Michael Jackson: persona non grata in Black community

By Noble Johns

SANTA MARIA, California (BNW) —
Don’t be so quick to feel sorry for Michael Jackson because of how whites are treating him. If anything, he deserves all that he is getting from the same white people he loves so. Admittedly, he says he sleeps with little white boys, so I’ll bet the farm that the all white jury will find Michael guilty, sending him a signal that it’s not alright for a grown man to sleep with little white boys.

The jury deciding pop star Michael Jackson's guilt or innocence on child molestation charges deliberated two hours Friday before calling it quits for the weekend.

When they reconvene jurors will have to wade through 14 weeks of testimony by more than 130 witnesses to determine whether the pop star is a sexual predator of young boys or a victim of a con.

"He's relieved that it's over," said his spokeswoman, Raymone Bain. "He has a great confidence in the justice system, and he's hoping and believing the jury is going to acquit him of these charges."

"This is the hardest part now -- the waiting game."

He'll await the verdict at his Neverland Ranch, about an hour away from the Santa Maria courthouse.

During closing arguments Friday, Jackson's lead defense attorney attacked the credibility of the teenage accuser and his family, saying their allegations against the pop star are "the biggest con of their careers."

Projecting transcript excerpts of their testimony onto a large screen, Thomas Mesereau Jr. pointed to "flip flops" in the accuser's various statements to show that "he's not truthful."

And he called the teen's mother "a complete liar and fabricator, a con artist," saying the family wanted to cash in on allegations with a civil suit, as they did four years ago with a lawsuit against J.C. Penney.

"It only takes one lie under oath to throw this case out of court," Mesereau told the eight women and four men on the jury. "You can't count the number of lies told by [the family]."

"I'm begging you to honor that principle of reasonable doubt," Mesereau said, arguing that prosecutors "can't prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, and they never should have brought it."

"You must throw this case where it belongs -- out the door," he said.

But prosecutor Ron Zonen, in his final rebuttal, said the consistency of the family's testimony was "remarkable," given they were on the stand for a collective 12 days. He also lampooned the idea that the mother, who "frankly can't string two consecutive sentences together that make sense," would be able to mastermind "such a vast fraud."

Zonen ended his presentation by replaying for the jury part of a police interview conducted with Jackson's accuser in July 2003. In it he said he was masturbated by Jackson, who allegedly told him the act was "natural."

"You just witnessed the worst seven minutes of this boy's life," said Zonen.

He said it was "not likely" the boy would make false charges and sustain them for two years, given the humiliation he has endured by coming forward.

Zonen also pointed to testimony about Jackson's relationship with another boy in the early 1990s, which allegedly included spending nearly every night for a year with the entertainer.

"This man has never had an adult companionship to that extent that any of us have heard of," the prosecutor said. "Are we expected to believe he's simply non-sexual?"

Another hospital visit

Jackson arrived on time, despite having visited a hospital near his Neverland Ranch Thursday.

His spokeswoman said comedian Dick Gregory, a family friend, had said he thought Jackson looked dehydrated and needed electrolytes. He was not admitted, Bain said, and his treatment at Saint Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital was not disclosed.

Twice during the trial, hospital visits by Jackson delayed the start of the proceedings. But Friday morning, Jackson walked into the Santa Maria courthouse unassisted.

Jackson's hair was slightly mussed, but his appearance did not appear to be otherwise unusual. He turned to wave to a throng of chanting, sign-waving fans who came to show their support.

Showing their support Friday were two of his sisters, Janet and Rebe, who had not been at the trial since testimony began February 28. Sister LaToya and brothers Jermaine and Randy were on hand, as were the singer's parents Joseph and Katherine.

Jackson was indicted more than a year ago on 10 felony counts, stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred in February and March 2003.

The charges include: 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.

Earlier this week Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville decided to allow the jury to consider the lesser included charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor, on the final four charges.

Prosecutors alleged that after a controversial documentary was broadcast Jackson and five associates plotted to control and intimidate the accuser's family to get them to go along with damage-control efforts, including holding them against their will at Neverland.

Jackson's lawyers have tried to paint his accuser's family as grifters with a habit of wheedling money out of the rich and famous.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges and did not take the stand during the trial.


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