New Orleans resident Joseph Thomas Bartucci Jr. is suing Michael Jackson for sexual assault and battery based on an alleged May 1984 incident when Bartucci was eighteen. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans.
Bartucci, 39, claims that the memory of the abuse remained repressed until he saw an episode of Court TV last November in which the charges of child molestation the pop star currently faces were discussed. Jackson’s lawyer Thomas Mesereau declared in a statement, “These issues will be fully litigated in a court of law.”
According to the complaint, posted in its entirety on the Smoking Gun Web site,
claims that on May 19th, 1984, when he was visiting the World’s Fair in New Orleans, a man approached him and asked if he wanted to meet a celebrity. Bartucci alleges that he was led to a white limousine, where he was introduced to Jackson. He claims that he was then held captive as the limo was driven to California and back for nine days, during which time Bartucci says Jackson plied him with “mood altering substances,” cut him with a razor blade and forcefully performed oral sex on him.
Bartucci claims the alleged incident has left him disabled, suffering from “permanent, severe and continuing injuries,” including “eyesight impairment,” “suicidal tendencies,” “severe mental anguish,” “loss of capacity for enjoyment of life,” “marital difficulties,” “eating disorders” and “debilitating terror.” For this alleged trauma, Bartucci — who liquidated both his insurance and tutoring companies last year due to his disability — is asking for compensatory and punitive damages.
Jackson was indicted last April by a grand jury in Santa Barbara, California, on charges of child molestation. That case is set to go to trial on January 31st. Bartucci’s lawyer, Stephen Murray — who has emphasized that at the time his client looked much younger than his years, weighing only ninety-two pounds — also stated that Bartucci has been interviewed extensively by the FBI and New Orleans and California authorities.