VENTURA, Calif. – The 242 prospective jurors in Michael Jackson's (search) child molestation case range from janitors to computer analysts and include people whose children have visited the singer's Neverland ranch (search).
The candidates answered a 41-question, eight-page survey that touched on issues such as whether they had relatives or close friends who had been diagnosed with cancer or accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient and giving the boy alcohol. Jury selection is scheduled to continue Monday.
"My disable daughter was allow to go to Neverland, but Mr. Jackson was not present during her school visit," wrote Juror No. 243, a risk analyst.
No. 54, a 48-year-old pastor, said Jackson's cousin is in his church and a Jackson employee "is my son's best friend."
No. 194, a 47-year-old woman, said her son works at the ranch and another son, 15, had gone to the ranch with a friend of Jackson "to ride and hang out."
The questionnaires, released Wednesday, were being studied by attorneys on both sides in preparation for individual questioning of the panelists.
The candidates, ages 18 to the early 80s, had an average age of 46 and a majority were female. Sixty-seven said they knew someone who has met Jackson or spent time at his ranch.
A few potential panelists said they, a relative or close friend had been the victim of "inappropriate sexual behavior of any kind."
Juror No. 16, a 48-year-old woman, said she was the victim of a sexual assault in 1974 but no charges were filed. She also wrote that she had been arrested or accused of a crime in 1974 and 1976, but she added "charges dropped, diversion."
The questions were designed to target people who might be sympathetic to Jackson because they or their families knew him, or people with military or law enforcement connections who might favor prosecutors.
But some prospective jurors said they had other reasons for being doubtful of Jackson's innocence.
No. 40, a 38-year-old teacher who said he had either met Jackson or spent time at his ranch, said it would be "nearly impossible" for him to be impartial.
"Having 3 children of my own, I am very sensitive to any type of child abuse. The actions that Mr. Jackson has admitted to with children are very disturbing to me," he wrote.
Most said they knew at least "a little" about the Jackson case and the 1993-94 investigation of similar allegations against the superstar. No charges were filed in that case.
"I'm sure I've heard something, but I don't remember exactly what. I was only 13 at that time," wrote a 24-year-old woman.