As Michael Jackson's child molestation trial nears, prosecutors are pushing to introduce evidence of alleged wrongdoing in his past, while defense attorneys want more time.
Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting a boy, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, to his alleged victim.
A number of critical issues could come up during the hearing, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman, including a defense request to delay the scheduled Jan. 31 start of the trial. Another issue that may come up is the prosecution's attempt to use during the trial previous allegations made against Jackson. The allegations — which never resulted in actual criminal charges against Jackson — would be used to show a pattern of behavior.
The hearings were set to begin Monday, and were expected to continue through Wednesday.
brought by a charity group to his Neverland Ranch Friday, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzalez.
Jackson greeted the children and then left so they could play on the ranch's amusement rides.
The Santa Barbara district attorney's office is asking the judge to allow evidence that Jackson has committed other sex crimes over the years that went uncharged, such as a 1993 molestation case that was settled out of court.
Prosecutors said in their filing that the evidence will demonstrate Jackson's "propensity" for such crimes, his motive and intent, and show how he "created the opportunities to achieve his goal."
Jackson's attorneys said they need a six-week delay of the trial to give them time to sort through 14,000 pages of evidence filed by prosecutors in the past two months.
They also want the time to deal with what they call a "defective" list of witnesses the prosecution plans to call. Among those witnesses is.
"It's very interesting they are subpoenaing Jackson's ex-wife," law professor and former prosecutor Laurie Levenson told CBS News. "Much of what she has to say wouldn't be relevant, except if she has information about Jackson and these young boys."
Jackson's defense also has filed a motion asking that the charges be dismissed on grounds of "vindictive prosecution and outrageous government conduct."
The entertainer is not required to attend this week's hearings.