The judge who presided over Michael Jackson’s child abuse case has ordered prosecutors to return to the entertainer hundreds of items seized by investigators.
The items, including computers, books and adult magazines, were gathered as evidence by authorities looking into allegations that Jackson molested a 13-year-old boy two years ago. Jackson, who was acquitted last month, was not in court yesterday.
“Anything you have seized that was not brought to court and was not contraband, should be returned to Mr. Jackson,” Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville told Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon.
Items introduced in court as evidence also will be returned to Jackson after news media representatives have been given time to review them, Melville said. But the judge wouldn’t allow reporters to see videotapes featuring Jackson or his accuser.
“Those have privacy issues and copyright issues,” Melville said.
Jackson’s attorneys have petitioned for the return of all items taken from the entertainer.
Sneddon argued against returning some items he labelled ”contraband.” He said those included syringes, the drug Demerol and prescriptions for various drugs, mainly antibiotics, that were in different people’s names.