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Tuesday, December 09, 2003  

California child agency cleared Jackson

The Associated Press reports:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Child welfare investigators earlier this year found there was no basis for allegations that Michael Jackson had abused the boy now accusing him of molestation, according to a confidential memo.

The memo from an administrator with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services was based on an investigation last February and was leaked to the Web site thesmokinggun.com, which posted it Tuesday. A source familiar with the document confirmed its authenticity to The Associated Press.

The memo was dated Nov. 26, 2003 - a week after the Santa Barbara County district attorney announced child molestation allegations against Jackson.

Both the boy and his brother told investigators Jackson had not sexually abused them, according to the memo. Their older sister said she had never witnessed anything sexually inappropriate between her brothers and the entertainer.

The memo was sent from a regional administrator to bureau chief Charles Sophy and detailed a probe completed before Sophy joined the agency.

Jackson's defense is certain to seize on the memo.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas Sneddon did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.

The memo, which refers to Jackson as ``the entertainer,'' said the department began a 13-day inquiry after a Los Angeles school district official called its hot line Feb. 14 out of concern for the boy and his brother. The investigation was conducted with the Los Angeles police.

I haven't written about Michael Jackson's latest legal problems until now because I did not want to fuel the kind of speculation I derided in the previous entry. However, now that there is one solid piece of evidence, I'll break my silence. I believe Jackson could well end up in the same position as the defendant in Franz Kafka's The Trial -- damned for what he is, not for what he has done. What Jackson is is too unusual for most of us to comprehend. Some of the behavior he engages in can be filed under 'different strokes for different folks." But, some of his oddities are serious and possibly pathological. I would list the bizarre way he has approached having and rearing children among those. Include his having apparently managed to run through much of a fortune that most people cannot even imagine possessing in that category, too.

But, does the fact Jackson is very peculiar mean he is a child molester? No, it doesn't. I am unwilling to reach such a conclusion until after any and all evidence in his case is known.

Though this new evidence is not conclusive, it makes the decision to charge Jackson look a lot less reasonable. District Attorney Thomas Sneddon has some 'plainin' to do. If the same agency he used to assemble the evidence for charging Jackson previously cleared him in another investigation, what, if anything, changed? Unless Sneddon has good reason for going forward with charges against Jackson anyway, this may be a malicious prosecution. Why would one someone do that? Prosecutors are political animals. Their conviction records are helpful in seeking reelection and pursuing aspirations for higher office. One of these men is in the wrong. We'll wait and see which of them it is.

4:55 PM