Mother of Jackson's Accuser to Testify
The mother of the boy who accuses Michael Jackson of child molestation has been ordered to testify at a pretrial hearing after the star's attorneys called her a liar.
The woman, referred to in court as "Jane Doe" to protect the identity of her son (who is now 13), is due to appear in court in person next month, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville ordered.
Originally, the jurist had planned to permit the woman, currently recovering from surgery, to testify via written statement, Reuters reports. But lead Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. said: "We firmly believe that this woman lies under oath. We would like to examine her (in court)."
Also at Friday's hearing, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputy Sgt. Ross Ruth (who was present in a November raid on Neverland) testified that while searching an open safe near the master bedroom, he discovered an audio tape of what he believed was a child talking on a telephone.
Ruth said that when he played the recording: "I heard a voice ... definitely a juvenile, saying 'Somebody is coming, I have to go now.'" Ruth was unable to identify the child on the tape and its significance to the case was not immediately clear.
On Monday in court, sheriff's deputies are expected to challenge accounts by former Jackson employees who say they cooperated with the search of Neverland – until the investigators began moving into Jackson's office and other areas not specified in the warrant, reports the Associated Press.
Defense witnesses have cast doubt on the legality of the searches, whose findings may determine what evidence will be presented once the trial begins Jan. 31.
Jackson, 45, is charged with committing a lewd act upon a child, administering an intoxicating agent and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $3 million bail.
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