Thomas W. Sneddon Jr.
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|Thomas W Sneddon Jr.|
Thomas William Sneddon|
May 26, 1941
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
November 1, 2014 (aged 73)|
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
|Occupation||33rd District Attorney of Santa Barbara County (retired)|
Thomas William Sneddon Jr. (May 26, 1941 – November 1, 2014) was the district attorney of Santa Barbara County, California. He had more than two decades of experience as a District Attorney, and more than three decades of experience as a prosecutor. He is best known for prosecuting child molestation charges against entertainer Michael Jackson in 2005; Jackson was acquitted.
Life and career
Sneddon was born in Los Angeles in 1941 and grew up in California. In 1963 Sneddon graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he was on the boxing team; and in 1966 from UCLA Law School, where he met his wife. From 1967-69, during the Vietnam War, he served in the U.S. Army.
From November 1969 until May 1977, Sneddon served as a Deputy District Attorney in Santa Barbara County. In 1977, he was promoted to the position of Supervisor of Criminal Operations. On January 3, 1983, Sneddon became the 33rd District Attorney of Santa Barbara County and was re-elected without opposition for five terms. In 2010 he retired from the DA's office.
A father of 9 children, Sneddon was Chair of the Committee for Child Support Enforcement since its inception in 1991. He was presented with a "Director's Award" in 1995 by the California Family Support Council. A year later he was appointed co-chair of the National District Attorney's Child Support Committee and invited by the US Attorney General Janet Reno to be a member of the Presidential Commission's Federal Task Force to review and enhance federal criminal prosecutions for failure to pay child support.
Prosecution of Michael Jackson
His most publicized cases were his two investigations of Michael Jackson on child sexual abuse allegations in 1993 and 2005. The first criminal investigation was closed with no charges. Jackson settled a related civil suit with a civil settlement of over $15 million to the plaintiff Jordan Chandler. Chandler ceased cooperating with investigators after two grand juries returned a refusal to indict Jackson. The second set of allegations against Jackson resulted in a long trial which ended on June 13, 2005 with Jackson being acquitted. In 1995 Jackson wrote a song about him, titled "D.S." Sneddon's own work website indicates that he believes he is the subject of the song, stating, "He's the only DA in the nation to have an angry song written about him by pop megastar Michael Jackson", but he denied ever listening to it.
- Broder, John M. (March 1, 2005). "Jackson Prosecutor Tells of Abuse and Conspiracy". New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- Bolton, Tom (November 1, 2014). "Michael Jackson Prosecutor Tom Sneddon Dies of Cancer at Age 73". Noozhawk. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Davis, Matthews (June 6, 2005). "Trial health problems for Jackson". BBC News Online. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Jackson cleared of child molestation". The Guardian. Associated Press. June 13, 2005. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "In Profile:Thomas W. (Tom) Sneddon, Jr". National District Attorneys Association. February 2003. Archived from the original on January 2, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
- Thomas William Sneddon Jr. profile, Martindale.com; accessed November 2, 2014.