Family of Jackson’s accuser made a living from false allegations: defence

[b]Family of Jackson’s accuser made a living from false allegations: defence[/b] Fri Feb 18, 3:40 PM ET LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The family members of the boy who has accused Michael Jackson of child molestation are “professional plaintiffs” with a history of making “outrageous” sex assault charges in lawsuits, Jackson’s lawyers said. The claim was made in documents filed late Thursday with the court where Jackson is on trial for allegedly molesting a 13-year-old boy as part of a defence bid to paint the youngster’s mother as a grifter bent on extortion. The pop icon’s team asked Judge Rodney Melville to allow them to tell the trial jury about the family’s litigation history, including a 1999 suit against a US department store that resulted in a 150,000-dollar settlement. The suit, in which the woman claimed she was attacked and sexually assaulted by store security guards, stemmed from a 1998 incident in which the family was detained for allegedly shoplifting. The lawsuit demonstrates that the woman, known as Jane Doe, has a “pattern and practice of using her children to commit frauds,” attorney Robert Sanger said. The store “found itself the target of a fraudulent lawsuit orchestrated by professional plaintiffs,” he said. “Following the incident, (Doe) coached her children to lie about the incident in order to reach a financial settlement with the store,” Sanger wrote. Doe and her husband “coerced their own children into stealing and lying for financial gain,” he added. “Rather than admit to their culpability in using their children to shoplift, (Doe) concocted an outrageous story that the security guards responsible for detaining the family assaulted them by using excessive force and she eventually claimed that they sexually assaulted her,” Sanger said. The store settled the case in order to avoid a trial in which jurors may have decided in the family’s favour since Jackson’s young accuser, who was then nine-years-old, was suffering from cancer. Sanger said the defence wanted to call witnesses who would testify that Doe “used scripts to prepare her children on their depositions in the case” to “assist her in her scheme to defraud” the store. The incident showed that the woman had a habit of making up and then changing and embellishing her stories, including the allegations against Jackson, he said. A few months before accusing him of molesting her son, the woman made a video in which she said the entertainer was like a father to her children and that he had never acted inappropriately with them. Jackson’s team also accused the woman of fraudulently failing to disclose revenues when applying for state welfare and of coaching her children to hug strangers and call them “mommy” or “daddy” in order to “gain their trust so that the family could later solicit money from them.” Such incidents proved that the boy’s mother “put the children … up to manipulating celebrities,” the defence alleged. Jackson has dismissed the accusations against him as a “big lie” aimed at extorting money from him and has strongly denied sexually abusing the now 15-year-old boy. The star has pleaded innocent to 10 charges, including child molestation and alleged conspiracies to kidnap and illegally imprison the boy and his family at Neverland. Jury selection in the celebrity trial of the [King of Pop] got underway on January 31 but has been plagued by delays. The latest hold-up came on Tuesday when proceedings were suspended for a week when Jackson was rushed to hospital suffering from vomiting and flu symptoms. Source: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050218/ts_alt_afp/usjacksonaccusers_050218204040

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