SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Dozens of sexually explicit books, magazines and DVDs seized at Michael Jackson's (search) Neverland ranch will be admitted into evidence at the pop star's molestation trial, the judge ruled Friday in California Superior Court in Santa Maria.
Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville (search) permitted most of the proposed evidence to be used at trial, but said the prosecution could not refer to the material as pornography, obscenity or erotic. Instead, the words "adult" or "sexually explicit" can be used.
One of the seized magazines has the fingerprints of both Jackson and his accuser, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen said.
Zonen also said the 50 print and video items that were seized in 2003 included graphic sexual material that was both heterosexual and homosexual in nature. The material also included nude photos of models who may have been 18 but looked much younger, he said.
Defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. (search) countered that all the materials seized were legally available. In the case of the magazine with the prints, he said, evidence will show Jackson took it away from his accuser and locked it up.
Melville also ruled that several items could not be used as evidence, including three books seized in 1993 that allegedly show pictures of nude adolescents.
He also ruled that Jackson's accuser should testify in open court instead of in a closed courtroom with an audio hookup for the media.
Prosecutors had wanted to close the courtroom to the media and public when the boy, now 15, and his 14-year-old brother testify, proposing that reporters be allowed to hear their voices through an audio feed. But the judge ruled Friday that the courtroom should be open, adding that he would consider closing it if there were any disruptions.
A coalition of media covering the high-profile case, including The Associated Press, had argued that the boys' testimony should not be closed.
Melville also ruled that the Martin Bashir (search) documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" — as seen in Europe, not the one Bashir did for ABC — is also admissible and may be shown at trial.
The Bashir documentary aired on the ABC television network in 2003. In it, Jackson defends his practice of sleeping in the same bed with children.
Defense lawyers have objected to the screening, denouncing the documentary as "heavily edited in the most sensational fashion possible."
In addition, Melville refused to keep Martin Bashir from being called as a prosecution witness.
Bashir's lawyer, Theodore Boutrous Jr., argued Bashir was protected by the First Amendment and California's strict shield law from having to testify about the documentary. Boutrous also represents AP and other media in efforts to broaden media access.
Bashir, now a correspondent for ABC News, could still test the law and refuse to answer questions after he takes the witness stand. In a prepared statement, ABC News said it will "continue to assert vigorously Mr. Bashir's rights under the California shield law and the First Amendment."
Prosecutors have subpoenaed Bashir to testify about the making of the documentary. Bashir is fighting the subpoena, arguing that under both California law and the U.S. Constitution, he cannot be forced to testify.
A Jackson family attorney, Debra Opri, told "FOX and Friends" Friday morning that she did not think jurors should see Bashir's movie.
"[Santa Barbara County District Attorney] Tom Sneddon (search) is known as 'Mad Dog' Sneddon, and he got his sights on Michael, and this documentary just gave him the fodder," Opri said.
"This documentary was so inflammatory to Michael, and while I don't think Martin Bashir should be taking the stand, he will be used by the prosecution to attempt to lay a foundation to get that documentary in," she continued. "And that documentary is sensationalist — it was edited with an angle of showing Michael as different, a freak."
Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to the charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy and plying him with alcohol.
Jury selection in the case begins Monday, and could last six to eight weeks. The judge and attorneys for both sides are expected to screen as many as 750 prospective jurors.
The judge indicated Friday once a jury is seated, he will release the indictment, grand jury transcripts and possibly some police reports submitted as grand jury exhibits in the case.
Opri told FOX News that Jackson's parents were eager to get the trial started.
"Right now, it's like 'Let's get this under way,'" she said. "They believe their son is innocent, and they think the evidence will come out to show that. Everybody is nervous. When you start a criminal trial, everybody is nervous."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.