Debunking Jim Clemente

Jim Clemente

Jim Clemente is a former New York State prosecutor and former FBI profiler. After leaving those jobs he has been working in the media – for example as a writer and producer on crime shows or as a podcast host.  He had a marginal role at the Michael Jackson trial in 2005: the prosecution planned to call him to testify about the “pedophile profile”, but eventually they did not. According to Clemente, it was because he got cancer and could not testify. Nevertheless, the prosecution did not call any other person instead of him either, who would have talked about the so called “pedophile profile”. Such expert testimonies in the field of psychology can be very subjective, anyway, because psychology is not an exact science like mathematics or physics are. It is safe to say, if Clemente had got on that stand and testified against Jackson, the defense would have called its own high prestige expert to testify for Jackson.

Clemente’s inherent bias against the entertainer is clear from his media interviews (which may be explained by Clemente being a child sexual abuse survivor himself), but that is not the biggest problem with him. The biggest problem is that often he just makes up things and tells blatant lies about the cases he “experts” about, including, but not limited to the Michael Jackson case.

Clemente often relies on an appeal to authority fallacy. Whenever his claims are called into question or evidence is required of him, he plays the “I was a prosecutor, I worked with the FBI, I have the credentials, so I am automatically right, and you are automatically wrong” card instead of providing arguments and evidence for his claims.

However, that only works  as long as you are not familiar with the facts of this case (or other cases Clemente “experts” about, for that matter). Those who are, will soon realize that a lot of what Clemente claims is fantasy. Credentials and a past with the FBI will not make untrue claims true.

So here are some of the claims Clemente made in the past months about the Jackson case in podcast interviews:

Clemente claim #1: Gavin Arvizo correctly described Michael Jackson genitalia in 2005. He gave a description that corroborated Jordan Chandler’s 1993 description.

Answer: 

This is a blatant lie. Gavin Arvizo never gave a description of Michael Jackson’s genitalia. No such evidence was ever claimed to even exist by the prosecution. There is also no record of a strip search during the 2003-2005 case. You can research all the motions, and court testimonies from the 2005 case and you will see absolutely no mention of such a thing.

Even Jackson detractors questioned him about the fact that no such evidence was ever mentioned during the trial. In answer Clemente went for his usual cop-out of referencing mysterious evidence that no one else ever saw, but him [9]. This is his modus operandi in gaslighting people.

But let us think critically about such uncorroborated claims!

Gavin Arvizo had no problem testifying about sexual acts that allegedly happened between him and Jackson. He also seemed to have a pretty good time on the stand as he was even telling jokes during his testimony.

“BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Do you remember when you were in front of the Santa Barbara Grand Jury, [lead prosecutor] Mr. Sneddon told you there was an order that you not talk to the media, and your response was,“Oh, man, I was going to have a press conference”. Do you remember that.

That was probably a joke.

That was a joke.

Yeah.

So you’re in front of the Santa BarbaraGrand Jury talking about this case and you’retelling a joke.

Yes.” [8]

So he did not have a problem with talking about oral sex, among other things, but somehow he had a problem with talking about a matching description he gave of Jackson’s genitalia? And somehow the prosecution NEVER mentioned this matching description in any motion or any other court document, either.

If the prosecution had this bombshell evidence in which the accuser at the center of the 2005 trial accurately described Jackson’s genitalia, it would have been introduced. If it was not, that means such evidence never existed. Keep in mind that this prosecution was very zealous against Michael Jackson, throwing “everything but the kitchen sink” at him, so it makes no sense of them to not even mention such a vital piece of evidence if it existed and proved something.

Clemente’s made up fantasy is also self-defeating, because if Gavin had ever given a description (he did not) and it had corroborated Jordan’s 1993 description that would only be suspicious of Gavin simply copying Jordan’s 1993 description rather than seeing something himself, as vitiligo markings change over time, so Jackson’s genitalia most probably did not look the same in 2003 as it did in 1993. Moreover, Jordan’s 1993 description was not accurate itself.

On top of everything, testimony from the 2005 trial showed that Gavin did not even know that Jackson had vitiligo markings on his body, he thought he was “just all white”.

And you knew that that disease was causing certain patches of white and brown on his skin, right.

Yes. I guess.

And –

I don’t know. It’s not like I was making fun of him yesterday, if that’s what you’re trying to imply.

Well, you knew that his skin is vulnerable to sunlight, correct.

Yes.

And that’s why you see him with an umbrella, correct.

Yes.

And you also knew, because of the patches that appear on his skin from that disease, he does sometimes put some makeup on, right.

I didn’t know about patches. I thought he was just all white. [1]

Clemente tried to get out of this by accusing Jackson defenders taking things out of context in a May 13, 2019 tweet  [2]:

The reality is that Jackson defenders do not take anything out of context. You can read Gavin’s testimony for yourself in full (the above part was in his March 15, 2005): nowhere did he make any claim that Jackson’s penis was any different than the rest of his  body. In fact, there was never any discussion of Jackson’s penis during Gavin’s testimony at all, which obviously would not have been the case if he had accurately described it. It is Clemente who is inventing a context here that is just not there in the original testimony. All that to save himself from the embarrassment of being caught in a lie.

If Jim Clemente stands by his claim that Gavin Arvizo accurately described Jackson’s genitalia, hereby I challenge him to prove it! 

I also would like to ask Clemente if he accuses Tom Sneddon, Ron Zonen and the whole 2005 prosecution to have done their job neglectfully by not introducing such an important piece of evidence if it existed, like he claims?

Clemente claim #2: Jordan Chandler worked with the FBI during the 2005 case and was willing to participate in a federal case against Jackson if the star was not convicted in the Arvizo case. The case would have been about interstate transport of a minor for the purpose of illegal activity. The statutes of limitations had just ran out before they could go through with it.

Answer: 

Yet another made-up fantasy by Jim Clemente.

So what is this thing even about? The little element of truth at the core of it is that back in 1993 the Los Angeles Police Department contemplated to investigate Jackson under a federal law called the Mann Act. Here is the relevant part about it from Jackson’s FBI files [3]:

The Mann Act is a law against transporting anyone over state borders for the purpose of prostitution or illegal sexual acts. In the Chandler case, the idea probably came from the fact that Jordan traveled with Jackson a couple of times. Mind you, Jordan’s mother, June Chandler always traveled with them, as well. Also, there is no evidence that sexual acts occurred between Jordan and Jackson during those travels, or at any other time, for that matter.

It was merely an idea by the LAPD that did not go anywhere and, as you can see, the US Attorney quickly declined it. An idea to investigate someone under a certain law does not mean that person is guilty of violating that law, especially when not even the US Attorney saw any basis to go through with such an investigation.

Now, Clemente took this non-story and twisted it into something completely different. In his version we are in 2005, not in 1993, and instead of the LAPD, it is Jordan Chandler who wants to go through with such an investigation, as an adult man.

However, Clemente’s version is a complete fabrication.

We have a very good idea about what Jordan Chandler told the FBI when they tried to get him testify for the prosecution and against Jackson in 2005, as it is in Jackson’s FBI files. FBI agents met with Jordan on September 28, 2004 and he told them that he had no interest in testifying against Jackson and would legally fight any attempt to do so [3].

If Jordan Chandler wanted to send Jackson to jail he had his chance right there in 2005 by helping and testifying for another “victim” at a criminal trial. Why would that not be good enough for him? Why did it have to be a federal case based on law that (as you will see) had a racist history and the US Attorney did not see as appropriate to apply to this case in 1993?

Anyone who knows anything about Jordan Chandler, knows that all his life he was running from any situation where he should have testified and subjected himself to cross-examination. After the 1994 settlement he still had all the opportunities in the world to bring a criminal case against Jackson basically any time he wanted, even after he grew up, as district attorney, Thomas Sneddon extended the statutes of limitations in the case specifically with the hope that Jordan would change his mind and bring a criminal case against Jackson. He never intended to. So why would this guy then all of a sudden be interested in bringing a federal case against Jackson based on the shaky grounds of the Mann Act, when he could have simply testified against Jackson in the 2005 criminal trial, had he wanted to put him in jail?

Of course, Jordan Chandler was not interested in bringing a federal case against Jackson. As you have seen above, rather he advised the FBI that he had no interest in testifying against him. The story is just another Clemente invention.

By the way, I am not sure why Clemente and the Jackson detractors who flock around him even think it is a good idea to brag about the Mann Act in relation to the Michael Jackson case. The law has a racist history.  Although not only black people were investigated under it (for example, Charlie Chaplin was also famously investigated – and then acquitted – under the Mann Act), but it has a history of being used disproportionately against black men.

History.com writes: “Also known as the White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910, the law was invoked over and over again to punish black men for their relationships with white women—affairs that challenged the racial status quo.”

“[Jack] Johnson, then one of the most famous black men in the United States, was one of the law’s first victims. When he beat a white boxer, undefeated heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries, in a highly publicized bout in 1910, it triggered race riots. It also made law enforcement take a closer look at Johnson, who was known for his flamboyant behavior and lavish spending. This behavior had long rankled those who thought an African-American man should know his “place” and stay in it—and Johnson’s open relationships with white women were considered a slap in the face to racial norms.” [4]

NPR.org: “Enacted during a time of great change and “moral panic,” the Mann Act was originally designed to combat forced prostitution. The law, however, has been applied broadly over the years and, critics say, used as a tool of political persecution and even blackmail. In the past century, thousands of people have been prosecuted under the Mann Act, including celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Chuck Berry and Jack Johnson.

Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion, was among the first to be charged under the act. In 1913, he was accused of ostensibly transporting a prostitute from Pittsburgh to Chicago. Johnson was convicted and given the maximum sentence: one year and one day. Critics, however, believe that Johnson’s case was racially motivated — the “prostitute” was his white girlfriend.” [5]

Johnson got pardoned only in 2018, by President Trump, 105 years after his conviction.

About why Chaplin was targeted NPR writes: “In 1944, Charlie Chaplin was prosecuted under the Mann Act in a case stemming from a paternity suit involving the actress Joan Barry. Some believe the case was motivated by Chaplin’s left-of-center political views. He was ultimately acquitted, but his image in the U.S. never fully recovered.”[5]

Let us hammer it down: There is no evidence that Michael Jackson ever had a sexual relationship with Jordan Chandler, so his traveling across state borders with him (and his mother – let’s not forget!) did not have anything to do with “immoral purposes”.

But the fact that the LAPD even contemplated using this law against him is nothing to brag about for Clemente as it is a law that was regularly and systematically used against black men.

If Clemente stands by his claim that Jordan Chandler intended to bring a federal case against Jackson in 2005, hereby I challenge him to prove it! The evidence that we have, which shows Jordan fighting tooth and nail against having to testify against Jackson, contradicts Clemente’s claim.

Clemente claim #3: Four “fried” hard drives of Jackson’s computers were found in a suitcase in an adjacent room during the 2003 raid. This room had a chair and vaseline, according to Clemente, who suggested it was Jackson’s “jerk off room”.

Answer:

The suggestion of this claim is clear: the hard drives were fried because they must have contained illegal material.

Except this claim is yet another Clemente invention.

During the 2003 raid Jackson’s computers were all confiscated and there is a detailed report about them among Jackson’s FBI files. Altogether 16 hard drives were confiscated from Neverland, four from Jackson’s bedroom. Those four were in three different computers (one computer had two hard drives). They were all inside computers, in perfectly good health, not “fried” in any suitcase.

As you can see from those FBI files above, the FBI meticulously went through all 16 of those hard drives and found absolutely nothing incriminating on them. They did examine all of them. There is no claim of any of them being “fried”.

Here we have to note that none of the computers contained any illegal material or had any traces of access to illegal material on the Internet, including no attempts to find such material. They contained only legal, heterosexual material. As Jackson’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau pointed out in his closing statement at the 2005 trial: “No illegal child pornography, either in a website or anywhere else. No websites where you try to meet children, like pedophiles often do, and the rest.” [6]

Not even the prosecution claimed that any material on the computers was illegal. They just argued that they wanted to introduce them to show that Jackson knew how to use a computer (something he never denied). Judge Rodney Melville, however, ruled that this material was irrelevant and did not allow the prosecution to refer to this evidence in court.

For our purpose here, once again: all hard drives were intact, none of them was “fried”, none of them was in a suitcase, they were all inside computers, operational.

These are only some of the main claims that Clemente made about the Michael Jackson case. It is difficult to keep up with every misinformation he spreads about the case, but I think the above examples already give you an idea about his lack of credibility.

Clemente’s track record with other cases he “experts” about is not any more impressive

Michael Jackson’s case is not the only case where Clemente’s expertise and truthfulness is called into question as you can see here or here. The latter article is about Jim Clemente’s performance in a documentary about the JonBenét Ramsey case. It discusses the glaring mistakes in the “expert analysis” Clemente and his partner in the film, Laura Richards offer, and it also points to issues with their credibility. Towards the end the article notes:

Moreover, Clemente and Richards presented themselves and their team of investigators as infallible, their expertise as inarguable and their opinions as indisputable facts. More than once, they made unproven, disputed or misleading statements without providing further evidence, like the claim that John Ramsey disappeared for an hour and a half the morning of the murder – in actuality, he was in his study and the Boulder police just didn’t notice.” [7]

Sounds familiar?

Sources:
[1] Gavin Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 15, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip
[2] Jim Clemente Twitter Account (May 13, 2019)
https://twitter.com/JimClemente/status/1128058817923543041
[3] Jackson’s FBI files as released in 2009
http://vault.fbi.gov/Michael%20Jackson/Michael%20Jackson%20305%20File%20Part%201%20of%201/view
[4] Erin Blakemore – The ‘White Slavery’ Law That Brought Down Jack Johnson is Still in Effect, February 25, 2019)
https://www.history.com/news/white-slave-mann-act-jack-johnson-pardon
[5] Eric Weiner – The Long, Colorful History of the Mann Act (March 11, 2008)
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88104308&t=1555084651807
[6] Closing Statements by Thomas Mesereau at Jackson’s 2005 trial (June 2, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip
[7] Amelia McDonell-Parry – 3 Big Ways ‘The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey’ Got It Wrong (September 20, 2016)
https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/3-big-ways-the-case-of-jonbenet-ramsey-got-it-wrong-112062/
[8] Gavin Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 10, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip
[9] Jim Clemente Twitter Account (June 3, 2019)
https://twitter.com/JimClemente/status/1135448616938590208
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