Jackson to stand trial

Last updated at 11:48 22 April 2004

A California grand jury investigating child molestation accusations against Michael Jackson indicted the pop star yesterday, American television networks have reported.

A Santa Barbara County court spokesman said he could not confirm the indictment of Jackson, who has already been charged with molesting a young boy.

The grand jury has met for about two weeks in Santa Barbara under extraordinary secrecy.

Attorneys for the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" could not immediately be reached for comment.

Santa Barbara prosecutors presented evidence to the grand jury related to accusations that Jackson sexually molested a young boy seen in a controversial British documentary that was filmed partly at his Neverland Valley Ranch in Santa Barbara.

Jackson has pleaded innocent to the earlier charges, which consisted of seven counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 and two counts of plying him with alcohol in order to seduce him.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, who is presiding over the case, has said he would like to have a trial in the matter begin by December.

The next hearing in the case is set for April 30 and the 45-year-old entertainer could be arraigned on an indictment then.

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