Prosecution Decries Jackson's Lawyers
The prosecution in Michael Jackson's child molestation case has accused the defense of abusing the judicial process with sweeping demands for medical records of the alleged victim and his family, inclThe prosecution in Michael Jackson's child molestation case has accused the defense of abusing the judicial process with sweeping demands for medical records of the alleged victim and his family, including gynecological records for his mother and information on his 3-month-old brother.
In court records unsealed Friday, the Santa Barbara (Calif.) County district attorney's office blasted subpoenas from Jackson's team and a court order that bars people who received them from notifying prosecutors.
The defense "has grossly abused the process of the court" by seeking information that violates privacy rights and "could not possibly lead to evidence relevant" to Jackson's defense, prosecutors contended in the motion filed Thursday.
A response from the defense was not immediately made public. Lawyers in the case are under a gag order not to discuss it.
Jackson has pleaded not guilty to child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, to a boy. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 31 but Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has been working through a blizzard of pretrial motions by both sides.
The prosecution's court filing asks Melville to overturn his July 9 order prohibiting people from telling the prosecution that they had been subpoenaed by the defense. The DA's office also asks the judge to order defense lawyers to stop their "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" approach. Melville was scheduled to take up the issue at a Nov. 29 hearing.
In a court declaration, prosecutor Ronald Zonen said Jackson's attorneys have demanded "copies of X-rays, lab tests, MRI film, ultrasounds, gynecological records, billing records, examinations, medical diagnosis and history of medications."
"There is nothing a medical institution can do to a patient or for a patient that is not demanded by the defendant's subpoena," Zonen said. The defense also has sought mental health records that the prosecution and family contend are confidential.
The family is "convinced that sensitive materials subpoenaed by Defendant will ultimately end up on NBC or CNN," Zonen said.
The prosecution also contended that the defense has sought information on the family's finances, including records of bank account deposits and withdrawals, retirement accounts, trusts, corporations and joint ventures.
Lead defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr. has attacked the credibility of the boy's mother's in court and repeatedly asserted that the allegations surfaced only after her failed attempt to get money from Jackson.
The defense also has accused the prosecution of privacy breaches. Earlier this month, Mesereau contended that attorney-client privilege was violated when county sheriff's deputies seized some items from the home of Jackson's personal assistant in September.
The items taken included phone records, computer e-mails and documents showing the Jackson defense team may have orchestrated demonstrations outside the courthouse at previous hearings.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.