Rodney Melville

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Rodney Scott Melville is a presiding judge in Santa Barbara County's superior court. He is most notable for being the judge in Michael Jackson's 2005 child molestion trial, in which Jackson was acquitted.


Melville was born in 1941 and studied at San Diego State University and Hastings College of the Law, University of California.[1]

Melville, now living in Santa Maria, California with his wife Lynn Madia (four years his junior) and daughters Carrie Lynn and Stacey T., became an attorney for the firm Melville & Iwasko and became a State Certified Specialist in Family Law. He served as a Deputy District Attorney in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for two years.[1]

In 1987, Melville was appointed to the Municipal Court Bench in 1987. After three years he was promoted to the Superior Court.[1]

Melville retired as a judge for the Superior Court in 2007, having served 17 years.[2]

People v. Jackson[edit]

In 2005, Michael Jackson was accused of child molestation by a 13-year-old boy. The case went to court and Melville was appointed the presiding judge. Prior to the start of the trial, Melville banned cameras from the courtroom, put a gag order on both sides and oversaw a three-day jury selection procedure.[1]