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Miffed judge fines Jackson

From Associated Press

An irate judge, miffed by

Michael Jackson’s failure to have his lawyer show up for a hearing in a New Orleans civil case, fined the singer $10,000 Wednesday.

Jackson was a no-show and had no lawyer present at a July hearing in the case accusing him of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man during the 1984 World’s Fair. Jackson denies the accusations.

Jackson attorney Charles F. Gay Jr. told U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon on Wednesday that the summons for the court date was simply lost in the confusion of Jackson’s child molestation trial in California. The summons for the New Orleans court appearance arrived on June 13 -- the day Jackson was acquitted.

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The judge said he did not feel it was appropriate to fine Jackson for contempt, but he was not sold on Gay’s excuse either, so he levied other fines related to court costs.

In the federal civil lawsuit, Joseph Thomas Bartucci Jr. claims he was lured into Jackson’s limousine by one of the singer’s employees in 1984, held against his will for days and sexually assaulted. Bartucci claims he repressed the memories until 2003, when he saw the coverage of the child molestation charges against Jackson.

Bartucci is seeking unspecified monetary compensation from Jackson.


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