Authorities Knew Michael Jackson Was Guilty of Child Felonies…

Good job, internet.

You can call the recent leak of documents related to the raid of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch an act of salacious, ‘click-bait’ journalism.  You can attack publications, like Digital Music News, that reported, published, and asked questions about this information.  But just because the New York Times isn’t writing about it doesn’t mean this isn’t a very real, and very important story to report.

Why is it so important?  The reason is that the long list of evidence collected in the raid shows that Michael Jackson was in possession of large amounts of child pornography.  And that, under federal law, this is a felony offense.  So why was the evidence sealed, only to surface 13 years later?

More importantly, why wasn’t Michael Jackson thrown into prison, just like other low-life pedophiles that don’t have millions to defend themselves in court?

The answers may expose a legal and enforcement system that chose to protect an influential, wealthy bully like Michael Jackson, instead of acting in the best interests of those who desperately needed their protection.  Ask yourself: why were these documents leaked in the first place?  The answer is probably that someone —  mostly likely on the inside — had grown frustrated with a system that repeatedly protects monsters like Michael Jackson, instead of taking the very difficult path of taking them on.

Perhaps it’s someone who was doing the protecting, and facing an internal moral crisis.

I’m curious as to why the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has refused to discuss this matter further.  The Office’s Public Information Officer, Kelly Hoover, offered Digital Music News (and every other media outlet) a canned statement that essentially confirms the authenticity of the documents, but fails to address why nothing was done about what those documents contained.  The statement is a polished bit of ‘cover your ass’ prose that does little to explain why these documents were hidden.

And this is stuff that clearly should have come to the surface, and dealt with immediately.  Digital Music News pored through every piece of evidence in the list, and there seemed to be plenty of material that would clearly qualify as child pornography.

Within the evidence list itself, I noticed that a lot of the materials weren’t deemed to be technically illegal (though the investigator identified many items as tools to help lower the inhibitions of underage victims).  But, is it even possible that purchasing and possessing images of naked children is not a crime?  Under a very clear definition offered by the US Department of Justice, it most clearly is a serious crime, and a felony carrying serious prison time: “Images of child pornography are not protected under First Amendment rights, and are illegal contraband under federal law,” the DOJ very clearly explains.

The line seems pretty damn clear:

“Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code, defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age).  Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor.”

Sounds like Michael Jackson clearly violated that law.  But the description goes even further, to clarify that the evidence found constituted a serious violation:

Notably, the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual activity,” the description continues.  “A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive.  Additionally, the age of consent for sexual activity in a given state is irrelevant; any depiction of a minor under 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct is illegal.”

These are not misdemeanor offenses, and are likely illegal under both federal and state statutes: “Any violation of federal child pornography law is a serious crime, and convicted offenders face severe statutory penalties,” the Department of Justice description ensures.

Michael Jackson is dead, but that doesn’t mean this shouldn’t be discussed.  The problem is that possessing child pornography, or viewing it online, fuels an industry that has serious victims.  If an adult chooses to pose naked, have sex on film, or go further in print or video, that is (usually) their choice (ie, carries ‘adult consent’).  For good reason, the law has decided that someone under the age of 18 cannot reasonably judge or make these decisions, and that is more certain the younger the individual is.

For all the liberties that Google exercises with copyrights, the search giant doesn’t mess around with child pornography — at all.  There are real victims involved, and there’s a really bright line.  In fact, Google’s line is the same as that of the US Government:

All of which raises some seriously disturbing questions about the role of the Santa Barbara Police Department, as well as the FBI, the federal court system in America, and the attorneys and prosecutors involved in this case.  They all saw this evidence, so why wasn’t something done about it?

It’s moments like these that I think our modern-day internet is playing an important role in society, whether exposing tax dodging politicians and celebrities, or unearthing government surveillance programs.  Sure, the flip side of all of this is a Hulk Hogan sex tape and breaches of privacy that serve no societal purpose.  But this isn’t one of those cases, and I hope the fallout from this leak changes the way privileged, untouchable felons like Michael Jackson are treated in the future.

43 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    “For all the liberties that Google exercises with copyrights, the search giant doesn’t mess around with child pornography”

    Um yeah… until 3-4 years ago (can’t remember the exact date; check it), Google did everything it could to protect the rights of pedophiles as well as the rights of pirates.

    Information wanted to be free, you know — plus you have to understand there was no way Google could ever stop linking to child porn, it was simply impossible for a lot of very complicated technical reasons.

    Suddenly it was totally possible though, and Google stopped it within less than a week…

  2. heti

    I basically profit close to $12k-$14k every month doing an online job. For those of you who are prepared to do easy at home jobs for 2h-5h each day at your house and earn valuable paycheck while doing it…

    • Anonymous

      2-5 hours of work?! At home?! Are you kidding me? You work way too much! I feel sorry for you man.

    • Versus

      That’s not a good deal. I make far more as a musician.
      (Of course, I am paid in exposure, not actual money)

  3. Mark Bentine

    Is this really ‘digital music news’?

    Or Hollywood-style gossip?

      • enlightened

        I read it an it’s a load of crap.

        The Sheriff report says NONE of the items were illegal.
        Why does this site continue to act as though they were? All the books could be bought in a regular store. One of them is even stored in the Library of Congress!! They’re not illegal, and Jackson was not charged with any crime relating to having illegal images.
        The only pornography they found was heterosexual in nature and featured adult ladies. At the end of the day a man with porn showing adult ladies is a big red flag to anybody trying to say he liked little boys. The prosecution knew this and tried to spin it, but the jury were having none of it.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          Again, please read the article. I’m questioning how this evidence could possibly be considered legal. The evidence list isn’t limited to ‘naked ladies,’ that’s for sure.

        • 8

          ha ha ha ha ” only featured naked ladies” — yeah, if those ladies had dicks and no breasts and were men. Men egaged with each other in sex, yeah, that kind of heterosexulal porn. (Gay isn’t even the point. It’s the child stuff, stupid.)

  4. Anonymous

    What a joke this website has become. No legitimate paper or news source cares to publish or report this so called “news story” because it’s NOT TRUE. This is garbage just like your website trashing Dr. Dre all of time. Do we still live in the 60s? Are you a member of the Ku Klux Klan? Are you that racist?! I wouldn’t doubt it! STOP IT!!! Get with the times. You and your website is pathetic.

    Wow, I feel sorry for your fellow employees who work on this site and the millions of people who visit this site who think the shit you report is true. They must be disgusted by your blatant racism or maybe not. Are you really trying to compete with TMZ? Pretty pathetic, Paul Resnikoff!

      • Paul Resnikoff

        I really don’t think you’ve read the SB Sheriff’s Office statement on the authenticity of these documents.

        But I also don’t think you’ve even looked at the documents themselves, which include court filings. Are those made up also?

        • enlightened

          Paul it is clear that either (a) you haven’t read the statement or the court filings, or (b) you don’t care about what they actually say, preferring to push your own agenda.

          The statement clarified that while some of RadarOnline’s report included real pages from their report, it had actually been supplemented by stuff copied off the internet. For those of us who have the REAL report, and have done for over 10 years, we can see the differences. For example, did you know that some of the photos published by RadarOnline were actually doctored (presumably by them) to make them appear worse than they are? Several photos include blacked out areas, which give the impression the subjects were nude, but the ORIGINAL photos used in the trial show that they weren’t nude at all! Some photos didn’t even feature in the report at all!
          Get educated Paul, you’re making yourself look stupid.

          • Educating you


            Here’s one example.
            Original = left
            Edited photo = right

        • Jeffrey

          Paul, you’re not being honest to the facts, do you have latent jealousies against wildly successful musicians? Jacksons’s collection of art photo books, some of them comprising images of *non*-suggestive nudity of young individuals, would never be deemed as pornographic material if it wasn’t for our cultivated prejudice of Jackson’s *possible* perversion through the litany of lawsuits and attacks he went under by lustful, jealous people exploiting his own eccentricities and our depraved, public desire to tarnish the fame of individuals. Are you aware that one of the fathers of the supposed victims just shot himself in the head?

        • Someone who knows

          Consider this fact, the FBI and the Santa Barbara police department went over everything with a fine tooth comb and found nothing. That Ron character’s own secretary stated that the 2003 trial was a shakedown on Michael Jackson, and he and Sneddon admitted to this. The mother was a liar and a thief, but they still went to trial. Michael Jackson did nothing wrong and was acquitted. The case should have been thrown out.

  5. Anonymous

    I think there is a broader issue here that has less to do with Michael Jackson, and more to do with the conduct and failings of law enforcement with respect to protecting the public from predators who happen to be famous artists. While this article is a bit too sensationalist, perhaps we should be investigating the Santa Barbara police department. If there was misconduct or negligence on their part, we should take steps to ensure whatever failings occurred don’t continue to occur.

    • enlightened

      There was no misconduct on behalf of the Sheriff’s department. This information was included in the trial in 2005 and has in fact been available on the internet ever since that time! The claim made by Digital Music News that this has just leaked and been kept sealed are completely false!
      The SB PD sent over 70 officers(!) to search Neverland, and in a library of over 10,000 books and on various hard drives and computers they found NO illegal material, NO child Porn. They only found commercially available books that we could all buy easily in regular stores.

      Sure, an expert said they could be used to groom children, but then so could any number of items in your or my home. COULD does not mean DID, and the jury agreed when they reviewed all this evidence.

  6. Polochon

    Please allow me to copy-paste a comment that was published as a comment on Twitter, following this news:
    1) Michael Jackson went before a court of law, with all material recovered from his residence, and was vindicated.
    2) Not only are these “new released” details actually been available for a decade, but it stated no child porn found.
    3) And to answer your question, why was MJ not prosecuted.. he was, just not on child porn charges. Cause they don’t exist.

    What should we do about all the cherubs in antic arts? Should they be forbidden from view? Maybe a special tour of Rome, Pompei and such should be organised for Americans, “just in case”?

    • Guns&Bibles

      Maybe a special tour of Rome, Pompei and such should be organised for Americans, “just in case”?

      It’s already the case. There are plenty of classic paintings you are not allowed to post on facebook ( a US company of course ). example :

      “A court has ruled that Facebook can be sued in France over its decision to remove the account of a French user who posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting.”

      You are totally allowed to post most violent pictures and videos on the other hand. Guns, ok. Tits, no.

  7. Anonymous

    I do not like Michael Jackson. I think there was a strong possibility that he was a child molester. However, they went through everything at Neverland with a fine tooth comb and nothing illegal was found. If there had been, he would have been immediately arrested for possessing child porn. The images of children in states of undress was exempted because it was from ‘art books’. It may be disturbing or a fine line, but technically it is wrong to call it ‘child pornography’ as some publications are doing.

  8. Infuriated by this fictional article.

    This is outrageous
    “the long list of evidence collected in the raid shows that Michael Jackson was in possession of large amounts of child pornography. And that, under federal law, this is a felony offense. So why was the evidence sealed, only to surface 13 years later?”

    First, the Sheriff’s report shows that out of a library of over 10,000 books, seizing ANY book that included anything approaching nudity there were a handful of books to use as evidence.
    Second, the report also states that NONE OF THEM WERE ILLEGAL, hence NONE were CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.
    Third, this information wasn’t sealed for 13 years, it has been available on the internet since 2005!!
    Fourth, the Sheriff’s department hasn’t “refused to discuss this further”, they released a statement a couple of days ago confirming that the report featured on RadarOnline did appear to be theres. They also confirmed that it had been supplemented by oher materials copied and pasted from the internet. The statement doesn’t need to address “why nothing was done”, because the statement already stated that all documents had been handed to the prosecution and defence lawyers during the Discovery phase of the Jackson trial. Therefore, this OLD evidence was fully considered during the Jackson trial.
    Digital Music news claims to have poured through the whole report and found plenty of material that could qualify as child pornography?? Well, that’s just ridiculous. As I said, the report states none of the material was illegal, so it could not have been classed as child pornography. Further, all material found was of a commercial nature and available in usual retail outlets. Again, nothing illegal was found.

    It’s worth pointing out that during the trial some erroneous media reports stated that child porn had been found at Neverland and so the judge took the unusual step of signing off on a statement that clarified that NO child pornography had been found.
    Further to this, when the recent RadarOnline article was posted one of Jackson’s PROSECUTORs Ron Zonen also released a statement saying there was NO CHILD PORN.

    To summarise, this ‘news’ site is a complete joke and has no respect for the law.

    Do you seriously think that you have the right to say Jackson committed crimes that even the prosecution lawyers stated he did not??

    One last time, the report states very clearly nothing was illegal.

    • 8

      so are we too assume then you would be comfortable having (or have) the same handful (20) books on your shelves, these “art books” depicting nude kids? And what it that was the only books he had, instead of some of many? Does it matter that those particular books were in a bag next to the bed, and in the bathroom, for easy and constant viewing (by himself or visitors)?

    • 8

      okay so i looked at that , and you must be insane to think that the original photo actually argues to the favor that that isn’t homoerotica depicting youths. guys wearing singlets or tight spandex lederhosen or whatever that was is proof enough.

    • 8

      those things they were wearing were so weird something seems off. now i think the nude pix were the original, and that the spandex lederhosen things were added later digitally to get around child porn nudity laws. so i think your link is actually proof of guilt, not the other way around.

      • C

        there are no ‘nude pix’. on the right you can see the spandex if you look. the black bars were added making it seem like underneath was nudity, but no, more spandex

  9. Lisa

    I can’t believe DMN hasn’t retracted this story. Sticking to something that the actual police dept who supposedly gathered this information openly stated wasn’t true. This is actually more moronic than your views on Dr Dre. I didn’t think that was possible. How are you not a huge Donald Trump supporter? I’m now officially done, unsubscribing today.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Dept. didn’t say they were fabricated documents; in fact, I read the (purposely-vague) statement to mean they are real. I think the aspects that were inserted are pages to clarify what the books in question were.

      There are even portions from a court document. Is that fabricated? No it’s not.

      The evidence list contains lots of references to underage pornography. Again, I’m not really sure how it’s possible this wasn’t illegal. The US law on this matter is very clear; I’m wondering why it wasn’t applied equally to Michael Jackson.

  10. Truth

    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.”

  11. Your Long Lost Daddy.

    This is a pathetic music news website…

  12. Erin

    How do you explain the fact that there the prosecution signed an affidavit stating that they found NOTHING of a pornographic nature or anything that pointed to pedophilia? How aboutvthe fact that nothing in the videos online are of a pornographicnature? This is a bullshit article by someone who wants attention as an online article writer that has NEVER studied the case? Its easier to slander someone’s name than it is to use mental energy to research a topic like a professional, esteemed “journalist”. Its disgusting.

  13. Bob

    None of what follows is intended as a defense of Michael Jackson’s behavior or habits which many may legitimately find offensive and/or unacceptable. That, however, is not the point. There is a large gap between what even the majority may find offensive and objectionable and what is actually illegal under state and/or federal law.

    Paul Resnikoff and DMN have once again unleashed the worst kind of “click-bait” misdirection masquerading as “reporting” and “journalism.” It is pathetic, shameful and so regularly-practiced by DMN that this online publication should require a warning label that reads “truth is not an obstacle.” DMN makes FoxNews look like it is indeed “fair and balanced” by comparison.

    Resnikoff’s conclusions regarding “Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code” are embarrassingly wrong. He quotes the language of the code accurately but fails to comprehend that in light of the specifics of that code none of the referenced materials found at Neverland would meet the required minimum standards of being in violation of that federal code or any California state law as it applies to child pornography.

    And yet, Resnikoff writes: “Sounds like Michael Jackson clearly violated that law.” Resnikoff would be hard pressed to find a DA, judge or even first-year law student who would agree with his conclusions. And to make matters worse, the “pretend journalist” Resnikoff uses the woefully inaccurate headline of “Authorities Knew Michael Jackson Was Guilty of Child Felonies…” The truth is that the authorities seized an enormous amount of evidence which, after thorough review, was correctly deemed to be NOT illegal under the law.

    • Anonymous

      Well put. This is the worst web site I have been to in a long time. I feel sad for the writer of this article because he is so filled with anger yet so absolutely and obviously wrong, and am afraid to say, stupid.

  14. 27

    the “stuff copied from the internet” is scans of photos FROM THE BOOKS MJ HAD IN HIS POSSESSION to illustrate the kind of photos in them. So while you imply that their inclusion means deceit, it is actually proof of the kind of imagery used. The same way DMN uses images in its articles. Secondly, I looked at those “doctored” images, and to my graphic design eye it looks like the orginal photos were the nudes, and the doctored ones are the ones that have the weird garments (for ex. look at the guys bum, if you dare — no clothes are that tight or seamless, sorry.)

  15. C

    damn this ‘article’ is terrible. luckily this site basically just someone’s blog

  16. C

    even the headline is odd, “guilty of child felonies” seems more likely to mean mj was guilty of committing felonies as a child. a much better headline would say “guilty of felony child abuse” or “guilty of felony possession of child porn”. and an editor wouldn’t accept those either because the words guilty and felony imply he was found guilty in court. you’d have to say “actually was guilty of” or “really was guilty of”

  17. HaterBlocker

    Stop being a dusty, maggot mouthed hater. Let that man lay in peace. He is not here to defend himself any longer, yet you continue to throw dirt on him while he is laying in his grave. YOU are the scumbag! JEALOUS , HATER! MAD because our creator gave the major lot of the TALENT TO BLACK PEOPLE and all you can do is try your best to COPY! I guess that WOULD make you jealous…lol

  18. Edward

    Wow, Trump is right you media cucks really are a bunch of sleazy dirtbags. BTW this “article” (more like op-ed) is so badly written it makes 6th grade journalism look like Pulitzer material. God forbid jacko was a coin collector, any Italian Lira found would convince you he was guilty-er. Here’s a better newsworthy idea ask your hero Obama why US troops have to sit idly while Afghan “allies” rape and molest children on a daily basis? Personally I sincerely hope you and your website go the way of Gawker.