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Jacko Trial Day #7

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A boy who claims he twice saw Michael Jackson molesting his brother in the singer’s bed admitted Tuesday that he perjured himself in the past and gave conflicting accounts of the alleged molestation.

“I don’t want to mix you up. I’m just trying to find out the truth, if I can,” lead defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. told the witness, now 14, after getting the boy to admit to past lies.

Mesereau is trying to prove to jurors in Jackson’s molestation and conspiracy trial that the accuser and his siblings were manipulated by their mother in order to set up a civil molestation lawsuit similar to one Jackson reportedly settled with another family for $20 million in 1993.

In fact, the accuser’s brother in the current case, who is identified as “James Doe” in court papers, admitted that he and his family had met with Larry Feldman, a lawyer who represented the accuser in the 1993 case. Going over James’ testimony almost line by line, Mesereau tried to poke holes in his claim that Jackson masturbated while fondling “John Doe” twice when he was 13 years old.

James told jurors Monday that he walked up a flight of stairs and was able to see the alleged acts, both times while his brother slept, from behind a banister.

On cross-examination, James testified that on both occasions he heard an “electric bell” go off when he entered a hallway at the bottom of the staircase, which he took to mean that Jackson wanted to be alerted when someone approached his bedroom.

Mesereau expressed incredulity that Jackson would be caught twice molesting a boy in his bedroom when alarms were supposedly sounding.

Mesereau also challenged James on his testimony Monday that a photograph of adult-oriented magazines found in a suitcase in Jackson’s home were the same magazines that James claims were shown to him by Michael Jackson during bizarre sleepover parties the singer had with boys at his Neverland Ranch.

Shown the picture again on Tuesday, James confirmed that the photograph in evidence depicted what he saw: a young blond woman exposing her breasts on the cover of a magazine entitled “Barely Legal.”

Mesereau noted that the date on the magazine in the photo was August 2003, at least five months after James and his family stopped visiting Neverland Ranch.

“I said he showed us ‘Barely Legal.’ I didn’t say he showed us that exact one,” James said.

The bulk of the cross-examination so far has centered on a civil lawsuit the accuser’s family filed against JCPenney over alleged abuse they suffered at the hands of store security personnel in a parking lot.

James testified that he did not remember much about the suit, although he acknowledged being represented by a lawyer when he gave a sworn deposition in 2000, the same year he met Jackson.

“I don’t remember,” James said in response to several questions.

“Did someone tell you to say ‘I don’t remember’ in response to my questions?” Mesereau asked.

“No,” James said. “If I don’t remember, I don’t remember.”

James did not remember saying in the deposition that his father never fought with his mother, and that his father never hit him.

“Is that true?” Mesereau asked.

James said it was not.

“Did someone tell you to lie in that deposition?” Mesereau asked.

“I don’t remember,” James said. “It happened a long time ago.”

Perhaps most important for the defense was James’ acknowledgement that he told different accounts about the molestation he claims he witnessed when speaking to investigators and a grand jury.

On one occasion, he said his brother was wearing pajamas. Another time, he said he was wearing just his underwear. James also said at one point that Jackson had his hand in his brother’s underwear; another time, he said he was touching the boy on the outside of his underwear.

 

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