Michael Jackson held a young teenage boy and his family virtual prisoners at his Neverland ranch as he conducted a campaign to seduce the youth, prosecutors said on Tuesday, as they fought a bid to have the child molestation case against the superstar dismissed.
While Jackson’s lawyer called the state’s case “ridiculous,” prosecutor Gordon Auchincloss revealed details of the case in which Jackson is charged with committing a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 and with conspiracy.
Auchincloss said it all began when the pop star, who calls himself a modern day “Peter Pan,” attempted in a 2002 television documentary “to justify to himself and perhaps the world, his attachment and behavior with pre-and post-adolescent boys.”
The prosecutor added, “Michael Jackson’s rationalization of his conduct on international television was his downfall. His reputation was completely and utterly ruined (as was) his image, his empire, his career. The documentary brought Jackson’s whole world crashing down.”
Auchincloss said Jackson then set about luring the youth and his family back to Neverland where he wanted them to film a video praising Jackson.
The youth, identified in court papers as John Doe, had been shown in the 2002 documentary holding hands with Jackson as the self-styled “King of Pop” said he saw nothing wrong with sharing his bedroom with children on overnight visits.
Auchincloss said the Jackson camp thought, “If we can have John Doe on tape explaining what a wonderful person Michael Jackson is, that would quell the outrage.”
When Jackson lured the boy and his family back to Neverland, the star began serving the boy alcohol — wine in soda cans and dubbed “Jesus Juice,” according to past accounts.
“There are late nights, no homework, no school and an ultimately successful effort to get the victim sleeping in bed” with Jackson, Auchincloss said.
Auchincloss said the singer had turned his Neverland ranch about 100 miles north of Los Angeles “into an enormous resort and amusement park literally designed to entice and attract children.”