[b]Mother of Alleged Victim in Jackson Molestation Trial May Not Testify[/b] Sources: Mother May Plead Fifth, Jeopardize Conspiracy Case By JIM AVILA April 12, 2005 — The mother of the boy who has accused Michael Jackson of molestation in his current criminal trial may not testify at all, ABC News has learned, putting the prosecution’s conspiracy case against the singer in jeopardy. Jackson, 46, is on trial for allegedly molesting a now-15-year-old boy who spent time at his Neverland ranch and appeared with him in the 2003 British documentary “Living With Michael Jackson.” The singer has pleaded not guilty to 10 charges that include felony conspiracy with 28 overt acts involving child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. The conspiracy charge against Jackson refers to his alleged attempts through associates to quiet the alleged victim and his family and send them away to Brazil after “Living With Michael Jackson” aired. Sources told ABC News that the alleged victim’s mother, who was scheduled to take the stand today, sees potential legal problems if she testifies. In a motion filed under seal, the prosecution has asked that Jackson’s defense be prevented from asking the mother any questions about welfare fraud, sources close to both sides told ABC News. However, in opening statements, Santa Barbara County, Calif., prosecutor Tom Sneddon told jurors that the mother “obtained welfare funds when she wasn’t entitled to them. She’s going to tell you that, and she’s going to admit that.” Sources told ABC News that the mother has now changed her mind and does not want to admit anything. She has threatened to plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer any questions, which would put the rest of her testimony in jeopardy. The mother never saw any sexual molestation of her son and would not be able to testify about that aspect of the prosecution’s case. However, she is a key witness for the conspiracy case against Jackson. The prosecution alleges that five unindicted Jackson associates played various roles in surveilling the alleged victim’s family, taking the boy and his siblings out of school, making them virtual prisoners of “The King of Pop” after “Living With Michael Jackson” aired, getting passports for the family and pressuring them to leave the country. ABC News has reported that Jackson’s defense team says the conspiracy allegations are false and that it has receipts and paperwork that prove the alleged victim and his family were never held virtually hostage by the star. The defense argues, ABC News has reported, that the family requested Jackson’s help because they complained about being harassed after the broadcast of the British documentary and that they willingly came to Neverland. … Source: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/LegalCenter/story?id=662307&page=1

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