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The State

Now it's up to the jury

June 04, 2005

Is Michael Jackson a child molester or an innocent victim of opportunists? That question is now in the hands of the jury, which has sat through a celebrity trial that has included moments of high courtroom drama and low comedy. Here is a look at the history of the case, the jurors and the evidence they will consider:

The charges

4 Felony counts of child molestation

1 Felony count of attempted child molestation

1 Felony count of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion

4 Felony counts of administering an intoxicating agent (jury could reduce these counts to misdemeanors of giving alcohol to a minor)


Who will deliberate

According to their screening information, some of the 12 jurors have experienced child sexual abuse in their families. Half have college degrees, half have full-time jobs and two are retired. Here's a look at the individual jurors (excluding eight alternates):

Jury breakdown:

Race ethnicity: 7 Whites; 3 Latinos; 1 Asian; 1 Unknown

Gender: 8 Female; 4 Male

Ratio of parents: 8 Parents; 4 No Kids

Age: 3 20s;1 30s;3 40s;2 50s;2 60s;1 70s


Juror 1 (male)

Civil engineer, 62. He likes to see theatrical performances; has four grown children.

Juror 2 (male)

Retired school counselor, 63. He creates bronze castings of Western sculptures and is an avid horseman.

Juror 3 (female)

Horse trainer for 33 years, age 51. She said she was a subject of inaccurate media coverage as a former Olympic hopeful.

Juror 4 (female)

Computer programmer and systems analyst, 52, who used to be a high school math teacher. She has two teenage children and is married to a brain researcher at a university.

Juror 5 (female)

Retiree, 79. She is an old-movie buff and a "Jeopardy!" fan; has a close relative who is a registered sex offender.

Juror 6 (female)

Nursing home physical therapy aide, 22, who lives with her boyfriend. Jackson's music, she said, was "a little before my time."

Juror 7 (male)

Auto racing fan, 21. He dreams of becoming a motor sports journalist. The man, who uses a wheelchair, visited Jackson's Neverland ranch as a sixth-grader with a cerebral palsy group.

Juror 8 (female)

Aide in special education classes, 42, who served in the military for six years. During jury questioning, she discussed sexual abuse incidents in her family. Her four children are 4 to 20 years old.

Juror 9 (female)

Public agency human resources clerk, 39, is a fan of Fox network commentator Bill O'Reilly. Her husband is a local TV reporter.

Juror 10 (female)

Supermarket worker, 45, who sold radio ads for about a year and has worked as a restaurant server. Her three children, ages 14 to 26, live in Texas.

Juror 11 (male)

Assistant head cashier, 20. Soft-spoken. He said he prefers "The Simpsons" to the news.

Juror 12 (female)

Social services supervisor, 44. Said she was on good terms with her ex-husband, a Santa Maria police officer. She has a close friend who is a San Luis Obispo police detective.


What the jurors will consider

Testimony over the last three months has focused on the credibility of the teenage accuser, his family and other alleged victims. The case will hinge on whether the jury believes the family's allegations of molestation or the defense's claim that the accusers concocted the story for potential financial gain.

The prosecution


Portrayed Jackson as a pedophile who preyed on vulnerable children such as the accuser, a cancer survivor. Said Jackson used his fame and wealth to gain victims' trust before he molested them. Alcohol and adult material were used to groom them for abuse.

Key points

Molestation testimony

Witnesses claimed knowledge of inappropriate acts with other boys before the cancer survivor. The accuser told of incidents of molestation, and his testimony was supported by his younger brother. Others testifying included a maid's son who said Jackson groped him; and some current and former Neverland staff.

Confinement testimony

Accuser's mother detailed intimidation. Security staffers said boys were not to leave the grounds. Surveillance videos showed family being followed.


Adult magazines found by investigators included one with fingerprints of both Jackson and his accuser.


The defense


Portrayed Jackson as a child-like, naive victim of opportunists. Witnesses sought to paint the accuser's mother as a lying grifter who once fabricated evidence to win a legal settlement and used her son's cancer to get money from celebrities. Neverland staffers who testified against Jackson were attacked as opportunists.

Key points

Molestation testimony

Three witnesses denied prosecution claims that Jackson molested them. Jackson's behavior was portrayed as innocent acts by a man who is a good father to his own children and a role model who sees nothing wrong with being playful. Other Neverland staffers said they saw nothing amiss.

Confinement testimony

Said accuser's mother rode in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce during her supposed captivity and did not complain during a spa excursion off the ranch. Security staff said minors are not allowed to wander unescorted off grounds.


Evidence was presented that Jackson's accuser and his brother looked at adult magazines on their own.


The case from the beginning (Timeline; text not included here, see full graphic)

Sources: Times reports, Court TV. Graphics reporting by Cheryl Brownstein-Santiago, Stuart Pfeifer, Steve Chawkins

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