Craig's Court: The Wacko Jacko Impact On Kobe Bryant

Posted Nov. 20, 2003

The impact of the Michael Jackson arrest and prosecution on Kobe Bryant is interesting to contemplate. Both international celebrities face serious sex charges and lengthy potential prison sentences.

Jackson is a remarkably gifted megastar whose career has been spiraling downward for over a decade. Until June 30, 2003, Bryant is an amazing talent and ascending star in the world of sports. Jackson's reputation has long been damaged by indications of pedophilia. Bryant's personal reputation was fairly spotless prior to his admitted adulterous encounter in Eagle County Colorado.

Michael Jackson seems to be a victim of a selfish kind of love. Jacko should have long ago realized that he needed to look in the mirror and make a change. It appears he did not. Jackson claims he would never do anything to hurt a child. So why did he just collaborate with criminally accused and allegedly video taped pedophile R. Kelly on a new song for his greatest hits album? The ironic name of the song is One More Chance.

To prove the molestation/fondling charge against Michael Jackson, the prosecution needs to prove that the King of Pop willfully touched a minor, or had a minor touch himself, in a manner designed to gratify or arouse Jackson or the minor. Willfully will be the key word. The DA must have evidence of specific intent which means that Jackson had the conscious objective to give or receive sexual stimulation.

Expect Michael Jackson to admit he slept with this boy in his bed. He likely touched him and even might have given him a bath. This boy had no father and it will be argued that he regarded Michael Jackson as his surrogate Daddy. There is one big problem with that however. THE KID IS NOT HIS SON.

How will the prosecution prove Jackson's specific intent? The answer appears threefold. First, the alleged victim will tell us his version of what happened and how many times. Outcry witnesses may back him up. Second, the DA has gone hunting for physical corroboration at three different locations in Southern California. What kind of corroboration? Let me suggest photos, videos, writings, devices, wine, and/or possible semen stains? Third, look for the DA to try to put on evidence of similar bad acts by Jacko against other young boys.

California law (Rule 1108) specifically provides that special indulgences exist for introduction of similar acts of sexual misconduct. The DA has specifically solicited other Jacko victims to come forward. Wouldn't it be interesting if the young boy allegedly molested in 1993 (and received a reported twenty plus million dollar settlement) would be subpoenaed in this case?

A comparable special sexual assault similars law exists in Colorado. However, after several months of litigation, nobody in the Eagle County DA's Office or in the media has pointed to any other indications of sexual misconduct by Kobe Bryant. Consent is the issue in Colorado. There can be no consent defense when sex with a child is alleged.

Consent is the defense in the Kobe Bryant case. However, Colorado law does not require that the Eagle County DA prove Kobe Bryant knew his victim failed to consent. In other words, Kobe Bryant could be found guilty even if he had no intention of raping anybody. All the DA needs to prove is that the nineteen year old alleged victim did not consent. That is what Colorado law says. Whether the jury will go along with that is an open question.

Expect a couple things to happen in these two cases. Kobe Bryant's case will go slow. Michael Jackson's case will probably go slower. I would be surprised if any judge allowed a sex assault case involving a minor to be televised. Then again, it is California. I would not be surprised if Kobe Bryant's case is televised.

Will people lump these two alleged celebrity sex offenders together? That would not be good news for Kobe Bryant. For better or worse, most people look more askance at any kind of homosexual sex versus a heterosexual encounter. Beyond that, almost nobody likes pedophiles. Even fellow prisoners hate them. Will Kobe Bryant seem normal and innocent in comparison to Wacko Jacko? I suspect so.

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