Under cross-examination by the defense Tuesday morning, the fourteen-year-old brother of the accuser in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial was inconsistent in his testimony, calling into question his credibility as a witness.
On Monday the boy testified that he saw Jackson molest his brother on at least two separate occasions, while the boy seemed to be unconscious or sleeping in the singer's bed. He claims that the singer had masturbated while slipping his other hand in the accuser's pants.
Defense attorney Thomas A. Mesereau Jr., however, tried to discredit the boy, pointing out that he had given varying accounts of these instances to the sheriff's deputies and the grand jury as to the specific clothes he and his brother were wearing and where Jackson had put his hands.
"Would you agree that you have given different descriptions almost every time you've described what happened in Michael Jackson's bedroom?" Mesereau asked, according to reports.
"I don't remember exactly what I said in the past," the boy replied.
The boy also described setting off the alarm system in Jackson's bedroom each time he entered, making it unlikely that his brother would have remained asleep in Jackson's bed during the instances of molestation he has described.
Today he also confessed to having lied under oath, in a 2000 case against J.C. Penney in which the accuser was charged with shoplifting. The boy admitted that he had incorrectly testified that his father never beat him or his mother -- not only being caught in a lie, but inadvertently painting an unflattering portrait of his parents before the jury.
"Did someone tell you to lie in the J.C. Penney case?" asked Mesereau.
"I don't remember," replied the witness. The boy's family had received a $152,000 settlement in that case.
After the lurid details of the grand jury testimony were leaked to the media without Jackson having opportunity to address the accusations, this is the first sign that the embattled pop star may indeed have hope of winning the case. Jackson is accused of molesting a then-thirteen-year-old boy and may face up to life in prison if convicted.
The accuser's brother, a high school football player, is expected to return to the witness stand on Wednesday.