Jackson Team Wants To Query Boy

Michael Jackson departs the Santa Barbara County Courthouse following proceedings in his child molestation trial Thursday, May 26, 2005 in Santa Maria, Calif. (AP Photo/Hector Mata, Pool)
The judge in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial heard arguments Friday on what the defense should be allowed to ask Jackson's accuser if the boy returns to the stand.

The defense asked to question the boy again because of Judge Rodney S. Melville's ruling Thursday allowing prosecutors to introduce a videotape of a July 2003 interview with authorities in which he first told them about the alleged molestation.

In response, the defense threatened to shove aside the last 60 days of testimony and bring back the people at the heart of this case: the accuser, his mother, his lawyer and his therapist, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

The judge said he was only admitting the tape so that jurors could see the boy's demeanor, not so they could determine whether he was telling the truth. Melville said that would limit the questions the defense could ask to those about the boys' spontaneity and behavior.

Defense attorney Robert Sanger said the defense wants to ask the boy about the timeline in which he made the allegations to show that his declarations to law enforcement officers were not spontaneous.

Sanger said that Stan J. Katz, the psychologist who first reported the allegations to authorities, learned of them from the boy's sister, who had heard them from the boy. Sanger said Katz then interviewed the boy and heard them himself.

But Sanger said that on the tape the boy says he has not told his brother or his sister about the alleged molestation.

The judge said he would be inclined to allow such questioning because "it's evidence that a jury could infer shows lack of spontaneity."

Sanger also said allowing the tape could significantly extend the defense's response to the prosecution rebuttal because they would need to call several witnesses including the boy, his mother, Katz and Larry Feldman, the attorney who referred the family to Katz.

Prosecutors had recently suggested they were going to finish their rebuttal case this week, but Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen told the judge they now expect to conclude next Tuesday.

Although Melville sided with the prosecution on showing the videotape, on Thursday he rejected another prosecution request: to show jurors pictures of Jackson's genitals that were taken during a previous molestation investigation.

Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy in February or March 2003, giving him wine and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson as the entertainer said he let children into his bed but it was non-sexual.

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