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Report: Jackson not 'manhandled' in custody

Judge orders portion of report released


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Did D.A. Tom Sneddon violate Jackson's lawyer-client privilege?
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SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- The judge in the molestation case against pop star Michael Jackson on Thursday ordered the release of part of a report by the state's attorney general concluding that the singer was not treated roughly when he surrendered on the charges last year.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville's announcement during a pretrial hearing in the case prompted a heated protest from Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., who called the report a "sham and a scam" designed to give the prosecution positive publicity.

Jackson told CBS' "60 Minutes" in December that he was "manhandled very roughly" when he was taken into custody on the child molestation charges. He said he was bruised and that his shoulder was dislocated.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department denied the charges.

Sources familiar with the investigation told CNN Sunday that the California attorney general's office determined that sheriff's deputies treated Jackson properly.

Mesereau said it was "extraordinary" that the attorney general's office would take it upon itself to investigate the matter, since Jackson had never filed a complaint or lawsuit about the incident.

He said the attorney general's office never interviewed or examined Jackson in the course of its investigation, and said the conclusion of the report was "propaganda designed to violate" the judge's gag order in the case.

The judge said Jackson will be allowed to make a statement on the portion of the report made public, but will have to clear it with the judge first.

Accuser's stepfather takes stand Later Thursday, the stepfather of the boy who accuses Jackson of molesting him took the witness stand in a hearing to determine whether some evidence gathered by the prosecution can be used at trial.

Identified only as John Doe, the stepfather said someone representing Jackson called him and said that Jane Doe, his wife, and his children needed to come back to the ranch to film a video to rebut a British documentary in which Jackson admitted sleeping in the same bedroom as children.

John Doe testified that he asked the man what he was offering, and the man said the family would be given a house, college educations for the children and security.

The hearing is being held to determine whether some evidence gathered by the prosecution can be used at trial.

At issue is the defense's claim that District Attorney Tom Sneddon violated attorney-client privilege between Jackson and his former attorney, Mark Geragos, when the prosecutor searched the office of private investigator Brad Miller.

The defense said the prosecutor knew or should have known that Miller was working for Geragos at the time. As a result, the defense wants any information obtained in the search to be considered attorney work product -- notes and materials collected in preparation for a trial -- and therefore inadmissible as evidence.

Sneddon maintains he did not know that Miller was directly employed by Geragos.

An investigator with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department testified Tuesday the department sought search warrants for Miller's office because the mother of the alleged victim had said that some items belonging to her may be there.

There was no court session Wednesday.

Jackson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to child molestation for alleged incidents with the boy that prosecutors say took place last year in February and March.

The singer is charged with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, reportedly wine.

Tuesday, Judge Melville turned down a defense motion to quash warrants used to search the pop star's Neverland Ranch.

The defense contended that investigators had used inaccurate information in making their case for the search warrants. But Melville said that even if that information wasn't accurate, authorities still had enough justification for the warrants.

CNN correspondent Miguel Marquez and producers Chuck Conder and Dree De Clamecy contributed to this report.


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