8

A recent article in the Daily Mail states:

Michael Jackson was found to have a sizable collection of pornographic material at his Neverland Ranch in 2003 according to police reports cataloging the property following a search of the residence.

Many of these books and videos are also detailed in court papers from the time, submitted after a young boy came forward claiming that he had been sexually abused and assaulted by the singer on multiple occasions.

The police report claims that in Jackson's bedroom and bathroom alone there were at least seven collections of work found by investigators that show boys in their teenage years - and in some cases younger - fully nude or partially clothed.

I am skeptical though since they could've released this at any time.

Has a police report claimed that child pornography was found on Michael Jackson's property?

9

Firstly, the photos of child porn covers released on the internet are confirmed to be fake, by a police spokesperson.

In a statement, police spokesperson Kelly Hoover told USA TODAY, "Some of the documents appear to be copies of reports that were authored by Sheriff’s Office personnel as well as evidentiary photographs taken by Sheriff’s Office personnel interspersed with content that appears to be obtained off the internet or through unknown sources." She added, "The Sheriff’s Office did not release any of the documents and/or photographs to the media. The Sheriff’s Office released all of its reports and the photographs as part of the required discovery process to the prosecution and the defense" (referring to Jackson's 2005 sex-abuse trial, in which he was acquitted).

Now, coming to the allegations of child porn in his home. Apparently, there was no child porn found in Michael's home.

"In death, Michael still suffers trial by media but his exoneration is enshrined in court transcripts 'journalists' are too lazy to read," Jermaine Jackson said in a tweetstorm Wednesday afternoon. He added: "FACT: RT @CEThomson Judge Melville signed off a press statement before trial which said prosecutors had confirmed no child porn was found."


Source: An article in USA Today by Jayme Deerwester titled: "Michael Jackson's family, sheriff respond to child-porn allegations"

  • @sumelic Added the source in the answer :) – Dawny33 Jun 23 '16 at 7:16
  • While I am inclined to believe Jermaine Jackson's complaint, it would be good if we could find this press statement signed by Judge Melville, rather than rely on his word that it exists. – Oddthinking Jun 23 '16 at 8:48
  • @Oddthinking In fact, I also tried for that press statement in vain. If someone finds it, then do leave a comment. I'd convert this into a CW and you can add it in :) – Dawny33 Jun 23 '16 at 8:57
  • @Dawny33: I looked and failed too. – Oddthinking Jun 23 '16 at 8:59
3

Original radaronline.com accusations

The original source of this story is radaronline.com. They also provide access to the mentioned police report from 2003[*].

Jackson was charged in 2003 with among other molestation - but not with possession of child pornography - , and acquitted in 2005.

The radaronline.com article mixes up a lot of different things - some of them legal, some of them not; some viewed morally objectionable by most, and some not. It talks about "pornography", "S&M", "twisted porn collection", "drugs to treat sex addiction", "adult and child nudity", "female bondage", "sadomasochism", "transsexuals", "animal torture", and "child torture".

The only times radaronline.com talks about child porn are: "[a] porn collection — which included filthy photos and videos of men, women, boys and girls in perverted positions" (it doesn't mention what perverted positions are, so it's difficult to know if this actually references child porn) and "sexy photos of his own nephews" (which may or may not be considered "porn", depending on what radaronline.com means by "sexy").

[*] Snopes has this to say about the document:

A spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office told the Los Angeles Times that "some of the documents appear to be copies of reports that were authored by Sheriff’s Office" but cautioned that the documents "are interspersed with content that appears to be obtained off the Internet or through other sources."

The 2003 Police Report

At a first reading, I found no mention of child porn in the police report. It does mention "a book depicting nude children", "three books with photographs of nude and partially clothed children", and "photographs of partially and/or fully unclothed men, women, and children".

Evidence filed in People of the State of California v. Michael Joseph Jackson

The report hosted by radaronline.com also contains a list of evidence introduced in the trial, seemingly based on the police report. The evidence are multiple books, which contain - among other - photos of "children, both boys and girls; some nude", as well as adult nudity and porn.

Rebuttals to radaronline.com accusations

The Washington Times says this:

Authorities familiar with the matter are dismissing a report earlier this week by Radar Online alleging that the late pop star Michael Jackson had a cache of child pornography at his Neverland Ranch when police raided the compound in November 2003.
[...]
Mr. Jackson did possess “photos of nude children but they weren’t sexually graphic,” Mr. Zonen, a former Santa Barbara assistant DA, said. “They weren’t children engaged in sexual activity, and there was no child pornography. There were no videos involving children. There were videos that were seized, but they were conventional adult sexually graphic material. No children involved.”

Conclusion

The police report did not reveal anything that was not already public knowledge. Jackson had adult porn - mainly heterosexual, some homosexual - as well as images of nude children. This was already known at his 2005 trial, where he was not charged with possession of child pornography.

  • Please don't use code formatting for quotes. (Yes, the link is to Meta Arqade, but the reasons listed apply here just as well.) – jwodder Jun 25 '16 at 20:45
  • @jwodder Thanks, I updated my answer (I prefer the look of code tags to highlight inline quotes, but I see why it's a bad idea). – tim Jun 25 '16 at 20:54

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