justice, sort of…
by Natalie Finn
Mon, 13 Nov 2006 07:44:21 PM PST
Janet Arvizo, the mother of
the boy who accused Michael Jackson of molesting him when he was 13, pleaded no
contest Monday to welfare fraud, wanting to "just move on with her
She "always felt that
she had a viable defense," Arvizo’s attorney, Patricia Hattersley, said
outside the courthouse, but "she doesn’t want to put her family and her
children through a major trial."
Nope, wouldn’t want
Arvizo originally pleaded
not guilty in June to one count of aid by misrepresentation and four counts of
perjury by application for aid. She was accused of fraudulently obtaining
$8,000 in government assistance while repeatedly lying about the true state of
Los Angeles Superior Court
Judge Barbara Johnson sentenced Arvizo to 150 hours of community service and
ordered her to pay $8,600 in restitution. If Arvizo comes through with her end
of the deal by Apr. 27, she won’t have to return to court for a sentencing
Hattersley said that she’s
planning to request that the case be expunged from her client’s record once she
has completed her sentence.
Jackson’s defense lawyers
repeatedly attacked Arvizo’s credibility during last year’s child molestation
trial, questioning her on the witness stand about why she continued to collect
welfare when she already had $30,000 in the bank. Arvizo invoked her Fifth
Amendment rights while testifying.
Speaking for Jackson, who
moved to Bahrain after being acquitted of all charges last June and is now
hanging his hat in Ireland, attorney Brian Oxman expressed his satisfaction
with the case’s outcome.
"This has been a long
and very difficult process that started in 2003 [when Arvizo’s son accused
Jackson] and has finally ended with the equivalent of a guilty plea,"
Oxman said. "Michael Jackson doesn’t want retribution, but has always felt
he has been wronged."