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Small crowd rallies in support of Jackson

Minister, preschoolers demonstrate in front of court house
/ Source: The Associated Press

About a dozen people rallied outside a courthouse complex to show their support for singer Michael Jackson, who’s expected to be charged this week in a child molestation case.

His supporters included a preacher and several preschoolers who gathered in cold, windy weather Sunday to voice their opinions that Jackson already had been tried and convicted in the media and by the public.

“This is a travesty, a modern-day lynching,” said Veronica Anielski of Santa Maria, who brought her two young daughters to the rally. Her words echoed the angry response from the singer’s brother, Jermaine Jackson, to the allegations against Jackson.

Anielski was a co-organizer of the event with Tracee Reynaud; the two women distributed 1,000 fliers to encourage support for Jackson. Reynaud also is a former Jackson impersonator who spent more than a dozen years distributing gifts, many donated by Jackson, at children’s hospitals.

“Justice for one, justice for all, stop trying to make Michael Jackson fall,” the fliers read.

Rev. William Smith of Santa Maria met Reynaud at a local store and was impressed by her passion. He watched as the demonstrators carried signs in front of the court complex.

The pop singer was booked Nov. 20 on suspicion of molesting a boy at his Neverland Ranch outside Santa Barbara, Calif. He has denied the allegations and was released on $3 million bail.