SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The younger brother of a 13-year-old boy accusing Michael Jackson of molestation testified Monday that he twice witnessed the pop star masturbating with one hand while his other was inside the accuser’s underpants.
The witness, who is identified in court papers as “James Doe,” also told jurors that Jackson provided him, his brother and others boy with wine, adult-oriented magazines and access to Internet sites featuring images of naked women.
On one occasion, Jackson appeared before the boys naked with an erection. On another, he asked James if he masturbated and told him that it was fine to masturbate because everyone does it, according to James.
The testimony comes on the sixth day of Jackson’s child molestation and conspiracy trial. James, his brother, their sister and their mother all met Jackson in 2000 after “John Doe,” who has yet to testify, was diagnosed with an unknown type of cancer. The cancer reportedly went into remission after aggressive treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy.
Prosecutors contend the alleged molestation occurred after Jackson and his media representatives forced the family to appear in video and audio tapes expressing their love, admiration and respect for the singer.
The defense claims the family is setting Jackson up for a lucrative civil suit using the same lawyer who represented another teen who won a multi-million dollar settlement following similar accusations in 1993.
According to James, his brother was snoring when he climbed the stairs unnoticed leading to Jackson’s bedroom at Neverland Ranch, the pop icon’s 2,800-acre estate in Santa Barbara County. When he reached the top of the stairs, James claims he saw Jackson and John Doe laying on top of the covers wearing only T-shirts and underwear.
“I saw Michael’s left hand in my brother’s underwear and saw his right hand in his [own] underwear,” said James, now a 14-year-old in the ninth grade. “He was masturbating. He was rubbing himself.”
According to James, Jackson had his eyes closed and apparently did not see him. He spent the rest of the night in a guesthouse and did not mention the incident to anyone.
“I didn’t know what to do,” James told jurors.
Two days later, James claims nearly the same incident occurred. He left the main house and took a golf cart to get some chocolate from Jackson’s theater. When he returned, he again observed Jackson masturbating with one hand while the other explored the other boy’s underwear, according to James.
Asked by reporters about the testimony as he left the courthouse, Jackson said, “Sorry, guys. I’m under the gag order.”
The defense is expected to begin cross-examining James on Tuesday.
When court began Monday, defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. continued his cross-examination of “Judy Doe,” the 18-year-old sister of both James and John Doe.
Judy did not report witnessing any sexual conduct on Jackson’s behalf, but testified at length about a coordinated effort by Jackson’s media people to get the accuser and his family on tape saying only nice things about him.
The defense claims the video and audio tapes, which were made in connection with a rebuttal video produced in response to Martin Bashir’s “Living With Michael Jackson,” reflect how the accuser and his family really felt about Jackson.
On Tuesday, the defense played a tape recording made on Feb. 16, 2003, by a private investigator working for Jackson attorney Mark Geragos.
The family’s statements mirror statements they made on the video three days later. They described Jackson only in glowing terms, and praised him as a father figure. John Doe denied any sexual misconduct by Jackson, with whom he, his brother and other children sometimes shared a bed.
“Was there ever anything inappropriate with Michael?” private investigator Brad Miller asked on the tape.
“No,” John Doe said. “It was like father and son … He is my father.”
“He never acted inappropriately with any of you?” Miller asked.
“No, never,” all three children answered in unison.
Santa Barbara District Attorney Thomas Sneddon passed up several opportunities Tuesday to bolster Judy Doe’s testimony and point to a potential orchestration of the tape recording.
For example, at one point on the tape, Miller stops recording when James had trouble answering a question about whether Jackson ever slept in the bed alone with John Doe.
Also, after Judy Doe’s lengthy cross-examination, Sneddon only asked a few follow-up questions.
Sneddon let go unchallenged Mesereau’s attempt to portray Judy as an untruthful witness who blamed her youth and hazy memories every time the defense attorney backed her into a corner.
Mesereau also used his cross-examination of Judy to remind jurors of meetings she and her mother had with lawyers – meetings that Mesereau charged are leading up to an eventual civil lawsuit targeting Jackson’s immense fortune.
“As far as you know, your mother was encouraging your brothers to be in Michael Jackson’s house at night, shortly before she went to a lawyer to try to develop a lawsuit against Michael Jackson, right?” Mesereau asked.
“She wouldn’t encourage them. She just wanted to see them happy,” Judy said. “She wouldn’t push it.”
After Mesereau sat down, Sneddon only asked Judy a few questions.
Referring to her mother’s taped comments that Michael Jackson’s positive outlook was responsible for putting her brother’s cancer in remission, Sneddon asked Judy whom her mother actually credited for the boy’s health improvement.
“God, and God only,” Judy said.
“You never heard her mention Michael Jackson?” Sneddon asked.
“No,” Judy said.
Testimony is expected to resume Tuesday.