[b]Welfare fraud trial set for mother of boy who accused Jackson[/b] LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press LOS ANGELES – The woman who claimed Michael Jackson molested her son, leading to a sensational trial a year ago, was ordered Wednesday to stand trial Aug. 7 on a charge of welfare fraud. However, the trial date could be postponed. Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson said the date would be “one of 30,” meaning trial could start within 30 days. The 37-year-old woman, whose name by marriage is Janet Jackson, entered a not guilty plea through her attorney. She did not speak during the arraignment on a new Superior Court charging document. The woman’s lawyer, Patricia Hattersley, said outside court she hopes the case can be resolved without a trial. “We are open to discussions,” Hattersley said. “Her position is she never misrepresented anything intentionally.” During Michael Jackson’s trial last year in Santa Maria, the woman invoked Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and refused to testify about the welfare issues. She is accused of accepting $8,000 in fraudulently obtained assistance and committing perjury four times on welfare applications. She is accused of hiding the fact that she received a substantial settlement of a civil suit against J.C. Penny before she filed for welfare. “We’re scheduled to go to trial unless she makes restitution,” said district attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison. Michael Jackson was acquitted of the child molestation charges last year. Many jurors said a lack of credibility on the part of the woman and her children on the witness stand were major factors in their verdicts. The defense portrayed her as a con artist who schemed to get money from celebrities and through fraudulent legal claims. The Associated Press has withheld the identities of the accuser and his siblings, who have a different last name than their mother’s. [i]MJEOL Note: The accuser’s mother’s name is Janet Arvizo. Ironically her trial date is the same day Tom Sneddon, Christie Stanley and the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office is scheduled to go on trial in the $10 million dollar prosecutorial misconduct case (see Sneddon Corruption Civil Trial to Start August 7 2006).[/i] Source: http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/14871789.htm

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