APRIL 5 2005 (5:00 PM ET) — As far as we know at the moment, Blanca Francia is still being cross-examined by Tom Mesereau. It appears that Court TV refuses to get into detail about the points the defense has and is making with Blanca Francia in court today under cross-examination in the same way they do with the prosecution’s argument. However, things are slowly coming out about what’s happening in court. According to Fox’s Trace Gallagher reporting during Studio B, the jury was seemingly indifferent — he used the word “stoic” — when Jason Francia was telling his story. Now, to be fair, that’s his read on the jury. But if his reading is correct, that does not bode well for the prosecution, especially in light of the things Mesereau brought out in court. As we told you in the previous update, Mesereau busted Jason Francia with a previous incredibly damaging statement he made. According to an Associated Press (AP) report, Francia admitted under cross-examination that he said: “They made me come up with a lot more stuff. They kept pushing. I wanted to hit them in the head” The mere admission that he is saying anyone “made” him “come up with a lot more stuff” completely undercuts his previous testimony, say some observers. They ask the question how can the jury believe what he’s saying, however emotional, if he’s saying they made him come up with “stuff” and that they were “pushing” him to say it? J. Francia’s conveniently spotty memory also was called into question by the defense. He remembers things from 12 years ago under prosecution questioning and all of a sudden, he can’t remember things he said late last year to investigators when asked by Mesereau. Former prosecutor Jim Hammer commented on his convenient memory and how that may affect the jury during Gallagher’s report:
Jim Hammer: He’s cross examining [Jason Francia] repeatedly not just about interviews 12 years ago, but about interviews late last year. And about those, the kid continually claims he doesn’t remember things. It’s gonna be hard for the jury to put much weight into his testimony if they think he’s selectively remembering even 5 months ago.
If you remember, Gavin, Star, and Davellin Arvizo as well all had these convenient memory lapses, and all contradicted each other in some way. More will be posted as we get it.
APRIL 5 2005 (3:00 PM ET) — Jason Francia’s mother, Blanca Francia, is on the stand now. However, more information is coming out about some inconsistencies in Jason Francia’s testimony which completely cast doubt on his story. According to the Associated Press (AP), Francia admitted under cross-examination that Jackson would reward him for doing well in school. According to the report, Mesereau got him to admit Jackson would “give him money whenever he read a book or got an A”. But under questions from the prosecution, Francia claimed that didn’t happen. Mesereau also busted Francia with a previous statement he made during one of the police interviews where he is apparently caught on tape saying: “They made me come up with a lot more stuff. They kept pushing. I wanted to hit them in the head” (see Jackson witness pleads poor memory – AP). This “they” may be police, prosecutors or therapists around him at the time. They made him come up with more stuff? They kept pushing?? This is outrageous and immediately cast doubt on Francia’s testimony, according to some observers. If he’s admitting that anyone “made” him “come up with a lot more stuff”, then that is incredibly damaging to the prosecution. Francia also had a bad memory when it suited him. He would remember even what color shorts he was wearing when he was 7 years old, but can’t remember telling the police, years later, that he wanted to “hit them in the head” because they were “pushing” him to “come up with a lot more stuff”. Stay tuned for further information.
APRIL 5 2005 (2:00 PM ET) — Jason Francia has completely cross-examination today, but not before the defense made an issue out of the way he was badgered by the police into making an allegation against Michael Jackson in 1993. Francia was interviewed by police in 1993 when he was 13 about alleged tickling/molestation that he says occurred 6 years earlier when he was 7 years old. The defense pointed out that Francia repeatedly denied Jackson had ever done anything to him under police questioning. They also read from the transcripts of interviews Francia gave to police. The defense revealed that investigators were extremely aggressive with him. One investigator even cursed about Jackson in front of Francia. The defense got Francia to admit that he couldn’t remember exact details of those interviews. Francia’s mother is the one who did the interview with Hard Copy for which she was paid $20,000 and reportedly met with someone from The National Enquirer. She also had her hand out for a $2 million settlement, after threatening to file a lawsuit against Jackson after the 1993 investigation. This badgering of and lying to children around Jackson during that 1993 investigation was actually complained about by Jackson’s lawyers in 1993. This was written about both by Geraldine Hughes and another author of a Jackson book, Lisa Campbell. Jackson then-attorney Bert Fields wrote a letter to police saying “ your officers have told frightened youngsters outrageous lies, such as, we have nude photos of you, to push them into making accusations against Michael Jackson. There are, of course, no such photos of these youngsters, and they have no truthful allegations to make. But the officers appeared ready to employ any device to generate potential evidence against Mr. Jackson” (see Police Lied to Young Children During 1993 Investigation?). Whether Francia has actually been convinced that he was molested by Jackson remains to be seen. Certainly this wasn’t the first time complaints of badgering children had been leveled against those trying to get them to make an allegation against Jackson.