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Sex Questions For Jackson Jurors

Prospective jurors in the Michael Jackson molestation case were asked in a questionnaire released Wednesday if they can fairly judge people of different races, have ever been diagnosed with cancer and have ever experienced or been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.

The questionnaire, which the roughly 250 prospects were asked to fill out during pretrial screening Monday and Tuesday, was designed to weed out jurors who might have strong feelings that would keep them from ruling fairly in the case.

Jackson is accused of molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient.

The potential jurors were also asked if they ever worked with children and if they have friends or relatives who know Jackson, whose Neverland Ranch is located in Santa Barbara County about 30 miles from Santa Maria, the site of his trial.

A note to the prospects said the questionnaire also was designed to save them the embarrassment of talking about the issues in open court.

"No other defendant in American history has had to bring into trial all the baggage that Jackson brings into this trial," says Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen.

Attorneys are scheduled to begin questioning the potential jurors on Monday.

Judge Rodney S. Melville has said the questionnaire was based on questions submitted by attorneys in the case.

Besides asking the prospects about any religious beliefs or medical problems that could keep them from serving, the questionnaire touched on matters likely to come into play during the trial, including how closely they followed the 1993 molestation allegations against Jackson.

Prosecutors want to include details of those allegations in the trial to try to prove a pattern of abuse. Jackson reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with his accuser in that case and was never criminally charged.

Potential jurors were also asked if they or their families had ever made "any type of claim for money damages." Defense attorneys are expected to portray the accuser's family as being after Jackson's money, citing the family's past settlement from J.C. Penney after claiming security guards beat them.

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