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Michael Jackson Trial: “An example of a prurient interest in nude boys”

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So said Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen when he argued this morning for the admissibility of two books of pictorial essays containing pictures of nude boys that had been seized from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch by the Los Angeles Police Department as part of a previous investigation of earlier allegations of molestation by Jackson in 1993.

Defense lawyer Robert Sanger argued the evidence was too “remote in time,” irrelevant to the current case and would prejudice the jury with “innuendo.” “It’s just plain stale,” Sanger told Judge Rodney Melville. “At some point the court has to draw the line. This case really isn’t about 1993.” Ah, but in many ways it is since California law permits evidence of “prior bad acts” that demonstrate a “propensity” in child molestation cases.

And as such Melville allowed the books (Zonen had said that one book was about 90 percent pictures of nude boys and the other about 10 percent) to be admitted on the grounds that their “probitive value exceeds the prejudicial effect.”

With the jury returned to the courtroom, LAPD detective Rosibel Smith testified that she seized the books from a locked file cabinet in Jackson’s master-bedroom closet, but under cross examination by Sanger she said The Boy: A Photographic Essay appeared to have been a gift to Jackson from a fan, bearing the inscription, “To Michael from your (heart symbol) fan, XXXOOO, ‘Rhonda’,” and dated 1983.

The other book, Boys Will Be Boys, was inscribed by Jackson with this rhapsody, “Look at the true spirit of happiness and joy in these boys’ faces. This is the spirit of boyhood, a life I have never had and will always dream of. This is the life I want for my children.”

Meanwhile, attorney Gloria Allred, a well-known non-fan of Mr. Jackson, participated in an online chat about the Jackson trial at the Washington Post site. Here are some key quotes:

“The jury can always take into account the credibility of witnesses and in determining whether or not to believe them to think about what bias they may have when they testify. For example, Debbie Rowe clearly wants Michael Jackson to allow her to see her children. In fact, she’s in litigation and is attempting to see them but to date has not been permitted to see them. Some people speculate that she may have wanted to help Michael Jackson in order to get him to change his mind about allowing her to visit with the children. She may have been telling the truth but the jury can take into account all of the facts and circumstances in weighing whether or not to believe what she says.

Since she had not even seen or spoken the Michael Jackson since 1999 with the exception of a 2 1/2 telephone conversation with him in 2003 wherein he asked her to participate in the rebuttal video and where she told him that she would like to visit the children. She also testified that Mr. Jackson is a brilliant businessman. So I think the jury could also conclude that he willingly associated with the persons that she called vultures and that he also was profiting from rebuttal video since there was testimony that he made over $1 million from it.


Let’s remember that there was a great deal of gloom and doom at the early stages of the case against Scott Peterson but ultimately there was a conviction for double murder and the prosecution prevailed despite vigorous defense attacks on prosecution witnesses.

We don’t know what the outcome will be in this case. I think it’s too early to predict a result.

You have a defendant who admits to sleeping in bed with young children who are unrelated to him and that defendant has allegations against him of child sexual abuse by another child who sued him and reportedly received a multimillion dollar settlement. In addition there are allegations of improper conduct against another child who is now an adult and a minister and who testified in this case. With this set of facts it is no surprise that Michael Jackson is being prosecuted. The only surprise would be if he weren’t prosecuted with this set of facts.”

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • Mario

    You freaks are the ones who are pfiles, if that’s what you all want to call it. Michael, as well as all other beings, was/is only being natural. He was just being himself. Meanwhile, you aholes are bs wads! How dare you freaks compare him to your low life religious F%^$#ked up reality! Get a LIFE!!!! Thank Gads, you are not in charge, here in America! Michael was only a pawn to your anti American ways. Really?, trying to connect religion with humanity? Ha! Seperation of (tax free loader) church and State (your purpose) are integral to our cause afterall. Wow, what a revel-elation!

  • sr


  • RJ

    “to who the person who called a rapist i think you shoul take a look at your self and leave my babie along his never done any thing to you and you never meet him so you dont kno any thing about him his the king and no one can change that. michael is the best looking man in the world so dont be so jelouse of him I LOVE MICHAEL JACKSON FOREVER”

    Is this Bubbles?

  • sexymj

    to who the person who called a rapist i think you shoul take a look at your self and leave my babie along his never done any thing to you and you never meet him so you dont kno any thing about him his the king and no one can change that. michael is the best looking man in the world so dont be so jelouse of him I LOVE MICHAEL JACKSON FOREVER

  • sexymj

    i love michael jackson and i think people should let him just live his life in peace with his three beautifull children. michael will always be the king of pop and my hero forever and i wish him to have a better life then what some people let him lead. michael is an angle sent down from heaven to help and gide people with his music and his talent and to be there for his fans just like we are for him because we love him with all our hearts and that will never stop. p.s michael i love you forever and that will never change love one of your bigest fans nicola plus im clad i got to see you when you was over here it was magical love you bye.

  • Better do so pronto, me got MJ withdrawls. There is nothing worse than a recovering MJ news pusher for addicts like us.

  • Eric Olsen

    I grew weary of the turgid slog, but have recovered and will resume

  • Hey Eric, I need my MJ fix! whatever happened to da news?

  • Adis

    You may have a few things to learn from the writer as I have observed reading most of your postings on this issue

  • adis

    Hello Eric! Please see an instance of unbiased and objective reporting

    Dan Glaister in Los Angeles
    Tuesday May 3, 2005
    The Guardian

    For 43 days a procession of the bizarre, the freakish, the gullible and the trustworthy has trooped into a small courthouse in a small Californian town. But they haven’t seen the half of it. As the prosecution sums up its case in the Michael Jackson trial the hullabaloo is about to take on a new lease of life, as the defence promises to serve up a smorgasbord of celebrity, from Elizabeth Taylor to Diana Ross, from Macaulay Culkin to Stevie Wonder.

    Outside the courthouse camera crews and fans jostle for position; at the rear of the court buildings pensioners play bowls, seemingly unaware that the “trial of the century” is unfolding just 100 yards away.

    Each day the jury has heard allegations that the defendant was a classic predatory paedophile, grooming, abusing and abandoning his victims.

    At least that was the prosecution’s plan when the court case started on February 28. But several of the 80-plus witnesses have been turned by a skilful defence to the aid of the 46-year-old singer, while others have needed little help to compromise the prosecution’s case.

    Debbie Rowe, Jackson’s ex-wife and the mother of his two eldest children, epitomised those failings: she praised his parenting skills and attacked those around him as “vultures”. Called by the prosecution as their star closing witness, she became the defence’s most prized asset.

    The prosecution hit problems almost as soon as it began. Choosing to put the accuser, Gavin Arvizo, and his siblings on the stand at the beginning of the case left them cruelly exposed to attack from Jackson’s lead attorney Thomas Mesereau.

    The accuser, his elder sister and younger brother dissembled, mumbled, confused events and contradicted themselves.

    The accuser was calmer and clearer than his siblings, but under cross-examination the boy became argumentative, and was easily goaded by Mr Mesereau.

    The prosecution case was also stymied by its decision to charge Jackson with conspiracy, including kidnapping, extortion and false imprisonment.

    The allegation is that in the days following the broadcast of the Martin Bashir documentary Living with Michael Jackson, in which the singer defended his practice of sleeping with children and was shown holding hands with the then 13-year-old Arvizo, Jackson’s team embarked on a strategy of damage limitation. That included, it is alleged, compelling the Arvizo family to record an interview praising Jackson as a father figure. It is during this period, over a year after Bashir had filmed the pair holding hands, that the alleged molestation took place.

    But although the prosecution has shown that a conspiracy of sorts did take place, the motive remains unclear and most importantly the link to Jackson has not been established.

    A cast of alleged Jackson associates were involved in persuading the family to record the interview and were around the singer’s Neverland ranch at the time. But their relationship to Jackson, and the extent of his knowledge and direction of the conspiracy, remain unclear.

    The decision by the prosecution to proceed with the conspiracy charge against Jackson alone has almost proved the downfall of its case. The suggestion from the defence is that the conspiracy charge is yet another part of the personal vendetta pursued by the district attorney, Tom Sneddon, against Jackson ever since the singer settled out of court against a different child accuser in 1994 in a case also led by Mr Sneddon.

    The conspiracy charge also led to a rambling and eccentric appearance on the witness stand by the accuser’s mother. While the truth of her testimony has yet to be determined, her manner before the jury surprised most observers.

    “It was a bizarre charge and now it’s a bizarre charge supported by a bizarre witness,” said Laurie Leveson, a professor at the Loyola law school in Los Angeles who has attended court on several occasions.

    The prosecution was more successful with its introduction of “prior acts”. Californian law sometimes allows for evidence of previous allegations to be introduced in trials involving sex offences, even if those allegations never came to trial.

    This has produced some of the trial’s most contentious moments: a succession of former Neverland employees has taken the stand to describe inappropriate behaviour by Jackson with young boys, from giving them alcohol to sharing a shower or bed. Two have described instances of seeing Jackson fondling or masturbating the children; one alleged victim described how Jackson masturbated him when he was 11 years old.

    While the defence has sought to assail the integrity of all witnesses – several took part in an unsuccessful attempt to sue the singer for unfair dismissal – it has not succeeded in dispelling the impression that Mr Sneddon promised to convey in his opening statement on the first day of the trial: that Jackson exposed children to “strange sexual behaviour”, that there was “a no-rules, no-manners environment” at Neverland, and that Jackson’s strategy was “to desensitise the boy, to convince him that what was being done was all right in an adult world”.

    The prosecution has also been successful in its attempt to portray Neverland under Jackson as a place where children were encouraged to act beyond their years. It has also shown that Jackson has made a habit of befriending pre-adolescent boys from homes where the father is absent. Furthermore, children, including the current accuser, were often around alcohol with Jackson and possibly consumed it with his encouragement. Children habitually stayed up into the early hours of the morning with Jackson and their schoolwork was abandoned.

    Beyond the evidence there have been the mawkish sideshows: Jackson turning up to court in his pyjamas; Jackson attending court with an emergency room doctor in attendance; Jackson and his unlikely retinue, including his personal magician.

    There have also been glimpses inside Jackson’s cosseted world: the seemingly random excesses of Neverland; the sinister dolls and mannequins throughout his home; the mess in his bedroom worthy of the most rebellious teenager.

    And the court has been subjected to repeated showings of the various video-taped accounts of the 46-year-old’s relationship with the 13-year-old: the Bashir documentary, complete with baby dangling and hand-holding; the rebuttal video, with its off-screen cast of Jackson minders; the video recorded by Jackson showing him walking through the grounds of his ranch with the then 11-year-old emaciated cancer sufferer.

    It has been a sorry spectacle and there could still be months to come. Jackson’s attorney has promised to call “a lot of witnesses”, although the judge may not permit him to introduce the celebrity list he presented at the start of the case.

    He is expected to focus on the credibility of the family making the accusations, suggesting that Gavin Arvizo’s mother invented the abuse claims and coached her children.

    But the biggest promise Mr Mesereau made in his opening statement was the one that began “Michael Jackson will tell you … ” Mr Mesereau has a record of putting defendants on the witness stand in child molestation cases, and this case is not expected to be an exception.

  • nick

    The Independent, Sunday May 1st

    Jackson prosecution derailed by ex-wife’s testimony
    By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
    01 May 2005

    The prosecution in the Michael Jackson trial always knew it had a witness credibility problem, since the family at the centre of its child molestation allegations has an acknowledged track record of lying under oath.

    Now, with just days to go before it hands the case over to the defence, the prosecution has developed a new problem of credibility – its own. The appearance of Jackson’s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, on the witness stand last week was little short of a disaster for Santa Barbara County district attorney Tom Sneddon and his team. For weeks they had announced how Ms Rowe would testify that she was pressed into giving a scripted interview for a propaganda video in the wake of Martin Bashir’s damaging documentary Living with Michael Jackson.

    Ms Rowe was intended to be the prosecution’s climactic witness. Her promised allegations of coercion were to be an important element bolstering the contentions of the Arvizo family that they were effectively held hostage at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

    As late as Monday, prosecutor Ron Zonen assured jurors Ms Rowe would describe giving “a highly scripted interview” and that her incentive for doing so was access to her children, Prince Michael, eight, and Paris, seven. Jackson’s lawyers were worried enough to try to have her testimony disqualified before it started.

    When Ms Rowe appeared on Wednesday, however, shedescribed Jackson as a friend, a great father and a “brilliant” companion to children. She said unequivocally that her interview for the video was unscripted and uncoerced.

    Jurors will now find it harder to believe anything the prosecution tells them – which has to be excellent news for Jackson and his team.

  • Eric Olsen

    mihos, you have missed your calling as a polemicist

  • Mihos

    the point being
    Court Tv styled reporting has a theme that borders on the aburd. This is how the political commentary and gossip mngering is disseminated. Now that the trial has lost its way and Jackson is not guilty without a doubt the trial will be less interesting and the bigots with guilty conscious will wipe the dog shit off their shoes at the door. Its not my mess and there is real news to blog about, missing the point entirely.

    This could happen to you bigot.
    Someone in your family can vanish or be accused a heinous crime. The press gets wind of it and they work hand in hand with the pr office of your local police department who in turn enable the slight of hand of the FBI. They’ll clambor into your private lives and reveal any tidbit to the scandal starved populace. Your computers sitting in someone’s crime lab for a few weeks and your children and have been being asked alarming questions by their cousins and every kid with a television. Maxim magazine is admitted into evidence as smut and the next thig you know the local gossip mongers at the dairy queen are spinning the story for their own entertainment leading to the old biddies at the beauty parlors spin. Pretty soon you are in an unenviable position as fodder or pawn of some one elses’s dog shit.
    But don’t worry , everone will get bored when they realize no crime ever occured or that could be proven at ay rate. Lingering doubt and false updates from Dairy queen and beauty village aside, you are free and clear. Everyone else is bored with your tired pity party. Get over it. Jesus did. What woud Ghandi have done? LOSER.
    YOU SHOULD BE LOCKED UP FOR FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF. only guilty people are made victims of such outrageous smears.

  • Mihos

    Nancy Graceless leaves me breathless.
    I just know her hemet hairdo mst smel just like artificial butter oil, he kind ewe get on your popcorn at the movies…
    RJ and many otherslike to react to the facts of the trial as spouted by Court Tv gossip mongers. ANYONE that can pretend that Nancy Graceless has an ounce of credibility must acknowledge that her deep deep visionary insight led her to pronounce very recently that the kidnapped Georgia woman was” not a case of cold feet”. Recall her thumping her chest? She was ready to lynch the woman’s fiance for not being willing to take a lie detector test without a video documentation. She KNEW he was hiding something.
    In short that woman is a talking inflateable doll.
    She is entertaining to a point but the problem with the Graceless model is that she often develops a prominent leak in the rear. More often than not what one hears during her posit assertions is leaking hot air. WHat is more, that escaping air reeks of the sort of bad breath people that blow up inflateable dolls often have, a bi product of dirty minds, constipiation and failure to floss adequately.


  • Helen Willis

    I didn’t say they were wrong. I said they are not facts of the case. He isn’t charged with any of those things because they aren’t illegal.

    Being a freak isn’t against the law

    Owning books openly available on Amazon.com is not illegal

    Not having a normal relationship with a woman is not Illegal

    Also, I could argue all those points because they have all been taken out of context with a disturbing slant.

    The only thing I’d give him which is directly relevent is from the witnesses who say they saw child abuse. Well sorry but I don’t trust people who do not call the police, do not stop the abuse, deny it firstly the change their story, negotiate offres with tabloids, were found to have stole from Jackson (court finding) and who owe Jackson over $1.4 million and were subsequently made bankrupt.

    If you want to discuss facts of the case at hand, do so, but all you have done is spout information which has been out there for years and isn not illegal or founded.

  • Eric Olsen

    please tell us which of what RJ wrote is wrong

  • Helen Willis

    Nice Try RJ, but no, those aren’t the facts of the case. Mere rubbish.

  • nick

    day not say 😉

  • nick

    hey RJ go to sleep, you will have another long say tomorrow. Don’t forget your pills too.

  • RJ

    Hey, kids! It’s time for “Fun With Facts” brought to you by RJ!

    Who’s the guy who has admitted to sleeping in bed with numerous little boys [no relation]? Michael Jackson!

    Who’s the guy who has had numerous people testify that he has sexually molested them, back when they were young boys? Michael Jackson!

    Who’s they guy who owns multiple books containing pictures of young, naked boys? Michael Jackson!

    Who’s the guy who can’t seem to have a normal relationship with adult women? Michael Jackson!

    That’s right! And Michael Jackson is also a disfigured freak, thanks to countless, purely-optional, plastic surgeries!

    Let’s give a big round of applause to our “hero for the day” Michael Jackson!

    [wild applause from deranged MJ-fanatics…]

  • HW Saxton

    You’re forgetting: Manny, Moe & Jack.

  • Eric Olsen

    Jermaine, Randy, Reebie, Abraham, Martin and John

  • WTF

    Never heard of Tivo Jackson.

    Let’s see… Name the Jacksons

    Tito… oh yeah and Tivo. Was LaToya in the band? I remember Beat it, and that early MTV Billie Jean King video. No wait… she’s the tennis player…

    Sorry all, I’ve been writing reseach papers all day and my mind it wiped.


    Did I miss any? Harpo maybe?

  • Helen Willis

    Matt based on the facts what is your opinion of the case? With certain discussions on the facts of the case if you will.

  • Mihos

    But the white lady is batting her eyelashes and swears she is innocent oh my god no breathalizer nothing- if that was an indian or a black woman she would have been tested for drugs and aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhh. I hate Tivo now im going to have to review this again.

  • Mihos

    and now they are chasing and tackling a black guy -bloodied him up – oh ten minutes later hes released wrong guy

  • Mihos

    Im watching court tv right now, watching a bunch of white cops in kodiak alaska beating up on drunk indian women. it is so sad. its impossible not to feel their pain.

  • Mihos

    Im scared of the apathetic masses that knowingly and willingly allow their country to be run by power hungry losers. big power little dick eager to cheat rob and steal natural resources from everybody. What’s better is all the powerful allies of apathy
    sit around day dreaming about the next heist. History has taught some of us that the first weapon in dismantling the enemy with the resources is to destroy their credibility and once they are weakened by stress, give them more of the medicine they need the least.
    Alcohol of Indians, Guns for scary black people controling the oil and blood diamonds in the Ivory coast, famine for the Irish and with old moe joe, Gavin the Grifter.
    Ingratiating Gavin the grifter was supposed to be a guest ended up leavng his underwear in the bathroom of the man he is accusing. Makes me wonder how Jacksons supporters can sleep at night knowing how far gone their idol is.
    It also makes me wonder how the Jackson haters can survive in todays societies where the races are mixed.

  • Matt

    I don’t know who is scarier: Jacko himself, or the wackadoos that support this guy.

    I’m going with the latter.

  • Mihos

    I would really enjoy an opportunity to make
    a difference in finding a solution to unethical yellow journalists.
    if Eric starts a new Blog journal utilizing transcipts from diane Dimond and Nancy Graceless we will have alot more to talk about and we don’t have to argue for or against because we are only going to be discussing how objective the reports are.

  • Eric Olsen

    note the introduction to the Allred segment: “a well-known non-fan of Mr. Jackson”


    I apologize, Mihos! I see now that you WERE being sarcastic and I was being the asshole! OOPS! But the biased journalism just gets my hackles up and I just finished reading some Gloria Allred nonsense right before I came here so my dander was up! Sorry 🙂

    You gotta love how so many of the headlines are falsified and quotes are cut in half to make MJ look bad..what’s up with that? Can’t people see how stupid some of that shit is?? Like the VASELINE?? Please! That would so never happen!

  • Helen Willis

    It wasn’t dry and factual in the slightest. Especially with the garb at the end.

    You have picked and chosen which quotes to include from so called experts. That does not indicate key facts.

    State your opinion but don’t misrepresent them describing it as factual because it isn’t.

    And Gloria Allred has been after Jackson since 93. She files lawsuits every other month on behalf ‘of the children’ against him with no basis whatsoever. If you call that looking at the facts, you are crazy.

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t disagree that a selection of obviously biased coverage would be interesting and entertaining, if not revealing

  • Mihos

    Eric one solution would be to open a blog chapter on the unethical coverage presented by the all white menopause brigade

  • Eric Olsen

    for those of you who don’t know Mihos, he was being deeply sarcastic


    Let me say first off MIHOS that you are a worthless sack of skin that is not even worthy of the word “asshole”.

    This is being brought forward as “evidence” clearly because THAT ASSHOLE SNEDDON is losing his case because THERE IS NO CASE….it has been a witch hunt all along, using a 12 year old FALSE case as a model to discredit someone SNEDDON has a personal vendetta against. If anyone should be lynched it should be SNEDDON right along with BASHIR.

  • Eric Olsen

    this particular post is utterly dry, factual, and without the slightest commentary from me. Or do you think I’m Gloria Allred?

    I think the introduction of these two books is basically meaningless given the context

  • Jamie Thorn

    You have someone calling Jackson a ****** as a comment to your piece and you say ‘your reaction was pretty over the top’.

    No condemnation for the use of the word at all on your site?

    Speaks decibels.

  • Helen Willis

    Also, the Debbie Rowe argument is ridiculous. If she had said negative things about Jackson, that would benefit HER, seeing as Jackson going to prison would almost definitely get her kids back. What a disgusting spin.

    I’m sure if she had pronounced salacious mistruths, you wouldn’t be questioning her credibility at all.

  • Helen Willis

    Another biased view without looking at the facts.

    One of the books was given to him by a fan in 1993 and was found amongst thousands of books.

    The other book has an inscription which Jackson says he wishes his kids to be like the kids in the book.

    Wow, so we have two books. One from 22 years ago and the other which has Jackson describing his feelings about youth.

    What is this supposed to prove? He has a book from 1983 from a fan. And?

    These books are NOT illegal. They are NOT child porn and they offer no probative value to the case.

    The prosecution is resorting to looking at gifts from 20 years ago to prove he was a paedophile? Where is the child porn sneddon? Nowhere.

  • Mihos

    Im actually reacting to what Nancy Grace is talking about as we type.

    The second book has the photo of a bunch of adolescent boys jumping into water one holding his crotch.
    The director of photography of Jackson’s stranger in Moscow and Earth Song was DP on Lord of the Rings and author of the book

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks for the links although the reaction was pretty over the top.

    The Lord of the Flies book looks like the right one, but I don’t think Boys Will Be Boys: Breaking the Link Between Masculinity and Violence is the other book.

    Why do you think it’s that one?

  • Mihos

    I know he’s a real child rapist now.
    Lynch that N****r!