Testimony in the Michael Jackson trial has resumed today with former house manager at Jackson’s Neverland ranch, Jesus Salas, telling jurors he saw three boys tour the wine cellar with the singer and come out drunk. “When I saw the boys coming out of the arcade they weren’t acting right and I approached them and asked if they were OK. And that’s when I noticed the kids were drunk. They had been drinking. … They weren’t normal. Something was wrong with the kids.”
Not good from Jackson’s point of view, certainly, but in my opinion a nonverbal episode in court on Friday may go down as one of THE light bulb moments in the case.
Santa Barbara County Dist. Atty. Tom Sneddon has said the evidence of previous similar acts and patterns of behavior would help prove that Jackson’s current accuser is telling the truth, and he is presenting testimony that Jackson was seen “molesting, hugging, kissing or fondling” five other boys in the 1990s, including the boy who recieved a $20+ million settlement from Jackson in 1993.
On Friday, attorney Larry Feldman told jurors he represented the ’93 accuser in a civil trial against Jackson involving seven claims of sexual molestation, which he said “was absolutely resolved in (the boy’s) favor.” AFP reports that then jurors were shown a photograph of that accuser, “who looked strikingly similar to the alleged victim in the current case.” Both were 13 years old at the time they claim Jackson sexually molested them.
That accuser will not testify, but his mother will reportedly say that Jackson spent 30 consecutive nights with her son in the boy’s bedroom in Los Angeles, according to the boy’s uncle, Santa Barbara attorney Raymond Chandler told the L.A. Times. Chandler, whose 2004 book, All That Glitters, details the case and its effect on his family, also said 30 other sleepovers occurred at Jackson’s Century City condominium, his Neverland ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, and at hotels in Las Vegas, New York, Florida and Monaco. “What will be powerful is the length of the relationship and the number of times they slept together,” he said.
Indeed, but it’s the “strikingly similar” picture of the ’93 boy that may most powerfully establish a “pattern of behavior” in observer’s minds, including the most important observers of all, the jury.
The son of Jackson’s former maid, now 24, has testified that the singer molested him during a “tickling game” in 1990, one of three such alleged incidents.
“This is so much harder than I thought. It’s embarrassing then, and its embarrassing now.”
“We were tickling. He was tickling and I was laughing and the — it was, he was — he was tickling me in the…,” he paused, wiped his eyes, drank some water. “He was tickling me. I was wearing shorts again. … He reached on my leg and I’m still laughing and he reached up to my — privates.”
“Did he actually your touch your penis or your testicles?” the prosecutor queried.
“I think option two.”
“What were you thinking at the time?” the prosecutor asked.
“I should probably go.”
Another incident: “We were watching cartoons and he just started tickling me which was — cool. And then we went to the floor … tickling still … I’m tickling and he’s tickling and I’m tickling and he’s tickling. It eventually moved down to my little private region, I guess … around my crotch area. You know, you’re 7, you didn’t think it was wrong. … I probably did think it was weird but not super weird because you were tickling.”
“Pretty much at every tickle thing there was money given. … it was ‘Don’t tell your mom’.”