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Friday, April 23, 2004 Laredo Morning Times PAGE 11A NATIONAL Grand jury indicts Jackson BY LINDA DEUTSCH AP Special Correspondent LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson‘s legal team said the pop star will be fully exoner- ated when he goes to trial on child molestation charges. A source close to the case told The Associated Press Thursday that Jackson was indicted, although authorities wouldn‘t confirm it and the indictment handed up by a Santa Barbara County grand jury was sealed. Jackson‘s publicist and his legal defense team issued a statement Wednesday that did not confirm an indictment but said: ”Mr. Jackson and his attorneys are confident that after a trial on these charges Mr. Jackson will be fully exon- erated and that the allega- tions contained in the indict- ment will be shown to be AP Photo/Ed Souza, Pool patently false.” INDICTED: Michael Jackson reaches for his umbrella as he A judge has issued a gag leaves the Santa Maria Courthouse following his arraignment on order that prohibits attorneys sexual molestation charges Jan 16 in California. Jackson was on both sides from dis- indicted by a grand jury investigating child molestation allega- cussing the case with the tions Wednesday. media. Jackson spokeswoman arraigned April 30 on the dice a future jury pool. Raymone Bain told The grand jury indictment. The grand jury has spent Associated Press that she Jackson attorney Mark the last three weeks hearing had spoken with Jackson Geragos, reached by tele- from witnesses, including a Wednesday, but would say phone, would not answer 14-year-old boy who claims only that the singer ”is out questions from The the superstar sexually and about.” Associated Press. abused him. The closed-door grand jury The district attorney‘s office Wednesday, grand jurors proceedings replaced a pre- also would not comment were whisked from the pro- liminary hearing, which is about the media reports, said ceedings to the downtown open to the public. Both pro- Susan Tellem of Tellem Santa Barbara courthouse in ceedings are to determine Worldwide, hired to handle vans with darkened win- whether there is enough evi- media inquiries for District dows. There they met with dence for a case to go to Attorney Tom Sneddon in the Sneddon and presiding trial. case. Calls by The Superior Court Judge Four months ago, county Associated Press to Sneddon Clifford Anderson. prosecutors charged and others in his office were Meanwhile, conspiracy and Jackson with seven counts not immediately returned. obstruction of justice of lewd or lascivious acts on Transcripts of the secret charges were being consid- a child under the age of 14 grand jury proceeding will be ered against several associ- and two counts of adminis- provided to Jackson‘s ates of Michael Jackson for tering an intoxicating agent, defense team within the next allegedly threatening the reportedly wine. Jackson 10 days. The transcripts will family of the boy who has pleaded innocent in January then be made public 10 days accused Jackson of child to those charges and has after that unless Jackson‘s molestation, the Los been free on $3 million bail. attorneys can convince a Angeles Times reported Jackson is scheduled to be judge doing so would preju- Wednesday.
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