Some German law blogs have noted that there has been an Anklageschrift against Michael Jackson. I’m not sure that’s right.
Apparently prosecutors have two procedures to follow:
In the case of a misdemeanor (similar to German Vergehen), a prosecutor files an accusatory pleading in court. The pleading is called a criminal complaint, an information, or a petition. (An information is a Strafanzeige, I would say).
In the case of a felony (as in Jackson’s case; similar to German Verbrechen), the above accusatory pleading is one possibility. And that’s what has happened here: the pleading is called a criminal complaint and is signed by the district attorney.
Alternatively, there may be an indictment handed down by a grand jury (this would be Anklageschrift for me).
About half the states, mainly in the east, require prosecutors to use a grand jury. Other states allow the prosecutor to choose the procedure.
Dietl calls criminal complaint Strafantrag (which is confusing, because a German Strafantrag or application for prosecution is made by a person who is the victim of an offence that can be prosecuted only on the victim’s application). Romain has Strafanzeige.