Police raid the home of Michael Jackson's videographer

By Stephen M. Silverman
March 02, 2004 11:41 AM

As prosecutors continue to build the child-molestation case against Michael Jackson, police seized computers, videotapes and photographs, apparently from the musician’s videographer’s home, according to heavily censored court papers unsealed Monday by the Santa Barbara County judge presiding over the case.

No word if anything incriminating was found in the probe of videographer Marc Shaffel’s home in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas, reports Reuters. Among the items reportedly taken away from the house: at least six computers or computer hard drives, dozens of videotapes and four black-and-white photo prints, as well as a DVD tape of a “Neverland Party” discovered on a living room bookshelf in the living room. Unspecified documents were also turned up.

The search warrant that opened up the investigation states that authorities were after phone bills, though it is unclear whether these turned up or what information they might have contained.

Jackson, 45, who has pleaded innocent to all the counts against him, is charged with seven counts of lewd acts on a boy under the age of 14 and two counts of plying him with alcohol. On Tuesday, NBC News reported that Jackson (like Martha Stewart before him) has launched a Web site to present his side of the story and defend himself, as well as allow room for chat.

Materials related to the search warrant were sealed by a judge at the time they were issued (Jan. 22, 2004, according to the Associated Press), but news agencies sought to get them released. Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville granted that request.

The next hearing is set for April 2, though it remains unclear if Jackson, who has signed a waiver of his right to be present in court for all proceedings, would attend, reports Reuters.