Billboard Music Awards
Michael Jackson Found Not Guilty On All Counts
Pop superstar Michael Jackson was found not guilty on all counts of his child molestation trial today (June 13) in Santa Maria, Calif. Jackson, 46, had been charged with molesting a 13-year-old cancerPop superstar Michael Jackson was found not guilty on all counts of his child molestation trial today (June 13) in Santa Maria, Calif. Jackson, 46, had been charged with molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor in 2003, serving him wine and conspiring to hold the boy and his family hostage at his Neverland estate in order to get them to rebut a television documentary.
The jury listened to 14 weeks of testimony and deliberated for parts of seven days before settling on a verdict today.
In the documentary, "Living With Michael Jackson," Jackson was shown holding hands with the accuser. He also said he allowed children to sleep in his bed but that it was non-sexual.
The accusations hammered home how far Jackson's career has fallen since the mid-1980s, when he became the most adored pop star in the world via such iconic albums as "Thriller" and "Bad." The prosecution, led by District Attorney Thomas Sneddon, portrayed him as a serial pedophile that utilized Neverland to lure young boys into acts of molestation.
The defense's case centered on discrepancies in the testimony of the accuser and his mother, who was made out to be a con artist that cooked up the accusations in retaliation for being cut off from Jackson's good graces.