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The Michael Jackson Trial

Testimony on sex abuse victim behavior heard

After late arrival, pop star appeared to shake, sob in court

Michael Jackson is escorted out of the courtroom shortly after arriving.
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Will past allegations of child molestation come back to haunt Michael Jackson?
Michael Jackson

SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- Changing stories and fuzzy details on specific dates are consistent with the way children who are victims of sexual abuse behave, an expert testified Monday at the Michael Jackson trial.

But under cross-examination, Anthony Urquiza acknowledged that his expertise did not extend to false allegations of sexual abuse, which he has not studied.

The testimony came as prosecutors in Jackson's child molestation trial tried to shore up earlier contradictory statements made by the pop star's accuser.

But Jackson's health issues once again threatened to overshadow the testimony.

"I'm in pain," Jackson said on his way out of the Santa Maria courthouse after the day's testimony, walking gingerly with assistance from a bodyguard. He said he had been medicated "by way of the doctor" but did not elaborate.

A spokesman for Jackson late Monday released a statement saying entertainer was suffering "excruciating back pain."

Jackson checked into the emergency room at the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital in Solvang, near his Neverland Ranch, at 7 a.m. (10 a.m. ET), about 90 minutes before court was to begin, said hospital spokeswoman Janet O'Neill.

Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital is the same facility where Jackson sought treatment on March 10 for what his representatives said was a back injury.

O'Neill said Jackson left about an hour later. He arrived at the courthouse minutes after the scheduled start time.

He appeared to be somewhat dazed and walked very slowly, with a bodyguard holding one elbow and his brother, Jackie, supporting the other.

Once he took his seat in the courtroom, Jackson seemed to be in distress, shaking and sobbing. At one point, appearing as if he might vomit, he got up to leave, putting tissues in front of his face.

Jackson arrived at the courthouse with the emergency room physician who treated him, Dr. Bert Weiner. The doctor went into the judge's chambers with attorneys for a private discussion that delayed court 45 minutes.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville -- who threatened to jail Jackson after the March 10 episode -- then came to the bench and started the trial, without explaining what had happened.

Jackson's health issues have delayed his trial twice before. In February, he was briefly hospitalized with the flu, delaying jury selection for a week.

On March 10, Jackson showed up more than an hour late for court, wearing pajama bottoms, after Melville threatened to revoke his $3 million bond. (Full story)

Expert: Disclosures often delayed

Urquiza, a psychologist from the University of California-Davis who said he has evaluated more than 1,000 child sexual assault victims, said they are likely to disclose details in a series of statements that are "not likely to be consistent."

"It's better to think about it as a process," Urquiza testified. A victim's disclosure about what happened is often delayed, then starts out vague and changes over time.

Urquiza said children aren't consistent with times and dates because they are not attentive to such information in the same way adults are.

In its cross-examination of Jackson's accuser last week, defense attorneys made much of the fact that the teenager's version of events was inconsistent in police interviews and his court testimony, including his statements about when he says Jackson molested him.

He also acknowledged that he twice told a dean at his school that nothing sexual happened between him and Jackson. He explained that he lied because he was embarrassed and was being teased by other students, who saw him holding hands with Jackson in a television documentary.

Urquiza said such denials would not be unusual, adding that male sexual assault victims face the added problem of being exposed to ridicule because of the perception that they might be gay.

Abusers also commonly try to lessen a victim's sexual inhibitions by making lewd comments or showing sexually explicit material, Urquiza said.

"What starts as innocuous gradually increases, desensitizing the child to sexuality," he said.

Both Jackson's accuser and his younger brother testified that Jackson showed them sexually explicit material -- an array of which was found during a search of Neverland Ranch in November 2003 -- and also made suggestive comments about women.

Expert has not studied false allegations

Urquiza also said that victims might have a sincere level of affection for their abuser, viewing the sexual abuse as a disliked part of a relationship they otherwise value. He said an abuser commonly uses special attention or favors, and threats of consequences, to keep a victim from coming forward.

Jackson's housekeeper testified last week that the pop star lavished special attention on a dozen boys, all between 10 and 15, who visited Neverland during the 12 years she worked there. The defense has also repeatedly brought up to the jury affectionate cards sent to Jackson by the accuser and his family.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., Urquiza said he had not studied false allegations of molestation because he was usually brought in to evaluate a victim only after criminal charges had been filed. But he did say that such false allegations most commonly occur during child custody disputes after divorces.

At that, Mesereau, noting that the accuser's family had adopted Jackson as a father figure after a contentious divorce between his parents, asked Urquiza to comment on what might happen in a hypothetical situation where there is a dispute between a family and an outside person viewed as a "parental figure."

Urquiza said he could not comment because he had not studied such a situation.

Flight attendant testifies

Lauren Wallace, who worked as a flight attendant for an air charter company Jackson often used, testified that as part of her flight preparations, she emptied Diet Coke cans and filled them with white wine for him to drink.

However, she said did not see him give alcohol to minors during the more than 15 flights she took with Jackson. She also said that while she saw Jackson drinking both wine and mixed drinks, she did not see him drunk.

During their testimony, both the accuser and his younger brother testified that Jackson had given them wine to drink, disguised in a Diet Coke can, which he referred to as "Jesus juice."

They said one such episode occurred while flying from Florida to California on Jackson's private plane.

Wallace did not work that flight, but she did confirm that she prepared and chilled wine for Jackson because he got nervous on flights.

She also said that she hid mini-bottles of gin, tequila and vodka in the plane's restroom so that Jackson and other passengers could drink "in secrecy" if they wanted, although she could not say if he ever consumed the restroom stash.

Leaving the stand, Wallace appeared to wave at Jackson and mouth something to him, although what she said wasn't clear.

Jackson, 46, was indicted last April by a state grand jury on 10 felony counts for 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.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

CNN's Miguel Marquez and Dree De Clamency contributed to this report.

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