Jacko Pleads Not Guilty in Molestation Case

Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty Friday to all 10 counts of a grand-jury indictment, including a surprising charge of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

The indictment, unsealed Friday, also charged Jackson with four counts of lewd acts involving a minor, one count involving an attempted lewd act upon a child and four counts of administering an intoxicating agent.

• Raw Data: Michael Jackson's Indictment (pdf)

After the arraignment, Jackson and his new chief lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, Jr., (search) made brief statements outside the courthouse in Santa Maria.

"I want to make clear what this case is about. This case is not about lawyers or anyone else becoming celebrities," said Mesereau. "This case is about one thing only. It’s about the dignity, the integrity, the decency, the charity, the innocence and the complete vindication of a wonderful human being named Michael Jackson."

Jackson didn't directly address the child-molestation charges against him, but instead took the opportunity to thank his supporters.

"I would like to thank the fans around the world for your love and support from every corner of the Earth," said Jackson who went on to thank his family and the community of Santa Maria. "I will always love this community from the bottom of my heart."

Fox News legal analyst Stan Goldman (search) explained that the conspiracy charge indicates that someone else besides Jackson is involved in an alleged crime.

"You cannot have a conspiracy with just one person," said Goldman. "We are going to have someone else involved, whether [that person is] charged or not."

Attorney Gloria Allred (search) told Fox News: "It will be interesting to see who the other person or people are. ... They may decide to flip and take a deal and testify against Michael Jackson. When the heat is on, one of them may turn against him."

The allegations of child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion are not individual charges, but cited as circumstances leading to the one count of conspiracy.

In response to a prosecution request, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville declared that portions of the indictment regarding the conspiracy count be sealed. He also agreed with a defense request that parts of three lines be removed.

The grand-jury indictment, issued in secret earlier this month, replaces charges filed last year by Santa Barbara County prosecutors that listed seven counts of lewd or lascivious conduct involving a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicant to a child under 14.

Judge Melville said transcripts of the grand-jury proceedings would be turned over to attorneys Monday but would remain under seal, and that a hearing on the sealing of the indictments would be held May 28.

As was his right in California, Jackson waived his right to a speedy trial.

Because of the grand jury's indictment, there will be no need for a preliminary hearing in order for prosecutors to show there is enough evidence to try the pop star.

Jackson wore glasses and a conservative suit -- with a red armband and a gold badge on the lapel. He arrived early for his arraignment Friday, pulling up in a black SUV to a courthouse surrounded by throngs of fans from around the world. They held signs of support for the singer and cheered as he stepped out into the sunlight.

At his previous hearing, Jackson arrived nearly 20 minutes late and was chastised by the judge. He showed up 40 minutes early Friday for his arraignment.

Jackson's arraignment marks a turning point in the 5-month-old child molestation case against the singer, moving him closer to a trial.

His accuser is a teenage boy who was friendly with the singer and appeared in the Martin Bashir televised documentary called "Living With Michael Jackson." In the footage, Jackson admitted sharing a bed with young children.

With a new team of lawyers in place, Jackson continues to shuffle his inner circle to prepare for the ordeal ahead.

Foxnews.com's Roger Friedman first reported this week that Jackson has minimized the involvement of the Nation of Islam (search) and is relying more heavily on his brother Randy for advice.

Mesereau, a veteran criminal defense attorney, took over the case last weekend after Jackson decided to remove Mark Geragos (search) and Benjamin Brafman (search), the two high-profile lawyers who had been directing his defense. The star said he wanted lawyers who could devote all their time to his case.

Mesereau's team includes his law partner Susan Yu and two longtime Jackson attorneys, Steve Cochran and Robert Sanger.

"A week before an arraignment, to go change lawyers, this is just indicative of the fact that we've lost the ability to influence him," Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who was once a spiritual adviser and friend of Jackson's, told Fox News on Friday.

"He has this whole idea that he has a special destiny and he's gonna be OK ... what I have to say to Michael is 'Wake up, this is a downward incline,'" Boteach continued.

On Friday, the courthouse resembled a fortress ready for a siege, with chain-link fences and metal barricades erected to hold back the crowd. Police officers placed orange traffic cones to prevent parking in front of the courthouse.

When Jackson was arraigned on a district attorney's complaint last January, some 3,000 fans clogged the streets and cheered him on as he hopped on top of a sport utility vehicle and entertained them with a dance.

Experts said it was likely that Jackson's new lawyer advised him such raucous displays are not in his best interest.

"The indictment means things are getting serious," said Loyola University Professor Laurie Levenson.

Boteach said he doubted Jackson would be able to get through a full-blown trial, if it comes to that.

"My great apprehension for Michael always was that he would not live to see his 50th birthday," the rabbi said. "He has a thin skin ... he needs to be loved ... I don’t see how he can withstand a trial."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.