[b]Jackson judge allows testimony that accuser said George Lopez stole wallet[/b] Canadian Press Friday, March 18, 2005 SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) – The judge in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial agreed on Friday to allow testimony that the boy accusing the singer of molestation once claimed comedian George Lopez stole his wallet. Jackson lawyer Robert Sanger said Lopez and the boy met at a comedy club but later had a falling out. Sanger said the boy, pressed by his father, then accused Lopez of stealing his wallet and demanded $300. The defence claims the incident shows a pattern of the accuser trying to take money and other things from celebrities. Jackson’s lawyers have said the boy invented molestation claims against Jackson after the boy and his family were evicted from Jackson’s Neverland ranch. District Attorney Tom Sneddon sought to block the Lopez evidence, saying the boy tried to resist his father’s plan to say there was $300 in the wallet. Also Friday, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville rejected a defence request for a mistrial after a witness mentioned the name of a youngster who levelled sex allegations against the pop star a decade ago. On Thursday, a former housekeeper at Jackson’s Neverland ranch mentioned the boy who received a multimillion-dollar civil settlement after claiming in 1993 that Jackson molested him. The defence argued the testimony violated Melville’s ruling that no evidence of past sexual crimes could be admitted, unless the judge said so. In denying the request for a mistrial, Melville said prosecutors elicited the testimony to establish how much contact Jackson had with boys who visited Neverland, not to suggest any impropriety by the singer. The judge also set a March 28 date for a hearing on the prosecution request to allow evidence of alleged prior offences into Jackson’s trial. … The next stage of the prosecution case will focus on allegations that the singer held the alleged victim and his family captive to force them to rebut a February 2003 TV documentary in which Jackson appeared with the then-13-year-old boy and said he allowed children to sleep in his bed, although he described it as innocent. There was no immediate ruling on the hearing date. Only motions were being heard Friday and Jackson had been told he did not have to attend. One of his lawyers said at the end of Thursday’s session Jackson is still in pain from a back injury and would rest through the weekend. … Full article Source: http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/artslife/story.html?id=a394dfe0-d17b-4ac0-9e49-c6888623160b

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