People v. Jackson

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People v. Jackson was a 2005 trial against singer Michael Jackson. A 13-year-old boy called Gavin Arvizo accused him of sexual abuse in 2003. Jackson was charged with fourteen offences. These were four counts of molesting a child, four counts of getting a child drunk so that he could molest him, one count of trying to molest a child, and one count of secretly planning (conspiring) to hold the boy and his family captive at his Neverland Ranch. He called the charges “a big lie”. He was found not guilty of all charges. If Jackson was found guilty of all charges he could have been put in prison for 20 years.

Bashir documentary[change | change source]

On February 3 2003 a documentary called Living with Michael Jackson was shown on ITV in the United Kingdom. Three days later it was shown in the United States. In the documentary a British journalist called Martin Bashir asked Jackson questions about his life. In the documentary Jackson's accuser Gavin Arvizo was 12 years old. At one point he is filmed with Jackson. Jackson holds hands with Gavin. Gavin rests his head on Jackson's shoulder. At the trial Gavin said he did this because Jackson was his "best friend". Gavin tells Bashir that he slept in Jackson’s bed with his brother Star while Jackson slept on the floor. Jackson said many children had slept in his bed, including Macaulay Culkin, his brother Kieran, and his sisters.

Gavin later complained that he did not realize that the video was going to be shown all over the world. Janet Arvizo said that she did not say that Bashir could film her son. She did not know that he had been filmed until the show was on TV. After the video was shown he was teased at school about being 'the kid that got raped by Michael Jackson'.[1]

Arvizo family[change | change source]

Gavin Arvizo[change | change source]

The court and the media called Arvizo "John Doe" until February 2005. Gavin Arvizo was born to David and Janet Arvizo in December 1989. He lived in a small apartment in Los Angeles with his parents, his sister and his brother. In 2000 Arvizo was diagnosed with cancer. Jackson rung him at the hospital.[2] In August 2000 Arvizo stayed at Jackson's home Neverland Ranch for the first time. He slept in Jackson's bed with his brother while Jackson slept on the floor.[3]

David Arvizo[change | change source]

Gavin's father, David Arvizo, visited Neverland several times in 2000.

Janet Arvizo[change | change source]

A psychiatrist said that Arvizo was schizophrenic. Maria Gomez, a maid at Neverland Ranch, said that Gavin's mother Janet encouraged her children to call Jackson "dad".[4]

Arrest and investigation[change | change source]

On November 25 2003 Jackson was arrested. He was released an hour after paying $3 million bail.[5] In an interview with 60 Minutes he said that he was locked in the toilet for 45 minutes. He showed big bruises on his arm, which he said were caused by handcuffs.[6]

Charging[change | change source]

On December 18, 2003 he was charged.[7]

The trial[change | change source]

On January 31, 2005 the trial began. Each day Sky One showed a re-enactment of the day's events in the trial, because cameras were not allowed in the courtroom. The first witness that the prosecution called was Martin Bashir. Living with Michael Jackson was shown to the jury.

On March 10, 2005 Jackson went to hospital because of a back injury. Jackson went into court an hour and thirty minutes late.[8] He was wearing pyjama pants and slippers. Bill Fallon suggested that Jackson was guilty.

Starr and Janet Arvizo said that they saw Jackson licking Gavin's head on February 7, 2003.[9]

On March 15, Sgt Robel told the court that Arvizo said he had been molested five to seven times but could only describe two of the molestations in detail.[8]

On May 10, 2005 Macaulay Culkin gave evidence. He said that he had slept in Jackson's bed, but had never been molested.[10] Phillip LeMarque, who was a chef at Neverland from 1991 to 1992, said that he saw Jackson with one hand in Culkin's shorts.[11]

On June 13, 2005 Jackson was found not guilty of all charges.[12] Everyone was mad about the decision.

Aftermath[change | change source]

Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009.[13]

In May 2013 Wade Robson filed a complaint against the Michael Jackson Estate for "childhood sexual abuse". Robson was Jackson's first defense witness for People v. Jackson.[14]

References[change | change source]

  1. Elsworth, Catherine (16 March 2005). "Accuser taunted at school as 'the boy raped by Jackson'" – via
  2. "Profile: The Arvizo family". 13 June 2005 – via
  3. Jun 2005, 12:01AM BST 13 (12 June 2005). "Timeline: The Michael Jackson charges".
  4. "Michael Jackson's Staff Didn't Hold Arvizo Family Captive".
  5. "Jackson says sex abuse charges 'a big lie'". ABC News. 25 November 2003.
  6. AP (29 December 2003). "Jackson claims he was injured during arrest" – via
  7. "Jackson Charged In Child Abuse Case". The Smoking Gun. 12 June 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Press, Associated (16 March 2005). "Jackson accuser can recall 'only two molestations'" – via
  9. "Mother Of Accuser Saw Jackson 'Licking' His Face". 14 April 2005.
  10. " - Culkin: Jackson 'never' molested me - May 11, 2005".
  11. "Witness: Jackson Fondled Culkin".
  12. Broder, John M.; Madigan, Nick (14 June 2005). "Michael Jackson Cleared After 14-Week Child Molesting Trial" – via
  13. "Video: Fans mourn artist for whom it didn't matter if you were black or white - Times Online". 31 May 2010.
  14. "Former Jackson defender now says singer abused him".