The star's defense claim prosecutors bullied grand jurors in the child-molestation case

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 08, 2004 09:00 AM

Michael Jackson’s defense attorneys asked a judge to throw out his indictment on molestation charges, claiming prosecutors bullied and “ran the proceedings as if they employed the grand jurors,” reports the Associated Press.

The singer, 45, is scheduled to go on trial later this year to charges of committing a lewd act upon a child, administering alcohol, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. He has pleaded not guilty.

According to a motion signed by Jackson attorney Robert Sanger and filed on Tuesday: “There is no case in the history of the state of California that has condoned anything like the abuse of power demonstrated in this grand jury proceeding.”

Because of a gag order, the court released the motion Wednesday after being heavily edited by Santa Barbara County Judge Rodney Melville to remove names of witnesses and references to the specifics of the indictment, AP notes.

The dismissal issue, which is to be argued at a future hearing in Santa Maria, Calif., accuses prosecutors who ran the secret grand jury hearings of proceeding “by innuendo and sarcasm, impugning Mr. Jackson by ridiculing those allegedly associated with him and even those who sought to legally represent him.”