SANTA MARIA, Calif. – In a huge blow to Michael Jackson's (search) defense, the judge in the pop star's child molestation trial ruled Monday that jurors can hear evidence about five past allegations that the singer molested or groomed children for molestation, including actor Macaulay Culkin (search).
Also among the five is choreographer Wade Robeson (search), who has worked with Britney Spears.
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District Attorney Tom Sneddon (search) said one past accuser, Jason Francia (search), will come forward to testify along with his mother. Francia was allegedly involved in a 1990 incident and received a $2.4 million settlement from Jackson in 1994.
Sneddon also promised testimony from the mother of a boy who said he was molested in 1993 and reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with Jackson in 1994, the most well-known prior case.
Judge Rodney Melville (search) was very specific in his ruling, listing the names of the five boys allegedly involved in previous sexual offenses or "grooming" incidents: Francia, Robeson, Culkin, the boy at the center of the 1993 case and Brett Barnes.
He excluded two boys named by the prosecution but did not say why.
In the cases of the two boys who reached financial settlements with Jackson, the judge said jurors would be told that settlements were reached but would not be told the amounts unless the defense brings it up.
In arguing for admission of the evidence, Sneddon described inappropriate activities by Jackson including kissing, hugging and inserting his hands into children's pants.
"All of these children are basically within the ages of 10 and 13" at the time of the alleged offenses, Sneddon said.
Most of the hearing was consumed with discussions of state Penal Code section 1108, which was passed by the California Legislature in 1995 specifically to address cases of child molestation. In most criminal cases evidence of past behavior is not admissible against a defendant, but that was altered. It also applies to domestic violence cases.
Melville also said he would limit testimony by some witnesses including former Jackson aide Bob Jones, who has recently recanted accounts he gave of witnessing inappropriate behavior by Jackson.
"Only one part of Bob Jones' testimony will be admissible regarding one physical act," the judge said.
"The grooming testimony is limited to those cases where actual physical conduct is observed by anybody," he said.
In his argument, Jackson's lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr. (search) promised a spirited defense, making each past allegation into a virtual mini trial.
Mesereau claimed that the so far the prosecution case "looks real bad and it's going to get worse."
He attacked the concept of having third-party witnesses testify about alleged incidents.
"There's Macaulay Culkin who has repeatedly said he was never molested," Mesereau said.
He referred to some of Sneddon's third-party witnesses as "the gang." The reference was to former Jackson employees who sued the singer in the past and lost, and were then ordered to pay the singer $1 million in damages.
Culkin's publicist, Michelle Bega, said Monday that the "Home Alone" star "is presently not involved with the proceedings and we do not expect that to change."
Meanwhile, George Lopez (search), star of the eponymous ABC sitcom, was called to the stand by the prosecution and testified that he helped the boy, his brother and his sister at a comedy camp for underprivileged youth in fall 1999.
He said he later gave the boy's father small amounts of cash from time to time when the boy was ill.
Lopez said he planned to hold a benefit for the boy but decided not to when he came to believe the father was more interested in making money than helping his son. He said that at one point he found the boy's wallet at his home with $50 in it and, at the family's request, sent it to the Laugh Factory where the camp had been held.
He said he later learned through club owner Jamie Masada that the father had accused him of taking $300 from the wallet. "That may have put me over the top," Lopez said, describing his falling out with the family.
Lopez said he finally cut off the family because of the father's frequent and aggressive requests for help. When the father asked what he was supposed to tell his son, Lopez testified that he responded: "Tell him his father's an extortionist."
While the defense contends Lopez is among celebrities targeted by the family in schemes to make money, the prosecution seeks to show that such schemes were the work of the father, who is now divorced from the mother.
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a then-13-year-old boy at Neverland in February or March 2003, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive to get them to help rebut a documentary in which Jackson appeared with the boy and said he let children sleep in his bed, though he said it was non-sexual.
FOX News legal analyst Jim Hammer said Monday's ruling was very bad for Jackson.
"What's going to happen is one of those boys will step into the courtroom, testify that Jackson molested him and third-party witnesses saying that they witnessed kissing, fondling. The stakes have gone way up for Jackson. This is a huge blow to the defense. And a great day for the D.A.," Hammer said from the courthouse in Santa Maria.
Meanwhile, media attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. filed an appeal Monday with the California Supreme Court seeking permission to copy exhibits in the Jackson case — including a videotape of the search of Jackson's ranch and one in which his accuser praises the star. Melville had denied such permission and an earlier appeal was rejected.
FOX News' Trace Gallagher, Anita Vogel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.