Jackson Witness Initially Denied Charge

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[b]Jackson Witness Initially Denied Charge[/b] By TIM MOLLOY, Associated Press Writer SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A man who testified he was molested by Michael Jackson more than a decade ago acknowledged under cross-examination Tuesday that he initially denied to investigators that the singer touched him. Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. suggested in his questioning of the 24-year-old man that sheriff’s investigators bullied him into making accusations against the pop star. The witness, the son of a former Jackson housekeeper, was called by prosecutors on Monday in an effort to show that Jackson has a pattern of abusing boys, which would support allegations by a teenage boy who has accused Jackson of molesting him at his Neverland ranch in 2003. Under cross-examination, the housekeeper’s son said that in his first interview with sheriff’s investigators in 1993 he said Jackson did not molest him. Mesereau asked if the investigators then became aggressive, calling Jackson a “molester” and cursing at one point. The witness said he did not remember details of the interview. According to Mesereau, one investigator said that “Michael Jackson’s a molester” and another investigator then added, “And he makes great music — he’s a great guy — bull—-.” “It was only after you were pushed real hard by the sheriffs that you began to say anything like that,” Mesereau said, drawing an objection from the prosecution which was sustained by Judge Rodney S. Melville. The witness also testified he could not remember the exact details of interviews with investigators and prosecutors in 1993, 1994 and October and November 2004. “It’s all kind of bleeding together,” he said. At one point the judge chastised Mesereau for jumping around from interview to interview in his questioning. “You’re being unfair to the witness, in my opinion,” the judge said. … The young man ultimately received a $2.4 million civil settlement from Jackson but no criminal case was ever filed. Under rules set by the judge before his testimony, the young man was allowed to say he received a settlement but the jury was not told of the amount. … The witness said he never talked about the incidents with anyone until 1993, when investigators came to him after another boy made allegations against Jackson in a civil case. The other boy also received a multimillion-dollar settlement, and no criminal charges were filed in either case. Mesereau sought to show that the witness’ mother had a financial interest in his story, asking if she had received $20,000 to appear on “Hard Copy” and had met with someone from The National Enquirer. The witness said he learned of the payment just days ago, but saw the show when it aired years ago. He said he was unaware of a meeting with the Enquirer. Mesereau pressed him on whether he told his story to anyone before detectives contacted him in 1993. “They just came one day and surprised you?” Mesereau asked. Several Jackson fans in court chuckled and the judge threatened to have them thrown out. “I’m not going to put up with that,” Melville said. The witness also acknowledged that in talking to police in 1993 about the alleged condominium incidents he had said that after the tickling started, “I had this blank-out, I can’t remember anything else.” “I blocked it out. I didn’t blank it out. I didn’t want to ever talk about this stuff again,” he said. Mesereau also inquired whether police had once asked the witness, “This is what happened, right?” And the attorney asked if the witness remembered replying, “I’ll have to work on that.” The young man said he had no memory of making that statement. At one point as Mesereau was asking about the financial settlement, the witness interjected, saying, “Other than the money he put down my pants?” The witness repeatedly talked about being “molested” and Mesereau suggested he had been prompted to often use the word. He denied it. The witness also was asked why when he first talked to police he denied anything had happened. “I was scared,” he said. Source: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=487&ncid=762&e=2&u=/ap/20050405/ap_en_ot/michael_jackson

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