SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Prosecutors showed jurors in the Michael Jackson (search) case a series of sexually explicit magazines, DVDs and videos seized from Neverland Ranch (search), but witnesses acknowledged there was no evidence the singer had shown them to the boy he is accused of molesting.
With his parents seated behind him, Jackson watched Wednesday as prosecutors used a large screen to display movie and magazine covers featuring provocatively posed women in various stages of undress.
Jurors were stone-faced as they viewed the items and listened to detectives testify that they were found in Jackson's bedroom suite during a Nov. 18, 2003, search.
Prosecutors allege Jackson showed adult magazines to the boy while trying to lure him into molestation. But witnesses acknowledged that one of the magazines and one DVD had dates on their covers indicating they were not available until after March 12, 2003, when Jackson's accuser left Neverland for the last time.
Witnesses also said under cross-examination that all the items were legal and sold in stores.
Defense attorney Robert Sanger (search) noted that one Penthouse magazine had a cover date of July/August 2003 and asked Lt. Victor Alvarez, who participated in the search of Jackson's home, if the boy or his brother had alleged that Jackson showed them the magazine.
"This particular one?" Alvarez said, "I don't know."
Asked if he suspected the boys did not see it, Alvarez agreed that such magazines usually come out about a month before the cover date and that subscribers might get them a month or two earlier.
The DVD had a printed release date of March 27, 2003 — 15 days after the family left the ranch.
Last week, the accuser's brother testified that a copy of Barely Legal magazine shown by the prosecution was the exact one Jackson had shown him. The defense pointed out that it was dated August 2003.
In morning testimony, the lead investigator in the case testified that the young accuser slumped down in his seat and became "choked up" when first interviewed about allegedly being molested by the pop star.
Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Robel also testified that the boy told him he was molested five to seven times, but could not recall what happened every time.
"He was fine with talking to us," Robel said of the teenage boy's initial interview. "When I got into the molestation acts I noticed a change in (his) demeanor. He became very quiet, folded his arms and sank down into his chair. ... He even became choked up."
The new questions about the number of alleged molestations followed Robel's testimony Tuesday that the boy twice told investigators he was molested five times. The boy himself testified earlier to only two molestations but said he believed there may have been more.
Robel said Wednesday that the boy told him "it happened between five and seven times but he could not articulate exactly" what happened every time.
The investigator said that since the first interviews of the boy in July 2003 he has only been able to provide detailed accounts of two alleged molestations.
The possibility of the alleged victim not being aware or fully aware at certain times has been raised in testimony by the boy's brother, who said he twice witnessed his brother being molested while asleep.