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The Crime of Michael Jackson vs. the Crime of Catholic Priests

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This post might get me into trouble, but it’s been on my mind this morning. Please don’t read this if descriptions of sexual acts freak you out. I don’t want to put you off your lunch, or horrify you unnecessarily.

Now I don’t doubt that touching a child sexually is criminal and a serious boundary violation, but what exactly was Michael Jackson accused of? In the words of Larry Feldman, the man who represented the boy who was bought off for $20m back in 1993 (and the man who refused to represent today’s accuser in a civil suit), Michael Jackson “is a guy that’s like a 10-year-old child. And, you know, he’s doing what a 10-year-old would do with his little buddies. You know, they’re gonna jack off, watch movies, drink wine, you know. And, you know, he doesn’t even really qualify as a pedophile. He’s really just this regressed 10-year-old.”

Many people think Michael Jackson was guilty in the $20m settlement case, not least because the boy could give an exact and detailed description of Michael Jackson’s erection, down to the “splotches” he has on it (maybe a result of him trying to whiten his privates). So what MJ did, if he was guilty, was jerk off with his little buddies, and sometimes put his hand on their penises and masturbate them. What the Catholic priests were accused of — what they were guilty as sin of — was buggery. Male rape. Of a boy by a man.

Now I don’t know about you, but for me there is a massive difference between these two crimes. Thinking back to myself as a 10-year-old or a 12-year-old, I can’t say that the MJ crime would have struck me as all that criminal if he’d masturbated me. I would’ve thought it really weird that a grown man wanted to do that, and would’ve told my little buddies in hushed tones about it, to gross them out, but it would not have scarred me for life. Whereas the buggery or rape by a grownup would’ve been an ENTIRELY different story. It’s not a matter of degree, or some kind of change on a continuum. It’s a matter of total, radical and absolutely substantial difference.

Which is why, when I read that MJ could’ve gotten 18 years for his crime, I thought it excessive. There are some kinds of murder for which murderers get less time, and this crime is not in the same category. Eighteen years for male rape of a minor, sure. But for masturbating?

It also explains the mind-frame of the mother, if she were a grifter, which the jury thought she was. “What kind of a mother would put her child in such a position?” Well, a penniless Mom who thinks she can get $20m from a guy for masturbating her kid, a Mom who’d been abused by her husband, as this Mom was, whose kid had been abused by his Dad, as this kid was, i.e. they’d both been through worse, such a Mom might’ve thought it worth a shot. Criminal, horrible, unforgivable – but understandable.

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About Adam Ash

  • nick

    especially since it was all invented.

  • Nancy

    I’ve noticed that even in the most horrific rapes of women by men, the rapist gets pretty minimal punishment, even when he kills the victim as well; but rape a male – all hell breaks loose. Kind of a double standard here, ya think?

  • Eric Olsen

    Adam, I understand your point, but I think the key is to understand that a very bright line has been created and society is saying “do not cross this line” period.

    I agree there are huge differences of degree once the line has been crossed however.

  • Ajones

    On the other and Michael Jackson is very likely the multiple victim of scam artists and elaborate extortion. Indeed he’s not the only celebrity to be caught up in this latest phenomena of crime. Think of what the average crook would do for the chanage in your pocket, now concider what the clever opportunist would do for millions.

    Too far fetch? As long as we skate on the surface of the complicated truth, we will never see the devious mind at work. Imagine if the mother had been more convincing. She was as dull as they come, so imagine the same accusation, by someone better able to sell the lie. The greedy aren’t always stupid.

    Food for thought:

    A plastic surgeon known to Michael was
    accused by disgruntled ex-employees of, amoungst other things, making a detailed examination of Mr Jackson’s privates, whilst he was sedated. This apparently happened in 1993. Lord knows how many times that occured, or where such information surfaces.

    Food for thought:

    Evan Chandler, the father of the first
    accuser, is on tape as saying he paid ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ for information against Michael Jackson, this was way before his son accused Jackson of anything. Incidentaly the father, a dentist claims his son confessed to him, moments after he had pulled his son’s tooth. Talk about your modern torture. I won’t mention the drugs used said to Sodium Amythal. No i won’t mention that.

    There’s so much about that case which can’t be conveyed in a tabloid’s summary. So much the public will never know. All that remains is the stark fact, Michael settled to avoid a CIVIL suit — Makes you wonder why Jackson didn’t cough-up when the father first approached him for a ‘movie deal’..

    Go figure.

  • John

    And in the complete Evan Chandler tape, he first says he has no idea if MJ was molesting his son, but on the same tape he says he has evidence, and that he would show it on court on “the big fucking screen”, and this is before his son accused Michael Jackson.

  • HW Saxton

    Adam, while I understand your point I do
    disagree with you. ANY kind of a sexual
    contact with ANY minor is W-R-O-N-G.

    Whether it was masturbatory or anal sex,
    makes no difference. To be put in any
    sort of an uncomfortable position by an
    ADULT in any sexual sense is damaging to
    a child. This forces him to confront an
    issue of the physical realm that he isnt
    mentally mature enough to deal with and
    this is where the scarring lies: In the
    growing up too fast. 10 years of age is
    still a little young for jerking off and
    porn and wine I’d say. This is robbing
    the child of his inocence before he can
    mentally deal with these life changes.

    Yes, being raped is much more traumatic
    I’d have to imagine.But it is basically
    all the same in that lost innocence
    cannot be replaced.It doesn’t matter how
    it was lost only that it was.IMO anyway.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    I trust I made it clear that we’re talking of crime here — I simply think that the one crime is of a different order of magnitude from the other crime. They’re both crimes, though.

  • Anon

    You seem confused. MJs sentence if he had been found guilty would have undoutedly been less then if he had violently sodomised a boy… So what’s your problem?

  • calla

    Michael wasn’t even acuused of crimes!