The judge in Michael Jackson’s child-molestation case bolstered the wall of secrecy around the allegations facing the star, keeping the lid on not only grand jury materials but also denying requests for the release of unspecified evidence, reports the Associated Press.
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville said Thursday that he has decided to keep the entire indictment as well as the grand jury transcript sealed. The decision comes after Melville’s earlier announcement that he would consider unsealing the documents.
Melville expressed concern that “in the extraordinary, high publicity environment of this proceeding, the integrity of the jury pool is threatened” by possible disclosure of evidence that may or may not be admissible at trial, AP reports.
Several media organizations had petitioned the court to release the names of unindicted co-conspirators and 28 overt acts listed in the indictment. They also asked for release of the transcripts of the three-week grand jury hearings that led to Jackson’s indictment.