The state attorney general’s office has concluded that Michael Jackson was not “manhandled” by sheriff’s deputies who took him into custody last year on child molestation charges, CBS News reported Sunday.
The findings were contained in a three-page letter Martin A. Ryan, chief of the attorney general’s California Bureau of Investigation, sent to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson, CBS reported on its Web site.
A spokesman for the attorney general did not immediately return a call for comment.
Jackson told CBS’ “60 Minutes” last year that he was “manhandled” by sheriff’s deputies who deliberately handcuffed him in a way they knew was “going to hurt” and that dislocated his shoulder when he surrendered to authorities at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport on Nov. 20.
After he was taken to jail, he said, he was placed in a feces-smeared restroom for 45 minutes before being released.
'No criminal misconduct'The investigation “did not uncover verifiable information that Mr. Jackson was injured at the hands of Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department personnel, and no criminal misconduct on the part of sheriff’s personnel was identified,” Ryan said in the Aug. 2 letter.
Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., declined Sunday to discuss the attorney general’s investigation, citing a court-imposed gag order. But he told The Associated Press he might ask the judge for permission to comment on the letter, since it had been made public.
Anderson requested an independent investigation after Jackson made the allegations last year. He also asked that state Attorney General Bill Lockyer issue a legal opinion on whether Jackson’s allegations would amount to filing a false police report if they were found to be untrue.
Ryan said that opinion would be forwarded to the sheriff’s office by his agency’s legal division.
According to the letter, Ryan’s office assigned a dozen people to investigate Jackson’s complaint, and they spent more than 2,500 hours looking into it, conducting interviews with sheriff’s deputies, jail inmates, airport employees and Jackson’s own chiropractor and security detail.
“Despite several attempts to obtain a statement from Mr. Jackson and/or names of potential witnesses through Mr. Jackson’s attorneys, these efforts were not successful,” he said.
Some inmates said the speed with which Jackson was booked indicated he had actually received preferential treatment, Ryan said. His chiropractor said his shoulder was not dislocated and the pain he suffered, which likely was caused by being handcuffed, was treated successfully by physical therapy.
“Witnesses reported that Mr. Jackson had normal use of his arms immediately after booking, as demonstrated by waving and later in the day by lifting his children and shaking hands through his vehicle window with numerous fans,” Ryan said.