Michael Jackson

Embattled Pop Star

UPDATED 12/27/2004 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 12/27/2004 at 01:00 AM EST

Michael Jackson's lawyers have requested a postponement of his Jan. 31 trial following a search of his Neverland Ranch. What will the outcome be? Two opposing views:

•"The issue is not whether Jackson is a pedophile," says Harlan Braun, prominent L.A. defense attorney. "It's whether he molested this child." If Jackson's legal team can "plant a seed of doubt or present enough proof, he will walk."

•He'll serve time, says Robert Pugsley, professor of criminal law at L.A.'s Southwestern University School of Law. "I think this time they have finally assembled a plaintiff and state's witness who are going to be willing to pursue the case to its end. Jackson is not going to slip off the hook this time."

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