Michael Jackson was indicted on child molestation charges by a CALIFORNIA grand jury yesterday (April 21), claim major US television networks.
But a Santa Barbara County Court spokesman contacted by Reuters said he could not confirm the grand jury’s ruling that Michael Jackson must stand trial on seven counts of lewd acts upon a minor.
The proceedings have been conducted under extraordinary secrecy by Santa Barbara County District Attorney, Tom Sneddon.
Mark Geragos, the lead attorney for Michael Jackson, issued a statement saying, “if the grand jury issues an indictment” the 45-year-old star would plead innocent at a previously scheduled April 30 court hearing.
The statement continued: “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.”
According to the TV networks, the jurors deliberated for 13 days after hearing evidence from the victim, his family including mother, father and brother and the mother’s attorneys before deciding on the alleged indictment.