NEW ORLEANS -- A federal judge on Wednesday asked for more information before considering a motion from Michael Jackson's attorney to dismiss a Louisiana man's suit claiming he was molested by the pop star more than 20 years ago.
Jackson's lawyer, Charles F. Gay Jr., asked U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon to dismiss the suit by Joseph Bartucci Jr., because the alleged incident happened more than 20 years ago.
Bartucci claims he was lured into Jackson's limousine in 1984 and held for nine days during which he was both sexually and physically assaulted.
There is a one-year statue of limitations on the crime for adults. Bartucci, who was 18 in 1984, argues the statute applies only from when he recovered a repressed memory of the event.
Bartucci claims he was sexually assaulted by Jackson and battered, held at gunpoint and cut with razor blades by Jackson's bodyguards during a drive to California and back. Bartucci asserts he remembered the incident only when he saw a Court TV show about child molestation charges brought against Jackson in California. Jackson was acquitted in that case.
"They have no facts or evidence to support the claim of repressed memory," said Gay, who said the notion of repressed memory is not supported by studies of medical experts.
Attorney Louis Koerner, argued that Bartucci was so badly injured by Jackson's bodyguards -- including having his head slammed on the pavement -- that the trauma caused him to blank out all memory of it.
"He went through a terrible, terrible, terrible time," Koerner told the judge.
Fallon asked Koerner to depose Dr. L. Mulry Tetlow, a psychologist who agreed that Bartucci had repressed the memory.
"I want to look at what he says about repressed memory," Fallon said.
Jackson's attorney's categorized Bartucci's claim as a "fantastic tale," in court papers seeking to have it dismissed.
Bartucci has a long history of litigation, they claimed, including being a party to 18 civil and criminal suits in the past 17 years.
"It's so hard to get a dismissal at this early stage," Gay said. "But we think this whole thing was conjured up by a guy who knows how to use the system."