Judge Rodney Melville, presiding over the pre trial hearings in the Michael Jackson case, yesterday rejected attempts by the defence to throw out the child molestation charges or delay the trial by several months.
Judge Melville rejected both arguments, saying that any delay in the trial would be:
"a huge step backwards.....If I continue this case for three months, we'll have 90 more search warrants and 90 more motions...".
The court will begin summoning jurors next week, and the trial will start on 31 January 2005.
Jackson will be required to attend, when jury selection begins next month.
The prosecution's wish to have evidence of "prior sexual offenses" by Jackson admitted to the trial, will not be discussed until early January.
The trial is expected to take about 4 months, and may involve over 150 witnesses.