SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Michael Jackson's (search) prosecutors said Friday they still believe the pop star could be a danger to children, despite his acquittal on charges of molesting a boy two years ago.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon (search) and his two lead deputies in the case said in an interview with The Associated Press that they believed the jury set too high a bar for evidence.
Jurors rejected the prosecution's entire 10-count case Monday after a 14-week trial. Some later said that Jackson probably had molested other boys but insisted the case they heard was not proven.
Sneddon, who said immediately after the verdict that he would not second-guess the jury, discussed the nature of child molesters but said he was not talking about Jackson specifically.
"They don't even stop when they get treatment," he said. "This is a sickness that is very, very difficult to cure."
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen (search) stressed the importance of Jackson's future dealings with children.
"He's been exposed to the criminal justice system in a very profound way. Whether he poses a threat to children in the future is, of course, entirely up to him. If he brings kids back into his bedroom and even into his bed, then yes, there's probably a high likelihood that he will pose a threat or danger to the child," Zonen said.
Jackson's attorney, Thomas Mesereau Jr. (search), said earlier this week that Jackson would no longer share his bedroom with children or their families because it could put him at risk for future accusations.
Mesereau persuaded jurors that there was a reasonable doubt in the case by arguing that the accuser and his mother made up the allegations against Jackson to get money.
On NBC's "The Tonight Show" Friday, Mesereau said Sneddon had a "personal vendetta" against Jackson and "mischaracterized the case from day one." He said Sneddon had been searching for accusers since a previous case fell apart after the boy's family accepted a multimillion dollar settlement from Jackson.
"It was like an open casting call on Michael Jackson. The best they could come up with was this family, which we thoroughly discredited from A to Z," Mesereau said.
The prosecutors said they did not buy the defense's claims that sleeping with children was part of an effort by Jackson to compensate for a childhood lost amid his rise to stardom and abuse by his father.
"I'll tell you this: I'll match my days in the bakery working with my dad (with) his dancing routines with his dad any day of the week," Sneddon said.
Sneddon said he would have considered a conviction tragic in some ways, considering Jackson's accomplishments.
"If he had been convicted, I think that part of it would have been a tragedy — like a Greek tragedy play of a person who obviously can bring great joy and entertainment to the people around the world," he said.
Also Friday, a Jackson Web site said the singer "has not made any plans for a party," responding to a report that a weekend celebration was being organized by the pop star's family to thank fans for support.
The statement was posted on mjjsource.com, which was used by Jackson's family to release information during the trial.
A spokeswoman for the Chumash Casino near Jackson's Neverland ranch was quoted in the Los Angeles Times saying the casino had learned the family planned to hold an event Saturday for selected fans.
Phone messages seeking comment from the casino were not returned Friday.