Being a witness when a previous similar case was settled

If the rumors about Michael Jackson are true, and a trial results, could the state of California call the boy in the last trial even though he and Jackson settled out of court?


Even a confidentiality agreement cannot survive an order to testify. If the boy’s testimony is otherwise admiisble, he may be ordered to give it.

  • Rick

Assume that the order is given to testify and the previous complaintant refuses. Can a minor (if he is still a minor) be held in contempt and jailed?

If the minor refuses to testify, the Court would probably hold the minor in contempt and then transfer the minor to juvenile court for a further hearing (the prosecution would probably request a continuance in the criminal trial to allow the minor to purge the contempt charge)…here I believe the juvenile court can, if the circumstances warrant, securely detain the minor.

However, the original accuser is now 23 or 24 - no longer a minor. How would it be handled then?

Better yet, assuming the confidentiality agreement gave him money for his silence, if he is ordered to break it could he be liable to return the money.

BTW MSNBC reports that last time California law did not require a minor to testify if he didn’t want to. That is why California couldn’t prosecute. The minor couldn’t be compelled to testify. This has since changed.