Published January 14, 2015
Prosecutors in Michael Jackson's (search) child molestation case want to introduce evidence that the singer has committed other sex crimes over the years that went uncharged.
Prosecutors argue in a motion released Tuesday that the evidence should be admitted under a 1995 California law that lets relevant previous acts, whether prosecuted or not, be considered in sex crime cases.
The motion from the district attorney's office, as well as a defense request for a six-week delay of the scheduled Jan. 31 trial, were released by the court with key sections blacked out and are scheduled for argument in hearings to begin Monday.
Prosecutors say in their filing that the evidence will demonstrate Jackson's "propensity" for such crimes, his motive and intent, and show how he "created the opportunities to achieve his goal."
They said the evidence would be used to prove the credibility of the alleged victim and his family, rebutting the contention by Jackson's attorneys that the allegations were made up in an effort to get money from the 46-year-old entertainer.
"The best way to prove that a man is a sex offender is to prove that he has sexually offended again and again," Senior Deputy District Attorney Gerald Franklin said in the motion.
The alleged previous acts apparently took place at Jackson's Neverland Ranch (search), which is described by prosecutors as "a veritable paradise" for children.
Lawyers in the case are prohibited from speaking about it under the judge's strict gag order. Jackson has pleaded not guilty to charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, to his alleged victim.
Loyola University law professor Laurie Levenson, who has monitored the case, called the prosecutors' motion "standard operating procedure."
"If you have prior incidents, and the law allows you to use it, then you go for it," she said. "It shows a pattern, a propensity for Michael Jackson to commit these types of crimes."
In their motion, Jackson's attorneys say they need a six-week delay to give them time to sort through 14,000 pages of evidence filed by prosecutors in the past two months.
"It is unfair and unnecessary to push this matter to trial before the defense has had the same type of time and access to relevant material as the prosecution," Jackson attorney Robert Sanger (search) said in the request.