NEW ORLEANS – A judge says he tossed out a 22-year-old kidnapping and molestation claim against Michael Jackson because the pop star proved he was miles away from where the abduction allegedly occurred.
U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon dismissed the case last Thursday. The reasons for his decision were posted Tuesday on the court's Web site.
Joseph Bartucci Jr. had claimed that he was forced into a white limousine on May 19, 1984, during the New Orleans World's Fair, and driven to California while being molested, held at gunpoint and cut with steel wire and a razor blade.
Bartucci claimed he did not recover memories of the assault until 2003.
In dismissing the case, the judge said Wayne Nagin, who kept Jackson's appointment calendar, provided a sworn statement saying Jackson was rehearsing in California for a music tour from May 20-27, 1984.
"The calendar reflects a series of appointments each day during the period," the judge wrote.
Moreover, he said, a California woman swore that she had known Jackson since 1976 and remembered talking to him on May 13, 17 and 20, 1984, about getting an award from President Reagan on May 14 of that year.
Bartucci's attorney, Louis Koerner, did not answer his telephone Tuesday. On Monday, he said he was shocked by the dismissal but could not comment more until he saw the judge's reasons.
Jackson's lead attorney, Charles Fenner Gay Jr., said that "there's no question we believe the entire case is trumped up by Mr. Bartucci."
The judge noted, but did not rule on Jackson's contention that Bartucci is a "professional litigator."
In a 2005 court filing, Jackson's lawyers said Bartucci had been involved in 18 civil and criminal suits over the previous 17 years, including one raising allegations of sexual abuse against a minister.