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Potential Jackson Witness Arrested

A potential defense witness in the Michael Jackson trial was accused of having sex with an underage girl after telling her he had seen the pop star seduce a girl.

Police said 18-year-old Ahman Elatab and the 14-year-old girl, who knew each other from a belly-dancing class, also watched pornographic DVDs together in the basement of her house earlier this month, while her parents were asleep.

Elatab was being held Thursday on $25,000 bail in the Passaic County Jail in Paterson and faced charges of sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and impairing the morals of a minor.

Authorities learned of the teens' alleged encounter April 11 after a teacher intercepted a note about it that the girl was passing to a classmate at Paramus Catholic High School.

The jury in the trial was working a half day Thursday, to allow Judge Rodney S. Melville to resolve some pending motions.

One is a prosecution request to have testimony from an expert on battered women, possibly to explain the apparent lack of action by the accuser's mother during her family's alleged false imprisonment.

Another prosecution motion objects to the defense plan to have two-dozen Jackson employees say he always behaved properly with children.

Ex-security guard Brian Barron, who worked at Jackson's ranch, was also expected to return to the stand Thursday.

He's testified he saw an order to keep the boy, who's now Jackson's accuser, on the ranch. Barron may be asked whether such orders were posted when other children visited.

He's also expected to be asked about arrival and departure logs that contradict some earlier testimony.

Elatab, who is listed as a potential defense witness for Jackson's child molestation trial, has described visiting the singer's Neverland ranch in California. He met the singer through a friend of his father's in the music industry.

Police said the girl had invited Elatab to her home, about 20 miles west of New York City, and that they watched the pornographic discs and other computer-generated images that Elatab had brought. The girl told authorities that Elatab bragged about visiting Neverland and seeing the pop star seduce a girl.

Elatab, who was arrested Tuesday, told authorities the sex was consensual and denied describing a seduction by Jackson. He acknowledged telling the girl how "smooth" Jackson is and that he knows how to talk to women, police said.

The girl told officers some parts of the encounter were consensual, but also said some acts were forced on her.

In a 2003 interview, Elatab described the Neverland Ranch as "just like heaven for kids," saying he spent long days there playing hide-and seek and having water balloon fights.

Elatab has said he befriended Jackson's young accuser when the singer took them to Toys "R" Us in 2003 and that the boy, who had cancer, told him Jackson helped him fight the illness through meditation. Elatab said the boy believed his cancer was gone because of Jackson.