Tuesday, March 15, 2005

MJ Update -- Day 12

Michael Jackson's primary accuser finished testifying today. He's been on the stand since last Weds. After an hour of cross-examination, Sneddon spent three hours re-directing and clarifying testimony regarding the boy's family, his disciplinary issues in school, and his reasons for lying to his principal about Jackson. (He says he didn't want to be teased.)

It's hard to say how all this is playing with the jury. It's impossible to tell from transcripts how credible the boy is, but from the reports I've heard, he held up well as Mesereau tackled his testimony piece by piece. Ultimately, Jackson's odd behavior might contribute to the believability of boy's accounts more than anything. It's hard for someone like Jackson to roll into the court room with an expensive attorney and not look like he's paying his way to freedom. These are all perception issues. Of course, the jury will be instructed to consider only the facts of the case. The boy stepped down about 12:30 p.m.

Other prosecution witnesses called today (from Santa Maria Times): Santa Maria Police Officer Terry Flaa, a former Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputy who investigated the complaints made about Jackson's conduct toward children in 2003. Flaa testified that his investigation was closed April 16, 2003, after the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services interviewed the accuser and his family and found no evidence of abuse. That interview occurred in February, before prosecutors allege that Jackson molested the boy. At that time, the estranged father of the accuser also told authorities that he was not aware of any abuse.

Santa Barbara County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Klapakis testified that the Jackson investigation was reopened after the accuser and his siblings made allegations to Dr. Stanley Katz , a psychologist who worked for civil attorney Larry Feldman (the civil attorney who handled the 1993 settlement.)

Next on the stand was sheriff's Sgt. Steve Robel, who testified about a July7, 2003, interview he conducted with both the accuser and his brother. Robel said the boy told him that both molestations occurred near the end of his stay at Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch near Los Olivos. On Monday, the defense introduced a separate interview between the boy and law enforcement in which he seemed to indicate that one of the molestations happened much earlier.

And last but not least: There have been lots of headlines today about psychologist Katz's comments saying Jackson is not a pedophile. His point, Jackson is not a pedophile, but a regressed 10-year-old. From that bastion of hard news, The Smoking Gun:

Katz told Det. Paul Zelis, "[Jackson] is a guy that's like a 10-year-old child. And, you know, he's doing what a 10-year-old would do with his little buddies. You know, they're gonna jack off, watch movies, drink wine, you know. And, you know, he doesn't even really qualify as a pedophile. He's really just this regressed 10-year-old."


At Wed Mar 16, 05:30:00 AM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

That last bit makes total, total sense to me. And it's the only thing I've read that seems to put the perv in perspective.

At Wed Mar 16, 05:49:00 AM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Hey, I saw you ask about counters on Curmudgeon. Go here: http://www.amazingcounters.com/

Warning: Think before you do this. I find that I get down a little when my counter doesn't turn as much as I'd like! :-)


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