CNN atribuye victorias a la defensa de Jackson

SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) — Michael Jackson’s defense team won a tactical victory Thursday when Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville agreed that the testimony of a third boy is «relevant» to the pop star’s accuser’s credibility.
The defense wants to present evidence that the accuser and his younger brother masturbated in the presence of another boy — around the same time the accuser alleges Jackson introduced him to the practice against his will.
In other victories for the defense, Melville turned down the prosecution’s bid to have a domestic violence expert testify how years of an abusive marriage could have affected the prior testimony of the accuser’s mother.
The judge also barred testimony from Jackson’s former travel coordinator, Cynthia Montgomery. She is already embroiled in a legal dispute with Jackson over alleged hidden videotaping of the pop star aboard his jet prior to his surrender to police in November 2003.
Additionally, Melville barred the testimony of a former Jackson security guard about an alleged incident involving the pop star, a young boy and a jar of Vaseline. The defense called it «salacious innuendo,» and the judge agreed.
He did let the same former guard, Kassim Abdool, testify about finding two pairs of wet bathing trunks on the floor of a restroom, shortly after seeing Jackson and a young boy leave there for the main residence, wearing towels.
And Melville allowed the prosecution to call as a witness former bodyguard, Chris Carter, who is facing bank robbery and armed robbery charges in Nevada.
He is the only witness, besides the accuser’s brother and sister, who could corroborate the accuser’s testimony that Jackson gave him alcohol.
Visitor logs invite questions
Meanwhile, a police officer who once moonlighted as a security guard at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch testified that entries in a visitors’ log were written in unfamiliar handwriting and probably not made by guards responsible for keeping the logs.
Entries in the log appear to contradict testimony by the family of Jackson’s accuser.
Brian Barron was questioned about a log entry on February 6, 2003, which noted that the «owner and guests» arrived at 10:45 p.m.
On that night, ABC broadcast «Living With Michael Jackson,» a controversial television documentary by British journalist Martin Bashir in which Jackson was shown holding hands with his accuser, then 13. The program had been broadcast three days earlier in Britain, creating a media firestorm.
The accuser’s mother testified that Jackson whisked her and her children away to Miami the day before, and that they remained in Miami the night of February 6.
Barron said the «owner and guests» entry was odd because, while guests were tracked in the ranch logs, Jackson’s own comings and goings were never logged.
Barron said he does not believe any of the security guards would have written such an entry. He also said he did not recognize the handwriting.
A log entry for February 7, 2003 notes that the accuser’s family was still at the ranch and were holdovers from the previous day. This entry identified them by name, not as «guests,» however.
Barron, who characterized the logs as «generally accurate,» said it would have been a mistake for people identified in the log as holdover guests not to have been listed by their names immediately upon arrival.
Barron concluded, «Either it was completely overlooked, or they weren’t there.»
Barron testified that another log entry, dated February 19, 2003, noted that the accuser and his younger brother «are not to leave, per Joe.»
Barron said that he had not seen such a notation prior to that date, but said it was also Neverland policy not to allow children to leave without adult chaperones.
The prosecution has alleged that in the weeks after the Bashir documentary, Jackson conspired with five associates to control and intimidate the accuser’s family into participating in damage control.
The prosecution alleges the family was held against its will.
Jackson’s family support
Meanwhile, Jackson’s family released a statement in which his father branded as «false and mean-spirited» suggestions that the recent paucity of family members at the trial indicates a lack of support for the entertainer.
Jackson’s mother, Katherine, has attended every day of trial testimony during its nearly eight weeks. His father, Joseph, and six of his eight siblings have attended sporadically, but in the past two weeks, his mother has frequently been the only family member in attendance.
In the family statement, publicist Angel Howansky said Joseph Jackson has not been attending the trial recently because he is recovering from the flu «and is being very careful not to get his son … sick.» Jury selection was delayed for a week in February when Michael Jackson was hospitalized with the flu.
The statement also quoted Joseph Jackson as saying that he and his wife informed other family members early on that they would be the primary representatives for the family at the trial.
Last April, a grand jury indicted Jackson, 46, on 10 felony charges for incidents that allegedly occurred in February and March 2003.
In all, Jackson is charged with: four counts of committing a lewd act on a child; one count of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion; one count of attempting to commit a lewd act on a child; and four counts of administering an intoxicating agent to assist in the commission of a felony.
Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
CNN’s Ted Rowlands, Dree De Clamecy and Stan Wilson contributed to this report

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