.org/ctdocs.php .
If you copy their full list to your computer it will make no less than 80 pages and this will be the titles of the documents only. The period covered by them is 12/04/2003 – 03/08/2006. The first documents are listed at the bottom of the page and this is where you begin the search going all the way upwards to the top.
By now I’ve gone over half the list, opening each and every document which could suggest that the judge could possibly exclude a “wealth” of evidence on some phantom victims and their no less phathom settlements.
The documents needed by us most should be connected with discovery issues and the way this matter was handled by both parties. Discovery is the process of exchanging all evidence prior to a trial, mostly by turning it over by prosecution to the defense – to give the defendant a fair chance and let his attorneys look into the same issues which the prosecutors will raise at trial.
Discovery concerns only documents and real evidence, but not the work product which is naturally the property and secret of each party (more about discovery regarding Jordan’s description and MJ’s genitalia photos in this post).
My search initially started with only major documents, but eventually I began opening almost every paper because there is simply no such thing as a trifle here and if you don’t see it all you can’t grasp the meaning of details either.
What is the impression of the pack of documents I’ve seen by now? The impression is that it was a slaughter-house, and the prosecution wanted it that way for MJ from the start of it.
And if it hadn’t been for the incredibly staunch defense team of Thomas Mesereau, Susan Yu, Robert Sanger and Steven Cochran, the prosecution could have still prevailed even despite their case being totally bogus – simply due to the viciousness of their onslaught against Jackson, the avalanche of their motions, the pile of search warrants (which were over 100), the prosecutors’ strategy to create havoc in the defense camp, and their close ties with the media and constant and intentional leaks to the press.
At times I couldn’t understand how a small defense team like theirs could react to this prosecution craze with some 20 documents a day (on different matters) considering that each document had several pages and required hours and hours of work. The team must have hardly slept for a year, so Michael’s full acquittal was not “just” won by these people – it was won in a deadly fight for the truth and Michael Jackson’s innocence.
And actually Steven Cochran did die during that fight.
It is only now that the words Thomas Mesereau said in his interview to Turning the Table blog acquire to me their true meaning:
- Q. How do you feel about the way people keep disregarding his not guilty verdict?
- A. It’s very sad because a reputation is worth its weight in gold and you can’t put a price on a good reputation. This was the closest thing to full vindication that you can find in the American justice system this was 14 not guiltys, 10 felony and four a lesser included misdemeanors. Meaning they wouldn’t even convict him on a misdemeanor count. So you can’t get a stronger declaration of innocence in the American justice system than he got. It’s very sad that a lot of people refuse to take into account the evidence or lack thereof than these jury verdicts. This was a very conviction oriented part of California in this courthouse the conviction rate is overwhelming. You get very conservative jurors, a lot of them from the neighboring Air Force Base and they went not guilty 14 times. [……] The former president of the criminal courts Bar Association of Los Angeles told me this was the first time in a felony child molest case that someone had been acquitted on all counts when they brought in that kind of evidence.”
Indeed, all “that kind of evidence” was collected by the prosecution for a decade prior to the trial and all of it was presented there, but the not-guilty verdicts on all counts proved that none of it was of value and all of it was just meaningless trash.
However, if the story about something not admitted by the judge is true even by 0,1% per cent, we still need to find it and make sure that it didn’t change the course of the trial.
And in search for it we are going straight to the grand jury sessions because this is where the prosecution told the worst about Jackson and did it behind closed doors too.
GRAND JURY TRANSCRIPTS
The problem we face here is that in contrast to pre-trial hearings grand jury sessions are closed to the public and there is often no way to know what was happening there. In the interview quoted above Thomas Mesereau explained the difference:
In a grand jury room you have no judge and you have no defense attorney. You only have the prosecutor and the grand Jury. The prosecutor calls witnesses there [that are] never cross examined and the grand jury hears enough evidence to know if they agree with the prosecutor [to] return an indictment. It’s a very easy process to get a criminal case going…There’s no judge controlling the proceeding. There’s no judge deciding what evidence is admissible or not admissible and there’s no defense attorney cross examining to test whether the evidence is credible or not. And also a grand jury is a private proceeding, it’s behind closed doors. It’s not a public proceeding.
In a preliminary hearing you have a hearing in open court before a judge. The prosecution has to present enough evidence to convince the judge that there’s a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed. […] There two separate and very different ways to go forward with a criminal case.
So Sneddon chose (not surprisingly) the grand jury over public hearings and these sessions were held behind closed doors. This gave Sneddon a chance to tell the worst about Jackson, and though it was bad for Michael it is good for us as “the worst” is exactly what we are looking for now.
After the grand jury indicted MJ his defense objected to disclosing the grand jury transcripts. At the time the jurors were in selection process and if they got familiar with the case in advance it could be a tremendous blow to Jackson’s case prejudicing the jurors even before the trial started.
But this was exactly what Sneddon was counting on and in May-July 2003 he made several motions to unseal the grand jury transcripts. The motions were not granted. The judge ordered to seal the transcripts “for the protection of minor alleged victims and to insure that a Jury Venire remains impartial”, at least until their contents were disclosed at the trial.
However the judge’s ruling didn’t stop some people from leaking them and the grand jury transcripts still found their way into the media.
All these events are recorded in a pack of respective motions, defense objections and prosecution responses, but the short of it is described by Thomas Mesereau in the same interview:
“Now what happened in Michael’s case was this. You had a grand jury transcript. I made a motion that was granted and the motion I made was –I asked the judge to not allow these transcripts to be publicly released until the naturally arose during the course of the trial. [..]Now what happened was while the grand jury was meeting, information was being leaked because the press was reporting it, which was disturbing. But just as disturbing as that if not more so was that – on the first day of jury selection ABC Good Morning America started showing transcripts. So somebody took all the transcripts and either sold them or leaked them to them. In an obvious attempt to prejudice the defense because that was the first day the jurors were arriving to the court house to be selected. So it was an obvious effort to prejudice the jury pool against us.”
And we can even guess who was arranging those leaks. Thomas Mesereau revealed that the prosecution and Diane Dimond were so close to each other that when Susan Yu once called Gordon Auchincloss he (apparently from the force of habit) answered her “Hi Diane” and she answered him “No…It’s not Diane, its Susan Yu.”
I remind you that the blog where this exclusive interview of Thomas Mesereau’s is published is here: https://turningthetableonthechandlerallegations.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/the-interviews/
Closer to the beginning of the trial, on February 15, 2005 and despite the judge’s order still being in effect the major part of grand jury transcripts were released by the Smoking Gun.
WHAT THE TRANSCRIPTS TELL US
The Smoking gun published the most “damning” of those grand jury transcripts. These were approximately 1000 pages out of 1900 pages all in all, and the released part was the dialogue between the prosecutors and pro-prosecution witnesses.
The exculpatory evidence from the defense was also presented but it was mostly in the form of documents which the prosecution asked the grand jury to briefly look through. Ron Zonen even preceded it with a statement that “you’ll figure it out fairly rapidly”. Some pro-defense witnesses also testified but Sneddon openly bullied them (remember the case of Russell Halperin who was a lawyer for David Arvizo).
The transcripts of those who testified for the defense were of course not published by the Smoking Gun, and this is how we know the worst of what the prosecution had and presented there against Jackson.
A brief look at those transcripts http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/inside-michael-jackson-grand-jury and the list of witnesses provided in the respective court motions shows that their subject was the Arvizo case with no reference to any “prior offenses” or settlement agreements – with one exception though. The exception was an agreement with the Chandlers discussed at grand jury proceedings by Sneddon and Jordan’s lawyer Larry Feldman.
Larry Feldman’s testimony was naturally part of the Smoking Gun package but we will use a different document – the defense motion called “Motion to Set Aside the Indictment (Pen. Code §995)” filed by them on June 29, 2004.
The motion was denied but it contained a long list of instances of prosecution misconduct reflected in the transcripts of all witnesses, and this is how we can see the whole picture and not just fragments of it.
The motion is 212 pages long and after studying it inside out we again find only one reference to a settlement agreement – the one with Jordan Chandler.
Please note, that when the defense argued in their motion that the prosecution was trying to introduce “a lot of inadmissible and irrelevant evidence” they didn’t mean any phantom 20 victims – they were talking about the prosecution inviting Larry Feldman and psychologist Stanley Katz as their first witnesses which was a highly inflammatory way to start the grand jury hearings with.
The defense motion said:
“The District Attorney called many witnesses whose testimony would not have been allowed over objection at trial. The District Attorney eliminated any chance that the grand jury could limit its consideration to admissible and relevant evidence when he chose to call Larry Feldman and Stan Katz as witnesses on the first day of testimony.
Both witnesses proceeded to testify to a large amount of incompetent and irrelevant evidence that poisoned the entire proceeding with highly inflammatory and prejudicial testimony that is inadmissible over objection at trial.
Mr. Sneddon asked Mr. Feldman about the 1993 lawsuit against Mr. Jackson and prompted Mr. Feldman to inform the grand jury that the lawsuit resulted in a settlement for “multi-multi-millions of dollars”. Mr. Sneddon asked Mr. Feldman if “Johnnie Cochran of the O.J.Simpson fame” represented Mr. Jackson in that lawsuit.
These types of questions and answers violated Mr. Jackson’s right to due process from the moment the grand jury began to hear testimony and guaranteed that the grand jury would not be able to function as an independent body with the obligation to protect citizens from unfounded allegations. Any limiting instructions later provided by the prosecution could not unring the bell.”
To prove their point the defense also provided an excerpt from the grand jury transcript where Sneddon was examinining Larry Feldman:
Q. And during the course of that litigation that you were involved in, who represented Mr. Jackson?
A. Well, it started with Bert Fields and Howard Weitzman, and the ultimately it was Howard Weitzman and Johnnie Cochran.
Q. Johnnie Cochran of the O.J.Simpson fame?
[..] Q. And eventually did the matter which you had filed the lawsuit against Mr. Jackson result in a substantial civil settlement in your favor?
A. It did.
Q. Multi-multimillion dollar settlement?
A. Multi-multi-multimillions of dollars.
I agree that an emphasis on the “multi-multi-multimillions of dollars” not only prejudiced the grand jury but also misguided them as to the sum of that settlement as it suggested some really cosmic figures which the settlement was not.
However for us it is important that the grand jury transcripts did not point to any other settlements, so in search for Stacy Brown’s fictional figures we have to go further.
MOTIONS TO COMPEL DISCOVERY
On May 14, 2004 Thomas Mesereau who had just replaced Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman in Michael Jackson’s previous defense team made a motion that summed up the situation the defense was facing – the defense had extremely scarce discovery from the prosecution side and could not adequately prepare for the trial.
This defense motion to compel discovery described the situation as inexcusable:
“Over six months after the charges were raised, the prosecution is far from satisfying basic discovery obligations.
Defense counsel made their initial demand for discovery on January 30, 2004. Essential information was requested, including witness statements and copies of tapes, photographs and other materials. The prosecution has not responded to that demand specifically, other than incomplete production of documents and tapes.
On February 18, 2004, defense counsel requested access for in-person review of the items seized pursuant to search warrants. The prosecution has provided no written response to that demand either, but has represented more than once that the items are still under examination and remain unavailable for defense review.
The prosecution has found the time and effort necessary to prepare for grand jury proceedings, conduct ongoing witness interviews and monitor forensic examination of seized items at the expense of providing timely discovery as the law requires. The failure to complete discovery is inexcusable.”
Another defense motion made on May 26, 2004 showed that two weeks later the situation was no better. The motion said that the last time discovery was turned over to the defense was on March 12 – two and a half months before that and since then there was no progress whatsoever.
To see how crazy the situation was we need to remember that at that moment the trial was set to begin on September 13, 2004, which was leaving the defense extremely little time to get familiar with the case.
On May 27, 2004 the Prosecution somewhat arrogantly responded that “the reports were provided promptly and as soon as they were ready”.
As proof that they were doing something to help the defense the prosecution enclosed their letter sent to the previous defense attorney Mark Geragos on March 12 and this letter revealed to us a surprising fact – the prosecution was offering 51 audiotapes, 2 videotapes and one disc, only they were going to charge money for this discovery at the rate of $10 for each audiotape and $25 for videos and discs.
So first they made kilometres and kilometres of their nonsense tapes about Michael Jackson and then they made him pay for it?! And after that some people are wondering why his money was gone?
The same letter was accompanied by a list of audiotapes the prosecution was selling to the defense and this is how we find that they also interviewed Aaron Carter and his mother Jane.
Since the prosecution never expressed a desire to call them as their witnesses this makes it clear that both had absolutely nothing bad to say about Michael.
On June 8, 2004 the prosecution submitted to court the Sheriff’s list of items seized from Neverland during their raids in 2003.
This paper is a favorite with Michael Jackson’s haters – it itemizes every book and magazine, every video and every scrap of paper, and every photo seized from Michael’s home, often accompanying them with a comment that make them sound much more obscene than they actually are.
“Semi-nude children in frontal nudity” for example, could simply mean children in their bathing suits. The promotional photos of the 3T band were described there as “semi-nude males” and all the rest of it was in the same style. The way you describe things depends on your preconceptions, and if you make a description of the people on the beach in the same manner the result will also look like a scene set for a mass sex orgy.
We have a series of old posts about this Sheriff’s list of seized items called “Porn” found in Michael Jackson’s home. These posts probably require an update now as this was our first attempt to understand what that formidable-looking list was all about. Since then a lot of new information has been acquired and needs putting it down one day.
On June 22, 2004 the Defense made a motion to suppress the materials seized from Brad Miller’s office.
Who was Brad Miller?
He was a private investigator working for Mark Geragos, a lawyer from MJ’s previous defense team.
What happened to him?
The prosecution raided his office and confiscated there a lot of materials related to the case.
What was wrong with that raid?
It was totally illegal as it broke the attorney-client privilege and invading the defense camp by the prosecution was equivalent to the defense breaking into the prosecution office, complete with seizing their papers and work product. It is actually a crime, and this is why the defense was asking to suppress the materials seized from Brad Miller’s office.
The list of what they asked to be sealed is provided below. None of it was in any way connected with the 1993 case, Stacy Brown’s phantom victims and their fictional settlements. All items concerned the Arvizos and were mostly video tapes.
By that moment this dispute had been dragging for at least half a year, and the new development in the story was that the defense finally wanted to suppress those materials and the matter was beginning to attract some attention.
Still ignoring the Brad Miller issue but as if giving the defense an asymmetric reply on June 25, 2004 the prosecution approached the judge with their own motion to clarify whether Michael Jackson had the right to make a public statement he made on June 17, 2004.
And this is when we recall that right at that time Diane Dimond leaked Michael Jackson’s confidential agreement (confidential, guys). On June 15, 2004 she went on Abrams report on MSNBC, the next day she made a program on Court TV and the redacted text of the settlement agreement was published by the Smoking Gun scandalizing the matter to its very brim.
Diane Dimond disclosed that the settlement was for the sum of $15,331,250, adding to it that the parents received $1,5 million each, and that their lawyer was entitled to $5 million (the Smoking Gun said $3 million), plus the expenses, adding to the subject her extensive comment.
On the background of so much scandal over that settlement the story about the illegal raid of Braid Miller’s office naturally faded.
On June 17, 2004 Michael was forced to make a statement that was released via his official website, MJJ Source:
“I respect the obligation of confidentiality imposed on all of the parties to the 1993 proceedings. Yet, someone has chosen to violate the confidentiality of those proceedings. Whoever is now leaking this material is showing as much disrespect for the Santa Maria Court’s ‘gag order’ as they are a determination to attack me.
“No action or investigation has been taken to determine who is leaking this information or why they are permitted to violate the law in such a manner. I respectfully request that people see these efforts for what they are.
“These kinds of attacks and leaks seek to try the case in the press, rather than to a jury who will hear all of the evidence that will show that I did not, and would not, ever, harm a child. I have always maintained my innocence and vehemently denied that these events ever took place. I reluctantly chose to settle the false claims only to end the terrible publicity and to continue with my life and career.
“I ask all of my neighbors in Santa Maria, the people to whom I give my loyal trust and admiration, to keep an open mind and give me a chance to show that I am completely innocent of these charges. I will not let you down.”
On June 29, 2004 the Defense made a motion to set aside the Indictment. It was that very paper which quoted Sneddon and Larry Feldman making fun of the so-called “multi-multi-multimillions of dollars” settlement with Jordan Chandler.
As you all know the motion was denied, and it is mentioned here again only for placing it in the right time.
AN AFFIDAVIT BASED ON WILFULLY FALSE INFORMATION
Please note that the motions selected for this post are only a fraction of a whole mountain of them made by both parties. But given the goal of this study I had to choose only those where the evidence was asked to be suppressed by the defense because this is what we are actually checking up here following Stacy Brown’s story.
The next motion filed by the defense on June 29, 2004, was connected exactly with this problem. The goal of that motion was to traverse an affidavit by Detective Paul Zelis.
“Traverse” is a difficult word but it means that the defense was challenging the assertions made by this detective in his affidavit and stating that he (the “Affiant”) misrepresented the case.
Zelis’s affidavit was 82 pages long, was called “Statement of probable cause” and it was the main document on the basis of which numerous search warrants were issued. By that moment their number reached 54.
The primary claim of the defense was that Detective Zelis’s affidavit contained wilfully false information. It had full four pages describing the profile of a pedophile and at some point concluded that MJ “fit” it. The defense argued that the detective was in no way qualified to make this statement and that one of its consequences was that it enabled the prosecution to issue the broadest possible search warrants and allowed them to seize everything that caught their eye.
But the main point was that Detective Zelis wilfully misrepresented the case and didn’t disclose the crucial piece of information – that Dr. Katz, whom the detective referred to in his affidavit, stated that Michel did not fit that profile.
And even though Dr. Katz believed some of Gavin Arvizo’s stories he still said that MJ was different and called him “just a regressed 10-year old”, and Detective Zelis agreed with him on that. Let me also add that Gavin’s stories about “jacking off” were true, only they concerned solely himself and his brother.
The transcript of the recorded telephone conversation between Katz and Zelis had the following exchange:
Stan Katz: “And ya, know, he’s doing what a 10 year old would do with his little buddies. You know, they’re gonna jack off and watch movies and drink wine, ya know. And I’m not… ya know, he doesn’t even really qualify as a pedophile. He’s really just this regressed 10 year old”.
Paul Zelis: “Yeah, yeah, I agree.”
So what happened here is that the centerpiece of the affidavit was based on the opinion of a non-professional, while the opinion of a professional was ignored and not even mentioned.
The defense stressed it in their motion:
“The Affiant’s wilfully false claim that Mr. Jackson was a pedophile was the centerpiece of the affidavit. From this assertion, the officer attempted to justify the broadest aspects of the warrant request.
The Affiant, Paul Zelis, included in the affidavit a statement that a “trained forensic psychologist” interviewed the alleged victim and his brother. The Affiant, however, knew that the same “trained forensic psychologist” stated that Mr. Jackson is not a pedophile. The Affiant knew this before he wrote the Statement of Probable Cause”.
“An affidavit is considered defective not only because of international misstatements but also because of intentional omissions”
Of course this motion went nowhere, but it is still doesn’t hurt to know that the affidavit which MJ haters triumphantly call “the investigator’s affidavit stating that Michael was a ped-le” is actually a defective paper because 1) the officer wasn’t qualified to make such statements, 2) he wilfully omitted an expert’s view on the subject and 3) the expert’s opinion about Michael was actually the opposite of what the detective said in his affidavit.
The above defense motion also provided a pack of useful documents attached to it – a seven-page long list of search warrants with the dates and locations of all searches; the list of all items seized under those warrants; the Sheriff’s summary list of books, magazines, etc. (we already know of); the recorded telephone interview between Detective Paul Zelis and Dr. Stan Katz; and the transcript of the Arvizos’ interview with the DCFS personnel in February 2003 as part of Det. Zelis’s affidavit.
By the way, here is an interesting excerpt from that transcript quoting Mrs. Arvizo:
“My children are never solely alone with Michael Jackson. There’s always someone around. When we go to Neverland, we’re always around people. Sometimes I stay in the visitor’s quarters, but mostly I am in the main house. Gavin, Star and Davellin have all been in Michael’s room. Yes, Gavin and Star have been with Michael on his bed watching TV. As to the allegations that they share a bed, it is no… I am usually up walking around the house all night long. The room is open and there are no doors to shut. It makes me sick that someone accuses Michael of doing harm to my son and other children, when he has never been anything but wonderful…I was not aware that the taping with Mr. Bashir would be aired. We did not sign any consent to have my children on this interview.”
This “walking around the house all night long and Michael’s room always open” is an interesting point, but let us not go into this subject and limit ourselves to an observation that up till now we have not seen a single trace of any other “victim” except the Arvizo gang.
On June 30, 2004 the Prosecution responded to the defense earlier motion about Brad Miller and said they didn’t know that Brad Miller was an investigator on the defense team.
Their reply said:
“Not every “invasion” of the office of a lawyer or his agent is “outrageous”. In this case, it was not known that Mr. Miller was employed by a lawyer retained by defendant when the search was initiated”
This statement is a flat lie which was uncovered only much later. On August 16, 2004 when the Defense was reporting to the Court for an umpteenth time that prosecution discovery was incomplete, the defense paper mentioned a certain “Operation Plan” that was finally provided to them by the other side.
This Operations Plan was obtained after a long fight and it disclosed that Sneddon and his people knew perfectly well who Brad Miller was when they were illegally raiding his office. The plan was made several days prior to the first raid of Neverland on November 18 and listed the names of all people whose offices were to be searched.
The name of Brad Miller was also there with a note beside it that he was a private investigator (naturally for Michael Jackson, otherwise why seach him at all?).
According to the prosecution they themselves “didn’t know the paper existed” and learned about it only “recently”.
The defense motion had the following to say about the manner in which this document was recovered:
“On August 12, 2004, the prosecution produced a November 14, 2003 “Operations Plan” prepared by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department for the November 18 2003 search of Mr. Jackson’s ranch.
The “Operations Plan” also references a briefing concerning the search of Mr. Miller’s office.
This “Operations Plan” was not previously produced, despite months of discovery, a motion to compel and briefing about the validity of searches.
Without elaboration, the cover letter to the inexcusably late discovery claims that the prosecution was only advised that the document exists on August 10, 2004”
As far as I remember it was after getting familiar with Brad Miller’s materials that Sneddon corrected the dates when Gavin was “molested”. The dates provided by the accusers fell on a period when Michael was away from Neverland, and this became known only due to the information seized from Brad Miller’s office – so that raid was not only illegal but it also made a whole lot of difference for the prosecution who stated the dates of “molestation” not because they were true but because they fit Michael Jackson’s schedule.
No sanctions followed the unpleasant Brad Miller story except that the judge sealed 40, 257 electronic messages of attorney-client communication between Brad Miller and Mark Geragos, out of which only 18 related to the Arvizo case.
SNEDDON’S WAY TO SHUT UP MICHAEL’S SUPPORTERS
On July 26, 2004 the Defense approached the judge for a clarification if it was okay for Sneddon not to allow Michael Jackson’s supporters to speak to the press and stop them from doing it by means of a fraud.
This time the defense learned (by sheer accident again) that in order to prevent Michael’s supporters from publicly defending him Sneddon issued letters that the prosecution intended to call them as witnesses, though he knew perfectly well that it was not going to happen – what was the use for him of Michael’s supporters?
The story became known thanks to a journalist from a national Canadian newspaper who attended a closed-door meeting of the National District Attorney’s Association in Vancouver. Tom Sneddon lashed out at the media there and “offered some advice on how he had kept some people involved in the case from talking to the press”.
According to that journalist Sneddon said:
“We sent letters to some people saying we intended to call them as witnesses in order to keep them off TV. And we were able to get some lawyers, if not off, at least more restrained”
The defense motion to the judge enclosed the transcript of Abrams report that dwelt on this unpleasant situation, however Ron Zonen reacted to the motion by a paper which said that Sneddon was “misquoted”.
THE ITEMS SEALED
Among at least a dozen of disputes going back and forth at the time, the one that was still raging concerned Detective Zelis whose wrong and unprofessional labelling Michael Jackson with a P. word laid the basis for a huge number of search warrants, which by then were reaching the number of 100.
On August 9, 2004 Sneddon’s paper explained that Detective Zelis “wasn’t offering an expert’s opinion” and used the word “pedophile” in its lay meaning.
Mr. Sanger of the defense replied that a lay definition was not relevant and not applicable to a legal case. His response on August 11, 2004 said:
The lay definition […] is irrelevant. Det. Zelis claims to be knowledgeable, if not an expert [..] by ascribing to Michael Jackson a detailed psychological profile. It was wilfully false to state that Mr. Jackson fit the typical profile of a pedophile, when Det. Zelis knew that Dr. Katz, a trained forensic psychologist, believed that Mr. Jackson did not fit the pedophile profile, and instead was more like a “regressed 10-year old”.
The defense argued that as a result of that defective affidavit the search warrants issued on its basis allowed them too much scope and power, and too many items were seized illegally, so on August 19, 2004 the defense submitted a list of items which they requested to be put under conditional seal as they were seized as a result of those unlawful warrants.
On September 9, 2004 the judge allowed to temporarily seal them “due to unprecedented media coverage of the case”. All of it was still taking place before the trial began and even before the jury was selected, and this is why the judge said:
“The sealing order is necessary to maintain the integrity of the available jury pool limiting its exposure to the expected evidence and testimony pretrial and to prevent exposure to inadmissible items of evidence”
Now, this is probably the first moment in our study which may suggest that some items seized by the prosecution were indeed sealed by the judge, and in order to see what those items were we need to look into both the list submitted by the defense and the description of those items made in that salacious Sheriff’s summary list of the items seized.
And this comparison brings us to a surprising conclusion that the Defense were very modest in their requests, and asked to suppress the most innocent items, and the reason for their request was that those items were indeed outside the scope of search warrants.
For example, item 305 was a “framed photograph of Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone video”, Items 312 and 318 were “legal paperwork”, Item 319 was a magazine with Mohammed Al Fayed’s phone number written on it, Items 335 and 337 were a “Laptop case” and “Keyboard”, Item 334a was “several pieces of paper which had Grace Rwaramba’s name written on it”, Item 509 was the book “Chronos” (about the way people age) and Item 326 was “Print ads for children’s clothing”. And so on and so forth.
Please don’t worry about the computers – by then they had already been examined by the FBI.
And a short note about item 326 – the Sheriff’s list characterized it as follows:
“Item 326. This item is described as being commercially produced photographs. In reviewing this item, I found it to be numerous pictures of juvenile children, which appear to be of commercial manufacture. There are a few pictures within the many packaged pictures which depict semi-unclothed children.
There were also two Polaroid photographs of what appeared to be a 10-13 year old boy, one of which had Michael Jackson on the background.
Also included was a folder from Irene Marie Management group, out of Miami Beach Florida, telephone number …. This appeared to be a “child management group”.
Also included in this item of evidence was a letter from “Good Management Company”, addressed to Frank Tyson, at …. California”.
Another police list, which described the location of each piece, said that item 326 contained:
“Commercially produced photographs of semi-nude girl located in pantry closet, west end 2nd floor off of toy room. Det. J.Williams”
Let us sum it up. So at the request of the defense the judge temporarily sealed a pack of commercial photos, some of which showed “semi-nude” girls who were probably in their bathing suits, and two Polaroid photos which did not show Jonathan Spence as the photo Sneddon “believed” to be Spence was seized in 1993 (and not in 2003), and also books like “Chronos” showing people aging, and also some keyboards…
And the defense had to spill so much of their blood over this totally innocent list of items?? Some of which were later released anyway as I perfectly remember the book “Chronos” discussed in the courtroom? Well, with a bulldog attitude like that it was simply impossible for the defense to “suppress” anything really tangible – even if they had had an intention to do it, which they didn’t!
Indeed, if a list like the above required so much fight reflected in the court motions, objections, hearings, etc. we can forget about the “wealth of evidence” allegedly “suppressed” by the judge according to Stacy Brown. It could simply never happen.
And it was at this point that all these discovery matters opened up to us their really big secret – only it was about the prosecution and not the defense. It turned out that the court documents had in their vaults a wonderful treasure.
SO WHICH OF THEM WANTED TO SUPPRESS THE 1993 EVIDENCE?
On September 3, 2004 the Defense asked the prosecution to turn over to them all discovery and forensic tests made by the prosecution in the course of the 1993/94 criminal investigation, but the prosecution refused to provide that discovery and said that it was “irrelevant”.
Let me say it again and slowly this time:
The Defense asked Tom Sneddon to turn over to them all evidence the prosecution collected against Michael Jackson in 1993/94, but the District Attorney refused to provide it and said that it was irrelevant.
What an incredible turn to the story.
People like Stacy Brown are trying to make us believe that the poor District Attorney wanted to introduce some “damning” evidence from the 1993 case, only the judge didn’t allow it, and now we learn that it was the defense who was asking for it and was ready to discuss it at the trial, however the District Attorney refused them and said that it was “irrelevant”.
The “damning” evidence was “irrelevant”! Have you ever heard anything like it?
This truly historic answer from District Attorney Tom Sneddon is hiding in a document with a non-committal title of a “Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel Discovery; Memorandum of Points and Authorities; Declaration of Steve Cochran; Exhibits [unsealed pursuant to 6/16/05 Court’s order]
To make sure that everyone understands that the situation with the 1993 evidence was exactly the opposite from the way it is described to us by MJ haters I’ve partially retyped this breathtaking document.
It says that the defense insists on having the 1993 discovery as their exculpatory evidence, however the prosecution is not only dragging its feet, but even “declines to produce it”:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on September 16, 2004 at 8:30 am, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard, before the Honorable Rodney S. Melville, defendant Michael J.Jackson (“Mr. Jackson”) through his counsel, will and hereby does move for an order compelling discovery. Specifically, Mr. Jackson requests an order requiring the prosecution to produce information and materials gathered during the 1993-1994 investigation conducted by police and prosecutors in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties. Additionally, the results of forensic tests done by the prosecution must be produced.
This motion is brought pursuant to Penal Code #1054.1. The discovery requested is relevant. The prosecution relies on information from the prior investigation in these proceedings, including the affidavit to justify searches in this case. That material also contains, or is likely to lead to, exculpatory evidence.
The results of forensic testing by the prosecution are long overdue. The production of that information should now be compelled.
The parties have met and conferred to impasse. The prosecution declines to produce this discovery”.
- So it was the defense who insisted on having all discovery from the 1993 case, but the prosecution declined to produce it.
- The defense said that the evidence was relevant, but the prosecution said that it was not (for what was supposed to be a child molestation case!)
- The defense wanted all forensic tests and said that it was exculpatory evidence for Michael Jackson, but this is exactly why the prosecution was refusing it (under no circumstances would they provide an expert’s opinion about those photos and Jordan’s description).
In fact the prosecution did not even respond to the requests of the defense – this is how their motion describes the prosecutors’ reaction to their appeals:
THE MEET-AND-CONFER ON THIS ISSUE
Defense counsel have informally requested the materials from the prior investigation. Correspondence containing this request is attached hereto as Exhibit A. The prosecution has not responded in writing to this request. The prosecution has stated in court, however, that discovery from the prior investigation is irrelevant. See Declaration of Steve Cochran.
THE RESULTS OF FORENSIC TESTS HAVE NOT BEEN PRODUCED
Police reports produced thus far indicate that the prosecution has commissioned forensic examinations of all kinds. Among other things, analyses of computer data, DNA and fingerprints have been done by the California Dept. of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The defense informally requested the results of such tests long ago. A copy of that correspondence is attached hereto as Exhibit B. To date, virtually no reports of the results of forensic tests have been produced. See Declaration of Steve Cochran.
The Defense stress that the 1993 discovery is indispensable to them and the prosecution is obliged to produce it as it is exculpatory evidence for Michael Jackson (according to discovery rules it is indeed an obligation of the prosecution to turn over all exculpatory evidence to the other side). “Exculpatory” is the evidence that can exonerate the defendant of any guilt or suspicion, and it is exactly for this reason that the defense is insisting on its provision.
Incredible, but they even have to explain to the prosecution that since they themselves raised the 1993 issue the discovery from that period is falling within the necessary requirements of the current case and should be provided by all means. The prosecution is obliged to do it:
Materials from the investigation of 1993-1994 are within the purview of discovery in this case.
The prosecution has already utilized information developed during that investigation and innuendo from the settlement of civil proceedings initiated by the complainant in that matter.
The prosecution relies on so-called information from the prior investigation to justify the scope of the November 2003 search of Mr. Jackson’s ranch.
Resort to that information as part of this case obliges the prosecution to provide discovery.
Mr. Jackson’s right to receive exculpatory information from the prosecution also requires production of materials from the prior investigation. Law enforcement unquestionably developed information rebutting allegations of misconduct from the many people who testified before the grand juries or submitted to informal interview.
The volume of material generated during the prior investigation appears to be large. Ample time is necessary for the defense to review and follow up on that information. The prosecution has already waited too long to provide this discovery.
The materials gathered during the prior investigation are relevant and exculpatory, as are the results of forensic tests. Accordingly, Mr. Jackson respectfully requests an order compelling the prosecution to provide discovery.
Dated September 3, 2004
Steve Cochran, Defense attorneys for Michael Jackson
What a fantastic situation indeed. Michael’s haters are saying on every corner that “the wealth of 1993 evidence” was “damning” for Michael Jackson, but in reality it was damning for Sneddon and his team as it could reveal that they blatantly lied about Michael for a decade, and the disclosure of this unpleasant fact was what the prosecution was trying hard to avoid.
Do you want to know what Tom Sneddon replied to this defense motion?
He gave his reply only two weeks later, on September 17, 2004. His response said that they were “diligently investigating every possible lead to relevant discovery in this case”, only their resources were “limited” and the “task is extremely complex and demanding in time” (apparently 10 years prior to that were not enough time).
However since the judge “expressed a concern that ongoing discovery may cause a delay in trial” the prosecution “share the Court’s concern” and promise to “make every effort to provide prompt discovery pursuant to Penal Code section 1054.1”
The prosecution also says that “upon further consideration the People do not oppose the defendant’s request for discovery of police reports” (only police reports), and as to forensic reports they will “canvas all involved agencies” (as if that description and those photos were not lying on Sneddon’s desk right at that very moment).
They promise “to obtain and discover such reports on and before October 8, 2004. On the same date, the People will provide defendant and the court with a status report on all forensic investigations that have yet to be completed and the expected date such reports will be completed and discovered to the defense.”
And this is all, guys. What Sneddon essentially says here is as follows:
- as per September 2004 the prosecution still did not have any forensic reports (for example, from Dr. Strick about MJ’s photos and Jordan’s description) though ten years had already passed
- he pretended that they neded to “canvas all involved agencies” for this information (and this way admitted that they themselves had nothing).
- he also made it look like they simply didn’t want to raise anything “from the past” but “upon further consideration did not oppose it” (hello to Stacy Brown and his story about “the wealth of evidence” the prosecution was keen to introduce).
- Sneddon didn’t oppose the disclosure of police reports only (but not forensic evidence)
- and as regards forensic reports (like the FBI evidence or expert’s opinion about those photos) the only thing Sneddon promised was that they would try to obtain it for themselves by October 8, 2004. On this historic date the prosecution would provide to the defense – no, not any discovery – only information on the “status of their forensic investigations” .
What a jaw-dropping answer indeed. It is a clear statement that the 1993 investigation did not produce a single shred of evidence against Michael Jackson and that all this time – what’s the right English word for it? he was “taking us for a ride”?
SNEDDON’S REAL ANSWER
Though Sneddon’s reply in court was slow, vague and non-committal his out-of-court reply was direct, plain and immediate. It came on the same day that the defense made their motion (on September 3, 2004) and was drastically different from the official reply.
So what happened on September 3, 3004?
This site explains what it was:
On September 3, 2004, Dateline NBC aired a report entitled “Inside the Michael Jackson Case.” The people who were interviewed for the special were an anonymous source who provided Dateline with details about a secret payoff; Ernie Rizzo, the self-proclaimed Private Investigator for Jackson’s first accuser; Jim Thomas, the former Sheriff of the Santa Barbara Police Department; Robert Wegner, a disgruntled ex-employee of Jackson’s; Norma Salinas, the token foreign lady who “saw things” and most importantly, Victor Gutierrez, the producer of the special who clearly has an axe to grind.
Perhaps the most shocking detail that materialized from the Dateline special is the allegation that Jackson paid off a second boy in the early nineties to stave off accusations of child molestation. The story hit the Associated Press and spread within hours; even respected journalists were reporting that Jackson had paid $2 million to the son of an ex-employee. Here is what was said on Dateline regarding this alleged payoff:
“Dateline has learned that Michael Jackson paid [the son of his former employee] more than $2 million and the money came with a now familiar agreement: The terms of the settlement could never be discussed publicly.”
The Veritas project also recalls that scandal:
“Recently, Dateline NBC aired a report entitled Inside the Michael Jackson Case; the credits reveal that Gutierrez was the consulting producer for the program.Not surprisingly, Inside the Michael Jackson Case was heavily slanted in favour of the prosecution’s version of events and was laced with numerous falsehoods, half-truths and innuendos”.
The transcript of the above NBC program is still on the NBC site and was even renewed several years ago.
Isn’t all of it a remarkable coincidence? Another of those innumerable coincidences we’ve seen so many in this incredible Michael Jackson story?
Actually in this particular case there are even two remarkable coincidences:
- When in June 2004 Brad Miller’s awkward situation about the illegal raid was reaching its climax, Diane Dimond went on NBC and disclosed the confidential settlement agreement with Jordan Chandler.
- When another crisis came on September 3, 2004 and the defense approached the judge to compel the 1993 discovery as their exculpatory evidence, the very same day the NBC broke a story about MJ’s second settlement. And the person who helped them in this job was an associate of Diane Dimond – Victor Gutierrez.
- And both times the key player who needed this distraction most was District Attorney Tom Sneddon.
So whichever way you look at it, it was always Sneddon, Dimond, Gutierrez and the NBC (as well as other media) who were indispensable parts of this malicious game. And by the way what a nice collection of characters this team made – a county District Attorney, Diane Dimond and Victor Gutierrez, a self-confessed NAMBLA attendee…
Michael Jackson was allowed to make a statement about this new scandal on September 7, 2004. You can feel even from the text of his statement that he is barely alive from the craze taking place around him:
STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL JACKSON
It is unfortunate that yet, again, I must respond to untruths and sensationalism.
Years ago, I settled with certain individuals because I was concerned about my family and the media scrutiny that would have ensued if I fought the matter in court.
These people wanted to exploit my concern for children by threatening to destroy what I believe in and what I do. I have been a vulnerable target for those who want money.
I have spent my entire life helping millions of children across the world. I would never harm a child. It is unfortunate that some individuals have seen fit to come forward and make a complaint that is completely false.
Quite frankly, I question the timing and motive of this report.
I look forward to the day when I will be vindicated by a jury of my peers. Maybe then, these reports will come to an end.
So Michael was also questioning the timing and motive of this report. And was absolutely right in doing so. The prosecution needed something dramatic to divert public attention from the fact that though they always bragged about that “damning” evidence, now that the defense asked for it they had nothing to produce. Sneddon was afraid that people would start asking questions and in moments like these nothing can be better than a good scandal.
And what’s interesting is that each time a scandal was required there was a team of people at his disposal who were ready to produce the “right” story at any requested moment in time.
To round up this discussion let me say that the next day after Michael Jackson made his statement Thomas Meserau submitted to the judge a request for making a statement of his own. The judge granted it and Mesereau’s statement was released on September 17, 2004:
Statement of attorney Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.
Regretfully, we are compelled to vigorously respond to numerous and false statements being made about Mr. Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson was recognized as a musical genius as a child. His life and development were devoted to cultivating his musical talents and extraordinary gifts. Discipline, hard work, and a desire to heal and better this world through his creativity were emphasized throughout his youth.
It was recognized very early that Michael Jackson’s musical talent and genius could generate many millions of dollars to him and others around him. From the time he was a little boy, others have sought to exploit and take advantage of his creative talent and inherent goodness.
Mr. Jackson has donated large sums of money around the world to foster the interests and welfare of our world’s children. Early in his life, he learned and believed that while others sought to exploit and take advantage of his vulnerabilities and idealism, children did not.
Believing that children are the true example of God’s beauty, innocence and purity, Michael has devoted much of his life to helping the world’s children. He has donated millions of dollars to healing children with disease, helping children with AIDS, and traveling the world to emphasize the importance and welfare of our children. He would never harm a child.
Mr. Jackson has been a target of frivolous lawsuits throughout his career. To date, well over a thousand ridiculous lawsuits have been filed or threatened against Mr. Jackson for all kinds of reasons by those who sought to obtain money by exploiting his achievements and love for people. None of these claims involved allegations that he ever harmed a child. However, they involved, for the most part, creative and outrageous attempts to take money from Mr. Jackson. Throughout his career, Mr. Jackson’s desire to create and help our world has been subjected to efforts to exploit, undermine and take advantage of this wonderful human being.
Mr. Jackson has been repeatedly advised by those who stood to make fortunes in his business affairs to pay money, rather than face certain false allegations. As a result, many years ago, he did pay money, rather than litigate, two false allegations that he had harmed children. People who intended to earn millions of dollars from his record and music promotions did not want negative publicity from these lawsuits interfering with their profits.
These two false allegations must be placed in a proper perspective. Mr. Jackson has interacted with millions of children. Many millions of children around the world love Michael Jackson and never alleged that he harmed them in any way.
Those who wanted to profit from his good deeds and vulnerabilities were also threatening to destroy his ability to raise his own children and to champion the welfare, integrity, humanity and interests of children around the world. Michael Jackson occupies a world where his privacy is continually violated.
Michael Jackson now regrets making these payments. Nevertheless, these efforts to settle are now being used against him regardless of the merits or the truth behind them. These settlements were entered into with one primary condition. That condition was that Mr. Jackson never admitted any wrongdoing. Mr. Jackson always denied doing anything wrong.
Mr. Jackson had hoped to buy peace in the process. He was advised that while these sums of money appeared large, they were actually very small compared to money he could make in music. Mr. Jackson has earned well over one billion dollars in his career. Placed in this perspective, they were very small sums, indeed.
Greed begets greed. Mr. Jackson now realizes that the advice he received was wrong. He should have fought these actions to the bitter end and vindicated himself. The recent publicity about these settlements is unfair and damaging to him, his family and his dedication to the world’s children. The false charges he is facing will be battled in a court of law within our justice system. He is innocent and will be vindicated.
Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.
The media half-heartedly reported it, never losing a chance to mention the sums of the two settlements made by Michael Jackson. The BBC news said that “Jackson ‘regrets making payments'”
The scandal went on and while it was still ablaze Sneddon and his people pretended that they were doing what they called a “diligent investigation of every possible lead” to the evidence dating back to the 1990s.
And now they are saying that Sneddon had it all ready, and it was only the judge who didn’t allow it.
And please don’t tell me that Ron Zonen didn’t know all about of it. He did, and it seems that he owes us an answer to a couple of questions.