Neverland manager denies accuser’s family was held captive

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[b]Neverland manager denies accuser’s family was held captive[/b] Joe Marcus comes under heated cross-examination by prosecutor, who suggests that the witness was tailoring his testimony to help Jackson. By The Associated Press SANTA MARIA – Michael Jackson’s property manager at his Neverland estate testified Tuesday he never instructed anyone to hold Jackson’s accuser and the boy’s family against their will, and he suggested no such captivity ever happened. Joe Marcus also told jurors in Jackson’s child molestation trial that the accuser’s family never objected when there were discussions about them going to Brazil. He said the only thing they wanted to know was where to go to have passport pictures taken. The captivity claim and the Brazil trip are part of the conspiracy portion of the case against the pop star, who is alleged to have molested a 13-year-old boy in 2003. Prosecutors allege the singer conspired to hold the family to get them to rebut a TV documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson, who said he let children sleep in his bed but it was non-sexual. They also claim Jackson associates planned to send the family on a one-way trip to Brazil. Marcus came under heated cross-examination by Deputy District Attorney Gordon Auchincloss, who suggested that the witness was tailoring his testimony to help Jackson. “Why do you keep looking at Mr. Jackson?” Auchincloss asked at one point. The witness appeared startled and didn’t answer, and a defense objection was sustained. “Do you consider yourself a loyal employee of Mr. Jackson?” the prosecutor asked. “Yes,” said Marcus. He was then asked if he took orders from anyone else at the ranch, such as Jackson associate Dieter Wiesner. “I would take requests from Dieter Wiesner and address them as needed,” he said. “Dieter Wiesner didn’t tell you what to do?” asked Auchincloss. “True,” said the witness. “Mr. Jackson is the only person that can tell you to handle policies and practices at Neverland?” the prosecutor asked. “True,” said Marcus. The prosecution was seeking to show that if there was a conspiracy to hold the family captive the property manager would have been given his orders only by Jackson, not the group of associates including Wiesner who have been named as unindicted co-conspirators in the case. But Marcus continued to insist that there were no such orders and the only time he told security guards to keep the family on the grounds was after the accuser and his brother, who were then 13 and 10, had jumped in a full-size ranch vehicle and driven it around the property. He said he was concerned for their safety and that of others they might encounter. Auchincloss took the witness back to Nov. 18, 2003, when sheriff’s deputies raided the ranch and interviewed many employees including Marcus, who at first told them he had no knowledge of children sleeping in Jackson’s room. “Do you have any knowledge of children sleeping in Mr. Jackson’s room?” asked Auchincloss. “Yes,” said Marcus. “And at the time of the search warrant you said you had no knowledge of children sleeping in Mr. Jackson’s room,” said Auchincloss. “Yes,” said Marcus, who later added that events of that day were chaotic and “I was overwhelmed.” The witness also said he never saw Jackson in possession of adult magazines or books. “Do you know if Mr. Jackson possesses adult erotic materials?” asked the prosecutor. “I don’t know that he does,” Marcus said. “I haven’t seen them with him.” The prosecutor then showed a picture of Jackson’s desk with [b]tiny figurines of women[/b] in bondage attire standing upon it. “Would you consider the figurines I showed you adult materials?” the prosecutor asked. “A type of artwork of an adult nature,” said Marcus. “Do you think it’s appropriate for children to be exposed to these?” Auchincloss asked. Marcus paused and quietly said no. The prosecutor also tried to show that Jackson has more “special friends” who are boys than girls or women. Marcus said there were also females who were close to the star, but when asked to name them off the top of his head he could only come up with Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, a grandchild of Marlon Brando, and Karlee Barnes, the sister of a boy who spent time at Neverland. Marcus remained on the stand at the end of the day’s testimony. Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain said outside court there was still no decision on when actor Macaulay Culkin would be called to testify. She said she has received hundreds of calls about his impending appearance and Jackson’s lawyers are trying to minimize the “media circus” by not announcing it in advance. The prosecution claims that Culkin, a Neverland visitor during his childhood, was among boys inappropriately touched by Jackson. The defense says Culkin has repeatedly denied that. Source: [url][/url]

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