Michael Jackson's Accuser Takes the Stand
Michael Jackson's young accuser took the witness stand in the star's child-molestation trial Wednesday, seeing Jackson in person for the first time since leaving the singer's Neverland Ranch in March 2003 and alleging he was sexually victimized.
Called to the stand by District Attorney Tom Sneddon, the former cancer patient, looking slim in a blue shirt, replied yes when asked if he recognized the defendant – answering with an expression that bordered on a sneer, the Associated Press reports.
The accuser, who is now 15, gave the same account his younger brother had given of looking at explicit Web sites at Neverland in Jackson's room. He also said it was Jackson's idea that they sleep in his room.
The boy went on to testify about what it was like to have cancer, saying: "I felt like there was a knife in my stomach."
The accuser followed his younger brother, who had spent the better part of two days on the stand at the trial.
Earlier Wednesday, the defense presented a dramatic video show starring the accuser's family, illustrating – with a musical score – the protective relationship of the singer to the boy he allegedly molested.
On the stand at the time of the presentation, the 14-year-old brother of Jackson's accuser was asked by defense attorney Thomas Mesereau if he had seen the video before. Minimizing the relationship between his brother and Jackson, the witness said, according to AP: "Michael was only there with (my brother) a couple of times."
On Tuesday, Michael Jackson's attorney did his best to paint the 14-year-old as a liar. During cross-examination, the teen reversed some of his earlier statements at the trial, saying that, in fact, Jackson did not show him the pornographic magazine that the prosecution had earlier entered into evidence, AP reported. The youngster also admitted that he lied under oath in a separate civil lawsuit.
Regarding the magazine, titled Barely Legal, it carried a publication date of August 2003, AP reports. But the witness previously said the last time he visited Jackson's Neverland Ranch was in March 2003.
Confronted with the conflicting dates, the boy said of the magazine, "I never said it was exactly that one. That's not exactly the one he showed us."
Asking about another case, Mesereau said: "When you were asked if your dad ever hit you, you said 'never.' Were you telling the truth?"
"No," said the teen.
Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to charges of molesting the boy, then 13, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the family captive on order to get them to rebut a damaging documentary in which Jackson said he allowed children to sleep in his bedroom.