Michael Jackson was today acquitted on all charges, handing a bitter defeat for the prosecutor who had spent a decade trying to pin child molestation charges on the star.

The 8-month trial and 8 day verdict ended an anguished wait for Jackson’s successful defense team – and their client – but resulted in a euphoria for the star’s fans as much as it created a bitter defeat for prosecutors

Jackson, 46, was prosecuted on 10 felony counts – four of child molesting, one of attempted child molesting, four of administering alcohol to aid in the commission of a felony, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

He faced a possible sentence of more than 18 years in prison.

The jury gave a note for the judge which said they felt “the weight of the world’s eyes upon us all” and that they had “thoroughly and meticulously” studied all the evidence. The note concluded with a plea “we would like the public to allow us to return to our lives as anonymously as we came.”

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