News Article

Who's Bad?

Jacko team responds to indictment reports. He'll plead not guilty at next week's arraignment and be exonerated, his lawyers say

Late Thursday, 24 hours after a Santa Barbara grand jury reportedly handed down an indictment against Michael Jackson in his child molestation case, neither prosecutors nor the defense would say whether Jackson had actually been indicted, but both sides acted as if the singer would be arraigned on April 30, leading to an eventual trial. According to CNN, the court issued a bench warrant for Jackson, a routine motion that would not result in an arrest unless Jackson fails to show on April 30. For their part, Jackson's team issued a statement saying: ''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.''

With the reported indictment still sealed, it's not clear which of the charges leveled against Jackson will actually come to trial. Earlier this year, the singer pleaded not guilty to seven felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 and two counts of giving the child an ''intoxicating agent.'' The grand jury proceedings are expected to be released to the defense team 10 days after the arraignment, and to the public 10 days after that.

Originally posted Apr 23, 2004