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The Michael Jackson Trial

Attorney: Accuser's family has not asked for lawsuit against Jackson

No trace of accuser in singer's bed, sheriff's deputy testifies


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Michael Jackson enters court Friday in Santa Maria, California.
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SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- An attorney representing the family of the teenage boy at the center of Michael Jackson's child molestation trial testified Friday the family never asked him to file a lawsuit against the pop star.

Jackson defense attorneys contend that the boy's family sought money from the pop star.

Also Friday, an investigator testified that linens seized by police from Jackson's bed failed to yield hair, fibers or DNA linked to the teenager accusing him of child molestation or the accuser's brother.

In Friday testimony, attorney Larry Feldman said the family of the accuser first approached him to investigate allegations and possible legal action against media companies, including ABC, for showing the faces of the minor and his brother without consent in a 2003 documentary.

Later, after the investigation had shifted, Feldman brought in Dr. Stan Katz. A psychologist, Katz helped launch the string of events leading to Jackson's indictment when he reported to police that Jackson's accuser, during a therapy session, said he had been molested by the pop star while staying with him at Neverland Ranch.

When Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon began investigating the allegations, Feldman said, he told the prosecutor he would not file a suit.

During a tense cross-examination of Feldman, defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. established that the boy, now 15, and his brother have until the age of 20 to sue for damages in the case. Additionally, Mesereau established, if Jackson is convicted in criminal court, a conviction in a civil suit -- which could bring a damage award -- is virtually assured.

The connection between Katz, Feldman and Jackson is not new. In 1993, Feldman represented the family of another 13-year-old boy who spent time with Jackson. Feldman referred that boy to Katz, who contacted authorities after the boy said he had been molested.

The 1993 case ended after Jackson, without admitting guilt, agreed to pay the boy and his family a multimillion-dollar settlement. The boy stopped cooperating with authorities, ending a criminal probe into the charges.

Jackson's trial judge has ruled that evidence from the 1993 case can be brought up in Jackson's current trial, raising the possibility of Katz pulling double duty as a witness about both alleged episodes. (More on that ruling)

But the defense also is expected to point to the common cast of characters to bolster its contention that the latest charges were made up to extract another financial bonanza -- and that the involvement of many of the same people could account for common details in cases a decade apart.

Under cross-examination by Mesereau, Feldman repeatedly denied attending a meeting at which defense attorneys say he told CNN's Larry King that the accuser's mother was making up the molestation allegations.

While he was on the stand, tempers appeared to be running short in the courtroom. Feldman seemed testy with both Sneddon and Mesereau, and Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, while considering an objection, told Sneddon, "Don't give me that look."

Testing of seized Neverland items

Earlier Friday, the officer who oversaw the November 18, 2003, search of Neverland testified about the test results of items confiscated from Jackson's home.

"We took all bedding," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Klapakis, who oversaw the search warrant execution.

Both the accuser and his brother claim they frequently slept in Jackson's bed, and allege that is where the molestation took place.

During cross-examination, Klapakis said authorities did not test bottles and glasses containing alcohol -- found in Jackson's bedroom as well as the home's wine cellar and kitchen -- for fingerprints. Nor did investigators test furniture, boxes, mannequin toys and rails along Jackson's stairwell or his bedroom doors for fingerprints.

Klapakis told defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., that investigators did test pornographic magazines. The boy's brother testified Jackson showed them the magazines. A fingerprint analyst has testified the prints of Jackson and his accuser were recovered from the same sexually explicit magazine.

Asked on redirect by prosecutors why the glasses and bottles were not tested for prints, Klapakis said, "It didn't enter in the investigation at the time."

Jack Green, president of Affordable Telephone Systems, followed Klapakis to the stand. Green inspected Neverland's telephone system, and testified that Jackson's private telephone line was able to join in with or listen to conversations on any other line throughout the ranch.

Under cross-examination, Green conceded there was nothing unusual about the system, and said that anyone could dial out or call 911 on it.

Jackson was indicted last April by a state grand jury on 10 felony counts for incidents that allegedly occurred in February and March 2003.

The 46-year-old singer is accused of molesting the boy -- now 15 years old -- at Neverland, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive in 2003.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

CNN's Stan Wilson and Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.


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