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More Woes For Jackson Prosecution

Pop star Michael Jackson arrives for his child molestation trial at Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, Calif., Tuesday, April 5, 2005. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri,pool)
AP
The prosecution in the Michael Jackson case ran into another problem Monday when a witness did not testify as expected that he may have seen the pop star lick a boy's head in the 1990s.

Prosecutors in the child molestation trial called Bob Jones, Jackson's former publicist, to the stand to testify about an alleged incident on a flight from Paris to Los Angeles.

They wanted Jones to testify that Jackson licked the boy's head to show a pattern of behavior. Jackson is alleged to have licked the head of his current accuser on a flight from Miami to Santa Barbara in February 2003.

But when asked if he had seen Jackson lick the boy, Jones responded, "No, sir."

Prosecutor Gordon Auchincloss then asked whether Jones had said during an interview with Auchincloss, Jones' attorney and a sheriff's investigator that he may have seen Jackson lick the boy's head.

"I was very adamant in saying I was not sure," Jones said. "I don't recall anything about licking. ... I don't recall ever seeing any head licking."

Jones was only the most recent prosecution witness to testify differently than prosecutors had hoped.

Previously, Jackson's former house manager testified as a prosecution witness that he had brought wine and soda to Jackson and several boys. Witness Jesus Salas had only told investigators that he brought wine, but said on the stand that he just remembered the sodas.

Jones said he had observed some other physical contact between Jackson and the boy, who received a multimillion-dollar settlement after accusing the pop star of molestation and subsequently declined to participate in a law enforcement investigation of that case.

Jones said that at the World Music Awards in Monaco the boy sat on Jackson's lap and the boy's sister also sat on the singer's lap for a time. He characterized Jackson and the boy as inseparable during the trip and said that on the flight back they huddled closely together as they slept.

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