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Jacko’s Paw Prints all Over Porn

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A police detective told jurors on Thursday that he found 16 fingerprints on pornographic magazines seized from Michael Jackson’s ranch as prosecutors prepared to argue that the prints belonged to the pop star and his young accuser.

The fingerprints were displayed on pictures taken from the magazines, which included Barely Legal, Finally Legal and Penthouse, and featured female genitalia, lesbian and oral sex, often performed by young women dressed as teenagers.

“These are graphic images, your honor,” Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney Gordon Auchincloss said as defense attorneys objected to the matter as an unnecessary display. “But they are graphic images with fingerprints that are ultimately related to this case.”

Though court ended for the day before Det. Timothy Sutcliffe could tell jurors whom he believed had left the fingerprints, prosecutors have said that they belonged to Jackson and the boy who accuses him of child molestation.

The prints could be key corroboration of testimony by the boy, a recovered cancer patient who is now 15, and his younger brother that the 46-year-old entertainer showed them adult magazines in his bedroom at Neverland Valley Ranch.

Jackson is accused of molesting the boy, who was then 13, at Neverland and plying the youth with alcohol in order to abuse him. He is also charged with child abduction, extortion and false imprisonment.

The self-styled “King of Pop,” who has pleaded innocent, faces more than 20 years in prison if he is convicted on all 10 counts of a Santa Barbara County grand jury indictment.

The sexually explicit images capped a day of often tedious testimony into the intricacies of fingerprint technology that left jurors yawning or even nodding off in their seats.

Prosecutors said that on Monday they would call comedian George Lopez to the witness stand, after Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville issues a critical ruling in the case — whether or not to allow into the trial evidence of past sexual abuse accusations against Jackson.

Defense lawyers claim Lopez was one of many celebrities scammed by the family of the boy as part of a pattern, they say, of soliciting money from stars.

Jackson came to court dressed in a black suit with a red arm band and accompanied by his parents and defense team. Missing was lawyer Brian Oxman, who was taken from the courtroom on a gurney on Wednesday and diagnosed at a local hospital with pneumonia. Oxman has since been released.

The moonwalking entertainer has also appeared in ill health lately and told reporters outside court that his back and side were still in pain.

Forensic analyst Lisa Hemman testified that she analyzed 58 magazines or clippings taken from a briefcase full of pornography seized from Jackson’s bedroom during a Nov. 18, 2003 raid. She said she recovered a number of fingerprints — including some that she said belonged to “minors.”

On cross-examination, Hemman acknowledged that there have been misidentifications in fingerprinting by authorities in recent years, including that of the Oregon lawyer once accused of participating in a 2004 bombing in Madrid.

She also conceded that some of the early fingerprint identification findings in the Jackson case were later revised, but said that it was common to do so.

Associated Press: SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A sheriff’s technician testified Thursday in Michael Jackson (search)’s molestation trial that she found a fingerprint from the brother of Jackson’s accuser in an adult magazine seized from the singer’s home.

The prosecution began presenting testimony on fingerprint evidence to support the boys’ accounts that the pop star showed them sexually explicit magazines at his Neverland ranch.

The testimony followed an effort by defense attorney Robert Sanger to undermine the reliability of the results. He elicited testimony that the magazines were not tested for fingerprints until months after they were seized – and then only after some of them were used in grand jury hearings in which the accuser could have handled them.

Technician Lisa Hemman said the brother’s fingerprint was found on a page of a magazine called Finally Legal.

She said she and another examiner initially ruled the print inconclusive in September and October of 2004, but that it was re-examined and found conclusive in a report filed in January.

“As an examiner you always go on the edge of caution,” she explained. “If you don’t want to rush a job you make it inconclusive.”

Hemman said the process involved comparing hundreds of fingerprints to those of three people. She did not name the three, who presumably were the accuser, his brother and Jackson.

She said on first examination they concluded the fingerprint was inconclusive.

“With respect to that particular print, did you have a belief as to who the print was made by when you ruled it inconclusive?” asked Deputy District Attorney Mag Nicola.

“Yes,” she said, and named the brother of the accuser.

Hemman also testified the fingerprint of another minor was found but she did not identify that person.

There was no immediate testimony about a magazine alleged to have both a print from the accuser and Jackson.

Jackson is accused of molesting a boy at Neverland in February or March 2003. The magazines were seized in November 2003. The grand jury heard testimony in spring 2004 and fingerprinting was done later that year.

Sanger also elicited testimony from forensic experts focusing on the length of time between the seizure of the evidence and when it was subjected to fingerprint analysis, suggesting the evidence could degrade.

Antonio Cantu, chief of forensics for the Secret Service, said he was not aware of the delay in the fingerprint tests and acknowledged it would have been preferable for the tests to have been done immediately.

But Hemman offered an explanation of why fingerprint analysis was not done immediately.

“We wanted to preserve DNA evidence. Processing for fingerprints could destroy DNA. So you do the testing for DNA before you do the fingerprint testing,” she said.

Jackson attorney Brian Oxman remained away from the trial after being hospitalized with pneumonia Wednesday.

In Las Vegas, meanwhile, a prosecution witness – former Jackson bodyguard Christopher E. Carter, 25 – was being held on unrelated charges of kidnapping, burglary and robbery.

Carter was expected to testify he once found Jackson’s accuser inebriated and that the boy told him Jackson had encouraged him to drink, Santa Barbara prosecutors said. Officials in Nevada said they will comply with prosecutors’ request to have Carter testify.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer patient at Neverland, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy’s family captive to get them to make a video rebutting a Feb. 6, 2003, documentary in which he appeared with the boy and said he let children sleep in his bed, but that it was innocent and non-sexual.

 

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