LOS ANGELES – A two-month investigation uncovered no evidence to support allegations that Michael Jackson (search) committed child abuse in the late 1980s in Los Angeles, police said Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Police Department (search) opened an investigation after a man whose name has not been released claimed to have been abused by the pop star as a child. The allegation was separate from the accusations in the child molestation case under way against Jackson in Santa Barbara County.
"On May 28, 2004, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Juvenile Division officially concluded their two-month investigation into allegations of child abuse against Michael Jackson," Lt. Art Miller said in a statement. "After an extensive investigation, which included hours of interviews with the person making the allegations, detectives concluded there was no evidence that any crime occurred. No charges will be sought."
Police did not disclose the nature of the Los Angeles allegations against the singer. Legal experts have said the allegations would be difficult to prosecute because of questions about why the accuser didn't come forward sooner, and the reliability of any testimony about events from years ago.
Jackson's attorneys did not return calls for comment Wednesday.
In other developments, a judge has barred a New Jersey man from displaying or selling Jackson collectibles until the resolution of the singer's lawsuit over the costumes, letters, legal documents and other items.
Henry V. Vaccaro (search) took the items, which had been in storage in Oxnard, Calif., as part of a bankruptcy proceeding involving Jackson's parents and his brothers, Tito and Jermaine. He then displayed them on a pay-per-view Web site.
Vaccaro, an Asbury Park construction company owner, said he was awarded the items after years of legal wrangling stemming from a failed business venture that wound up in bankruptcy court.
Jackson attorney Brian Wolf said Vaccaro was only supposed to get property belonging to the family members involved in the case, and that Vaccaro overstepped his bounds when he also took items belonging to Jackson and his sister Janet.
Vaccaro's attorney, Edgar Pease III, said the items include gold records, portraits, costumes, and personal items including skin bleach, soiled underwear, sexual videotapes, sexual paraphernalia, and a hand-drawn picture by Jackson of a 7-year-old boy. He said he wrote a letter to Jackson's attorneys two years ago saying any attempt to claim such items would only make the singer look bad.
"My take on this is that for Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson to jump back into a legal fight over this is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of," Pease said. "It shows me how irresponsible his legal counsel is."
Wolf said Jackson has never claimed the bleach, sexual materials, underwear or picture were his, and said the singer has not sought access to them.
"I don't know why they allegedly think it's Michael Jackson's," Wolf said.
Jackson was seeking only the memorabilia, records, contracts, and personal writings, Wolf said. He said he did not know if the other items listed by Pease even exist.
Some of the items may play a role in Jackson's child molestation case, although it's unclear whether they would be helpful as evidence.
Vaccaro reportedly turned over the underwear and some handwritten notes to prosecutors in Monmouth County, N.J., who in turn handed them over to the Santa Barbara prosecutors trying to convict the singer. Jackson has pleaded not guilty.
Monmouth County prosecutors did not return a call for comment Wednesday. Susan Tellem of Tellem Worldwide, hired to handle media inquiries for Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon, also did not return a call.
Attorneys in the molestation case are under a gag order that prevents them from discussing it.
Last week's order from U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper replaces a similar April 13 order. Vaccaro said after that order that he had already shipped the memorabilia to a European buyer he declined to identify. Vaccaro has not revealed the sale price, but indicated it exceeded $1.4 million.
Wolf said he is seeking the return of the items, and said the judge's order would also apply to any new owner.