More Documents Sealed in Jackson Case
In a written opinion, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville said that until he had ruled on what evidence was admissible at trial, he didn't want potential jurors hearing about it through the media, the Associated Press reports. He said that release of pre-trial information would make it difficult to find an unbiased jury pool.
"The intensity of the media coverage in this case is high," said Melville. "Each court hearing is thoroughly reported and exhaustively analyzed by the media. It is substantially probable that if the evidence and testimony expected to be given at trial were to be released pretrial, it would be similarly reported and analyzed."
Pop legend Jackson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including committing a lewd act upon a child, administering alcohol and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
Melville released warrant request forms showing extensive prosecutorial searches of banks, retailers and telecom and Internet providers, the AP notes – but the documents did not reveal any names or what information was being sought.
Last week the judge upheld a gag order challenged by media lawyer Theodore Boutrous Jr., who had asked the court to unseal 47 search warrants and the entire grand jury transcript.
The next hearing in the case is set for Aug. 16, at which Jackson may have to appear.