The mother of Michael Jackson's accuser in his child molestation case took the stand for hours on Wednesday, testifying that the pop star had convinced her that "killers" were after her family and that he was the only one who could adequately protect them.
After the 2003 ABC broadcast of the Martin Bashir documentary Living With Michael Jackson -- in which the accuser took part, sitting beside Jackson and speaking fondly of him -- the boy's mother claims that Jackson took the family aside in a Miami hotel room and had a "lovey-dovey" conversation with them.
"[He told us] that he loves us, that he cares about us, we're family," the mother of the then thirteen-year-old boy stated. "That we were in the back of the line, now we're in the front of the line, that he's going to protect us from those killers."
The woman also testified that in 2003 she saw Jackson lick her son's head during a flight from Miami to California on his private jet. "Everyone was asleep," she said. "I got up. I figured this was my chance to figure out what was going on back there. And that's when I saw Michael licking [the boy's] head." At this point, the witness sobbed and pounded her chest. "I thought I was seeing things."
The prosecution also played a tape-recorded phone conversation between the woman and a man identified as Jackson associate Frank Tyson, whom they have fingered as an unindicted co-conspirator. "Let us take care of you. Let us protect you," the voice on the tape said. "Trust me . . . Now is not the time to be out there alone."
Although the defense was eager to discuss how the mother had allegedly committed welfare fraud in the past, she was permitted to plead the Fifth Amendment on this issue. The woman continues her testimony on Thursday.
Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting the child and could face up to thirty years in prison if convicted.
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