Sheriff seeks release of findings in probe of Michael Jackson

The Associated Press

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The sheriff has asked a judge's permission to release the results of a state probe into allegations that Michael Jackson was "manhandled" by authorities after his arrest for investigation of child molestation.

But Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson's request to publicize the investigation's findings were ordered sealed by Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, according to court documents released Friday.

It was unclear whether the state attorney general's investigation had been completed because significant portions of Anderson's motion, filed Thursday, were blacked out.

Anderson asked for a state investigation last year after Jackson claimed he was mistreated while in custody. In a CBS "60 Minutes" interview, the singer alleged that authorities locked him in a feces-smeared restroom for 45 minutes after he asked to use the facilities. He showed what he said was a bruise on his right arm and claimed his shoulder was dislocated.

TV news cameras, however, recorded Jackson waving with both arms to fans as he was let out of jail.

Sheriff's officials and Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer, declined to comment, the Santa Barbara News-Press said.

Anderson's motion was among at least 17 court records released Friday. Many had numerous deletions, continuing the pattern of secrecy imposed by Melville throughout Jackson's case.

In one filing, media attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. asked that media be allowed to film and photograph court proceedings Aug. 16 when District Attorney Tom Sneddon is scheduled to testify.

"Mr. Sneddon's testimony is a quintessential example of the kind of proceeding that warrants camera coverage," wrote Boutrous, who represents a coalition of media organizations including The Associated Press.

Jackson's defense did not oppose the media's request, according to court records.

Other documents released Friday contain requests by defense lawyers to throw out evidence seized by law enforcement during raids on Nov. 18, 2003.

Jackson is charged with committing a lewd act upon a child, administering an intoxicating agent and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $3 million bail.