Lawyer: Jackson Won't Share Bed With Kids
Basking in the jurors' decision to acquit his client of all counts, Michael Jackson's lawyer said today (June 14) the singer will no longer share his bed with young boys.Basking in the jurors' decision to acquit his client of all counts, Michael Jackson's lawyer said today (June 14) the singer will no longer share his bed with young boys. "He's not going to do that anymore," attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. told NBC's "Today." "He's not going to make himself vulnerable to this anymore."
Jackson was found not guilty yesterday of child molestation, conspiracy and other counts. Jurors said the accusations of a young boy and his family were not credible, a total legal victory that triggered jubilation among the pop star's fans and embarrassment for the district attorney's office.
But Mesereau said the singer was still recovering from the ordeal. "He's going to take it one day at a time. It's been a terrible, terrible process for him," he said today.
A raucous welcome greeted Jackson as he returned to his Neverland Ranch yesterday afternoon. As a convoy of black SUVs carrying him and his entourage pulled through the gates, his sister La Toya rolled down a window, smiled widely and waved. The crowd responded with a euphoric cheer.
"All of us here and millions around the world love and support you," proclaimed a banner strung across a fence by the compound in Los Olivos that Jackson said he created to provide himself with the childhood he never enjoyed.
The acquittals marked a stinging defeat for Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon, who displayed open hostility for Jackson and had pursued him for more than a decade, trying to prove the rumors that swirled around Jackson about his fondness for children.
Sneddon sat with his head in his hands after the verdicts were read. "We don't select victims of crimes and we don't select the family. We try to make a conscientious decision and go forward," Sneddon said afterward, adding "I'm not going to look back and apologize for anything that we've done."
Jurors may have acquitted Jackson of all charges of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor, but not all of them were convinced the King of Pop had never molested a child.
"He's just not guilty of the crimes he's been charged with," said Ray Hultman, who told the Associated Press he was one of three people on the 12-person panel who voted to acquit only after the other nine persuaded them there was reasonable doubt about the entertainer's guilt in this particular case.
Prosecutors presented testimony about Jackson's allegedly improper relationships with several boys in the early 1990s, including the son of a maid who testified that Jackson molested him during tickling session between 1987 and 1990. Another, Brett Barnes, took the stand to deny that he was molested during sleepovers at Neverland.
But Hultman said he believed it was likely that both boys had been molested. He said he voted to acquit Jackson in the current case because he had doubts about his current accuser's credibility. "That's not to say he's an innocent man," Hultman, 62, said of Jackson.
After the verdict, a weary Jackson retreated to Neverland where, according to his family, he went straight to bed. The entertainer, who appeared exhausted as he shuffled out of court, is "trying to get back his strength," said his father, Joe Jackson.
"I feel justice was done," Jackson's father said. "We thank the fans for supporting us."
As the verdict was read, Jackson sat motionless, as he did throughout the trial, only dabbing at his eyes with a tissue. One of his lawyers, Susan Yu, burst into tears. Some of the women on the jury also wept.
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