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Jackson Jury To See Accuser Again

The jurors in the Michael Jackson child molestation case will once again get to see and hear his young accuser — and CBS News has learned that has the Jackson team very concerned.

The day after the defense rested, Judge Rodney S. Melville agreed to prosecutors' request that during their rebuttal case they be allowed to show the jury a videotape of a July 2003 law enforcement interview of the boy to show that his story has been consistent.

The defense said they would then want to question the boy about the tape during the defense rebuttal.

Defense attorneys said they may also want to question the boy's mother; a psychologist who interviewed the boy, Stan J. Katz; and Larry Feldman, the attorney who sent him to the psychologist.

"I don't think the defense would want to call the accuser to the stand. You don't want the last witness to be the accuser," warned former Santa Barbara prosecutor Craig Smith.

The tape shows the first time the accuser confessed to authorities that he believed he was molested. It's apparently very emotional and Jackson's defense team is worried it could sway the jury.

"Boy, that child was so credible on the stand," said CBS News Legal Analyst Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor.

"No question, the biggest problem they have is this young man looking at that jury and saying, 'that guy touched me,'" agreed CBS News Legal Analyst Mickey Sherman, both on The Early Show.

Before the jury gets the case, prosecutors will present a rebuttal, the defense gets some rebuttal time of its own, and then attorneys present their closing arguments.

Hollywood celebrities led a parade of 50 witnesses who testified in Michael Jackson's defense, but the real star of the trial — the singer himself — never took the stand, as the defense rested its case Wednesday.

A source close to Jackson tells CBS News that Jackson is "relieved" the defense case is over and he is cautiously optimistic as the child molestation trial winds down, reports Correspondent Vince Gonzales. However, the source says the singer had hoped the defense would end with more of a bang.

Jackson's lawyers called witnesses including Jay Leno, Macaulay Culkin and Chris Tucker as the defense sought to portray the young accuser and his mother as gold-digging schemers who made up allegations that the singer molested the boy.

Tucker, the seventh comedian to take the stand in this trial, Wednesday recalled how he once warned Jackson to be wary of the accuser and his family.

"I said, 'Michael, something ain't right,'" the comedian and star of the "Rush Hour" movies said. "Watch out."

Tucker said he found the accuser to be unusually cunning for a 12-year-old after meeting the boy at a benefit while the child was battling cancer in 2001.

Tucker said his suspicions about the family set in when they came to the set of a movie he was filming in Las Vegas and refused to leave. He said he paid for their hotel and expenses, but after several weeks they were still there.

On cross-examination District Attorney Tom Sneddon implied that Tucker encouraged the family by asking them to come to his brother's wedding, but Tucker said they invited themselves.

"Even Jay Leno, as weak as they say his testimony was, still showed that this mother, and her son, acted in such a way that he got spooked about it and he called the police," said Sherman.

"He was a good witness to end with," said former prosecutor Anne Bremner. "Unlike other comedians, he puts this squarely on the mother."

Prosecutors immediately began their rebuttal. The jury could get the case as early as the middle of next week and begin deciding whether Jackson molested the 13-year-old cancer patient at his Neverland ranch in 2003.

Jackson, 46, also is charged with giving the boy alcohol and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a damaging TV documentary that recounted Jackson's penchant for letting children sleep in his bed.

The defense called 50 witnesses over three weeks, including Culkin and two other young men who disputed earlier prosecution testimony by insisting that Jackson never behaved inappropriately when they stayed at Neverland as boys.

Among the witnesses called as the prosecution began its rebuttal case was Neverland manager Jesus Salas, who was asked if allegations against the accuser and his brother by defense witnesses were reported to him.

The claims included the boys being involved in stealing money from a kitchen and the brother holding a knife to the throat of an assistant chef. Salas said those were not reported.

"There is no question that closing will make or break the case for the prosecution," said Murphy. "They have to highlight the things that came out of the defense witnesses that helped strengthen the prosecution's case."